Bicycling to South Beach on San Juan Island

One of the most popular activities on San Juan Island is bicycling. The island is relatively flat, with rolling countryside and just a few gradual hills. With our San Juan Island Commuter service to Friday Harbor, you have nearly 5 hours (on a day trip) to explore the island. For many cyclists, it is possible to do a round-trip to just about any point on the island.

A great trip, which is only about 12 miles round-trip, is from Friday Harbor to American Camp and South Beach. The ride takes you out of Friday Harbor, past the airport and into the rolling countryside that makes up the interior of the island. As you pedal southwest along Cattle Point Road you reach the west side of the island, feeling the breeze and salt air that is a welcome relief.

American Camp is worth visiting for at least 30 – 60 minutes, perhaps longer if you’d like to walk along the interpretive trail. To reach South Beach you continue about a mile south on Cattle Point Road, then take a right onto Pickett’s Lane. It’s just a quick coast downhill to South Beach, where you can have lunch, walk along the beach, and view the many fishing boats, cargo ships and occasionally, Orca whales, that pass by this area.

Make sure you allow plenty of time for the 6 mile return ride back into Friday Harbor, It’s also a good idea to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and snacks – there are no stores or restaurants along the way.