Outdoor Odysseys
Outdoor Odysseys
5
Eco ToursHiking & Camping ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingKayaking & Canoeing
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Since 1987, Outdoor Odysseys has been offering quality guided sea kayaking and whale watch tours in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Our tours feature an opportunity to search for Orca whales and eagles while paddling. We offer great camp cuisine including Dutch oven cookery and naturalist guides that are extremely knowledgable about the biological, geological and natural history of the area. We have been selected by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the "200 best outfitters" in the world.
Friday Harbor, Washington
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Tours and Tickets by Outdoor Odysseys
Travelers talk about
(13 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles377 reviews
Excellent
336
Very good
23
Average
10
Poor
5
Terrible
3

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Richland, WA30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
My hubby and I just finished the 4 day sea kayak trip with Outdoor Odysseys. Amazing trip! Guides Pat and Sam were awesome. We had no previous sea kayak experience, and they were excellent coaches, we were quickly comfortable on the water. Our group was a bit large, 12 people total, so we had 2 guides. The first day was very tough, high winds in our faces and fighting against the tides. But Pat and Sam got the group through it with lots of encouragement, grace, and humor. Subsequent weather for other days was fantastic, and we could fully appreciate it after that first day. Having expert guides who willingly shared their knowledge and kept everyone safe and happy made the trip especially enjoyable. The fantastic gourmet meals were also a bonus. We were especially impressed with how complementary the guides were of their boss and the company. Clearly this is a well run outfit, and we appreciate the hard work of the entire Outdoor Odyssey team!
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C10quistTrips
Spokane Valley, WA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
I enjoyed a wonderful 3-day kayak trip with guides Sam and Evelyn. Everything was great - easy to make reservations, well planned and information provided was so helpful. The guides made the trip a great experience! They were friendly, enthusiastic, informative, and fun. They did a good job instructing all the guests, regardless of experience levels. They took care of everything with big smiles. I recommend this organization for a fun vacation.
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dusty J
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Business
We did three day wine / kayak tour through Outdoor Odysseys and could not have a had a better time. Our guide Miles was the perfect host on and off the water. He was super knowledgeable and professional, but always kept things light and fun. Also, was
A great cook. Highly recommend.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KMY
38 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
The tour guide Eli was fabulous!! However, there needed to be more than one guide as participants had to lift and carry ( heavy) kayaks over rocks and driftwood and at the end of the tour that was in the dark.
Also while the tour was good, it did not meet my expectations based on advertising. I thought I would see more and by the time it got dark enough to see any bioluminescence we had to come back to shore...to carry out the 2 person kayak. Another male participant helped Eli load all the kayaks. Again Eli was awesome, tour company needs to add another guide to help with the unloading, launching, docking and loading of the kayaks.
Written July 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Niki F
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
We had an amazing experience with our guides Katie and Hayden! They had wonderful energy and knew how to handle all types of personalities, which was great since there were 16 of us. And the food was top notch and plentiful. There was a good mix of activities and relaxing. Would definitely book with Outdoor Odyssey again!
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ariane H
Jamul, CA6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
Seven of us went on a "Custom" 5 day Tour. We were told we could set our own pace and enjoy the sea/wildlife and scenery of the San Juan Islands. This was not the case. We were a group of varying levels, three beginners and four more experienced kayakers. The first day out was a twelve mile paddle. We didn't get to rest except for the lunch stop. We paddled for probably 6-7 hours non stop. Our kayak was repeatedly left behind, so whenever we caught up to the others, the guide would take off again, with no rest for us. When we were crossing the channel toward Jones Island, during the most difficult part, with strong cross currents, barely making any forward progress, in spite of our continued paddling, amid boats and the ferry adding big wakes, we were abandoned in the channel by our guide, who was out of sight for at least 45 minutes. The other kayaks were simply trying to keep up with her, which left us on our own completely. The pace she set was unrealistic. Being out of sight, out of hearing, and unavailable was unsafe, irresponsible and dangerous. I am thankful we were strong enough to continue paddling, although we were both exhausted. When we heard the plan for the rest of the week, which she said would finish with a paddle longer than the first day, we were beyond disheartened. My sister in law suggested that perhaps for the anticipated longer paddles, we might switch up paddlers to put the more experienced paddlers with a less experienced paddler, so no one would fall so far behind. Our guide Nikken's response was "she was not here to paddle someone around for five days". The options/choices we were given were 1) to be let out on the way to the next island and picked up by the outfitter, or 2) endure more tiring, unsafe, and unpleasant paddling, with an even longer final day to look forward to. This didn't really leave us much of a choice if we wanted to survive. We opted to be put out. After returning home, I wrote the owner and he offered us a partial refund, which I appreciate. He informed me they do 12 mile paddles on the first day routinely. I do need to mention that one week before we left, our organizer contacted the outfitter and expressed our concern, regarding the relative inexperience of part of our group. She asked if we could add another guide, should we need some help and to avoid anyone being left behind. We were assured it wouldn't be necessary and that we could make the trip what we wanted. None of which was true. Our experienced paddle mates agreed the first day was a difficult paddle. I understand it didn't get any better after we weren't with them. The guide continually paddled ahead, without any concern for her guests. You either kept up or were on your own. The trip reminded me of an Outward Bound experience, not the trip I had envisioned. A trip longer than a day is definitely not for beginning kayakers. We got no help or advice on how to paddle, which would have really been appreciated.
Written July 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly E
San Diego, CA95 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
My daughter, my aunt, my mom, and myself all went on the 3 day kayaking trip. I will start off with the many good things. The guides were all great. Jen and Kylie were sweet and informative. Side kick, Severin, was a fun addition and very knowledgable. Shout out to the orca pancakes he made one morning:) All the equipment was in good shape and easy to use. Stuart Island, where we camped, was beautiful and has great trails to explore. The food was great, although some of it a little different for the picky eaters out there. I think you'll get so hungry it won't matter. Not as "gourmet" as the website suggests in my opinion. We were looking forward to the salmon talked about on the website, but denied. There might have been limited choices since there were no fires allowed while we there. Now, on to some negatives.
1) this should not be described as "all levels". This is some intense kayaking. I am 42 years old, work out five days a week, play tennis, hike, etc. and this was HARD. My 18 year old daughter was my partner and she goes to the gym and so on too. We struggled to keep up but we did it and honestly it was a good thing to conquer for us. BUT, my mid to late sixties aunt and mom were not keeping up and were humiliated and relieved when they had to be towed for a portion of the second day and on the third day they were split up. When they got far behind, the group would wait for them to catch up then take off again not leaving them a second to rest. There was so much conversation and facts about what we were seeing that they missed. I think people should know going into this that this is tough and probably not meant for those that don't enjoy over exerting themselves physically and mentally. Also, you should know going into this that you will be packing and unpacking the kayaks, you will be setting up gear, washing dishes,outhouses or woods for a bathroom, carrying heavy kayaks, sleeping on the ground. I think reading the description I imagined cots in tents already set up on the island.
2) Probably good to bring snacks and have them handy in your life vest pocket. This should be suggested and/or provided for by the company i think. With such vigorous kayaking and no time to stop it's nice to have a pick me up
3) No whales! I knew going into this that there was a chance that no orcas would be seen but this was my WHOLE reason for taking on this challenge so it really was a major disappointment. This has been my bucket list item for over twenty years to go kayaking with the orcas. It seems that there only few opportunities to see orcas on the kayaking path we took and it appeared likely that even if we saw them it would be far off. If I was doing this again I think I would try for 3 one day kayaking trips because they kayak in Lime Kiln Park where I saw orcas three times from land! I think chances are better there(only my novice opinion based on what I saw/heard from a week long trip to San Juan). I think the company should provide a discount on the next tour purchased when no whales are seen or a coupon for a boat tour or something. My daughter and I took a boat tour the next day and saw many whales(right near lime kiln park) because we planned for not seeing the whales but some of our fellow kayakers had to leave right away.
I hate to go on and on about the negatives because for me and my daughter this was a great experience and Outdoor Odysseys did a great job, so still four stars and you should know some things before signing on.
Written July 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

upwardglory
Rapid City, SD2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
We honeymooned on the San Juan Islands and took a day trip to Friday Harbor to enjoy this kayak tour. I researched alllll the day tours from Friday Harbor and most are about the same but I believe this company has the edge. Chris's (owner) response to my emailed questions before booking were helpful and well-thought out. This is probably the most environmentally responsible company I have researched, which was important to me. Also, with a beyond-full lunch included, it's the best value as well. And they also allow you to have an adventurous edge, if you are up to it. Magda was great, knowledgeable and just highly entertaining and endearing. She spontaneously erupts into orca calling at any moment!

My only regret was that I was *sure* I saw that they provided water bottles for the day tour, but there was none available. Magda pulled through for me and let me have her lemonade, and there was hot tea (hydration) available with lunch. Anyways... bring your own water!

Truly this was one of our favorite experiences during our 10 day stay. And yes we saw whales! Including a baby and some breaching behavior.
Written September 20, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tonywu695
117 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
When conditions are ideal it's easy to write a positive review but on this particular day the conditions were far from ideal. We went out on July 20 with 25 mph winds and 5 ft waves. We had a large group of 11, nine of them first time sea kayakers. In my opinion this trip should have been canceled for the reason stated above or a second guide should have been included. The trip was no longer about having fun or whether we would see any orcas. It was about staying focus and making sure you didn't crash into the rocks or flipping over. We'd only kayak for a total of 3 hours covering 4 mi (2 mi out and 2 mi back). Safety should be the number one priority for any outfitter. I don't want to put blame on our guide or the owner of Outdoor Odyssey because I don't know who is setting the policy but poor judgement was used on this particular day. This was my second tour with Outdoor the first one was 12 years ago. Twelve years ago I did a three day tour and on the second day we did not go out because of similar weather conditions, instead we did a hike around Stuart island. Also I want to make note that Outdoor was not the only outfitter that went out on this particular day. I saw two other tours but at least one was coming back as we pulled out of small pox cove.
Written July 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Spokaneman1949
Spokane, WA269 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2019
The website made this seem like a whale watching activity.

When we got in the van the first thing the guide said is "You don't think you are going to see whales do you?" . At first I thought she was kidding but then she said that she had not seen whales since 2016. She wasn't kidding. (Debbie Downer)

One couple had gone with a motorized whale watching trip the day before in the same general area, but further off shore, and had seen several pods. So, the whales are there, you just have to be able to get to them.

So this turned out to be a very long paddling trip with not a lot of wildlife to see. Live and learn, I guess.

The guides were nice enough and the equipment wa
Written September 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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