Sailing and Jogging the San Juan Islands – San Juan Island

August 2012 – A sailing holiday to the San Juan Islands of Washington State in “Simplicity”, my traditional gaff rigged double ender wooden sloop. The weather was perfect for 9 straight days of sun, warmth and bright blue skies. Sailing was mostly slow in light to zero winds except for a couple of days. My wife and I motor/sailed “Simplicity” to many of the islands, taking advantage of favorable tides, and finding good anchorages before rowing our dinghy ashore. Most of the islands and coves we visited had access to hiking trails, some in good condition from plenty of use and some severely overgrown.

                                           Simplicity on anchor in the San Juan Islands.

San Juan Island – Roche Harbor, Westcott Bay, Garrison Bay. Easy access to a substantial trail system leading to English Camp (famed for the Pig Wars) and Young Hill (650ft). Watch for Killer Whales in Haro Straight.

San Juan Island – Griffin Bay State Park, American Camp Anchorage. Direct access to American Camp (famed for the Pig Wars) and a substantial low level trail system topping out on Mt. Finlayson (292ft). Killer Whales sometimes frequent Salmon Bank directly South of Cattle Pass at the Eastern end of American Camp.

Map of areas to run on San Juan Island – click here.


Here are some runs starting from San Juan Island Fitness Club.

The Loop.  August’s  County Fair heralds the annual Loop Run.  An 8.8K run that starts downtown and ends at the fair grounds.  This is a very scenic run on Turn Point/Pear Point Road, with a few hills.  Not to much traffic, except around noon.  Great place to run if you are staying in Friday Harbor.  For a map, check out:  Turn Point Short Loop.  Want a longer Loop?   Check out:  Turn Point Long Loop.  Want even a longer Loop, then combine it with a run out to the Golf Course, about 12.5 miles.  Check out Turn Point to Golf Course.

Doughnut Run.  This non-sponsored event takes place most Sundays (Aug & Sept).  Starting at San Juan Island Fitness,  winding through town and then along Beaverton Valley Road.  Roche Harbor Resort is reached after 11.1 miles and you can enjoy some of their freshly made doughnuts.  Yum.  This is a one-way run so you’ll need to figure out a way to get back to town.  Check out the map:  Doughnut Run.

Lab Trail Loop.  University of Washington operates the Friday Harbor Labs which is a marine base research center.  Part of the Lab’s property contains a trail that winds through some pretty cool forest.  This loop runs out to the Labs, up the trails and circles back to town totaling about 7 miles.  Lab Trail Run.

Jakel’s Lagoon.  Out at American Camp National Park, there is a great 4 to 7 mile run that leaves from the parking lot at Jakel’s Lagoon.  From the parking lot run down through the trees and follow the trail all the way, about 1.5 miles, to Cattlepoint Road.  Turn right and follow the road past the light house and take the the Finnlayson Trail up the steep trail.  From the top of the ridge follow the trail up and over Mt. Finnlayson then down to the parking lot.  Round trip 4 miles.  Start at the American Camp Parking Lot and add 3 more miles.  Check out this map.