Home of the Sequim Bay Paddle Guide

June 6, 2024 — We just changed web hosts and need some time to rebuild the site. Thanks for your patience.

Sequim Bay Paddle Guide

Sequim Bay is located on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula near the town of Sequim (pronounced ‘Skwim’). The bay is one of the most scenic locations in the Pacific Northwest with abundant wildlife and wonderfully rich human history on every shore. Travis Spit protects the bay from the wind waves and swells that occur in the Strait of Juan de Fuca making Sequim Bay a great place to start if you are a first time stand up paddleboarder or kayaker while also providing complex currents for more advanced paddlers and endless scenic opportunities for paddlers of all skill levels. Please use this guide to make your next paddle trip as safe, fun and educational as possible. 



  • The bay is about 4 miles long from Travis Spit to the southern end and between 3/4 mile to 2 miles wide depending on how you measure it.
  • A paddle trip completely around the bay will be about 10-12 miles depending on the line you take and the tide height.
  • The deepest spot in the bay is approximately 126 ft., just east of John Wayne Marina.
  • Water temperatures in the Strait of Juan de Fuca range from 44 to 57 degrees fahrenheit.

See the nautical chart for water depths around the bay. All the depth measurements are in fathoms so multiply by 6 to convert to feet. ​


You can launch at the launch ramp inside John Wayne Marina for a fee or you can launch from the adjacent park for free. At the park you must walk down a moderately steep ramp to get to the water and there will be some rocks to navigate. It’s quite shallow and at low tide you will have a long walk to the water. But it is a perfect spot for beginners because it is well protected from wind, current and boat traffic. Good water shoes or at least flip-flops are highly recommended because the beach and launch area has a number of barnacle covered rocks and the area is littered with broken shellfish shells. There is plenty of parking and bathrooms available. We recommend parking your car or RV for the weekend and camping at John Wayne’s Waterfront Resort and dinner at Dockside Grill which are both a short walk away. Port of Port Angeles website

The dock fee only applies to watercraft needing to use the boat ramp to launch so SUPs and kayakers can park and launch for free. You do need a Discover Pass to park your car which can be bought on-site. The park is right on the Discovery Trail and offers camping and bathroom facilities. The launch area and seawall was completely rebuilt in 2019. 

One mile to the north, outside of the bay is Port Williams. Marlyn Nelson County Park at Port Williams provides bathrooms, benches and a boat ramp. You can paddle south through the entrance of the bay, past Washington Harbor and inside to enjoy the rest of the bay but watch the tides carefully because the current can be very strong (see Tides and Currents). You can also enjoy exploring the north side of Travis Spit with spectacular views of Protection Island and Mount Baker. See below for more history of Port Williams. 
Clallam County’s Port Williams webpage

NOTE:  Travis Spit is owned by Battelle and private land owners. No trespassing signs are posted the entire length of the spit. The rest of the bay’s shoreline is also owned by private land owners so landing locations are very limited. Also, keep in mind that many tidelands and shorelines are still used for commercial shellfish operations and should not be used as informal bathrooms for paddlers. So plan ahead and if you need to tinkle, Sequim Bay State Park and John Wayne Marina both have well kept facilities available. 🙂


Due to the Olympic Mountain rainshadow effect, Sequim only sees an average of 16 inches of rain per year (compared to 36 inches in Seattle) and sees a significantly higher number of  sunny days than the rest of Western Washington, earning the nickname “Sunny Sequim.” An article in the Seattle Times Magazine, January 22, 1961 said, “…it is the one spot on the Olympic Peninsula where one can stand under a clear sky and watch the rain falling all around a few miles away. Nobody complains about the weather in Sequim; it’s a place where the residents can enjoy Puget Sound living without rain hoods.” 

For the most comprehensive explanation of Sequim’s unique weather see olympicrainshadow.com.

Weather Underground

Windy.com – The best wind prediction around. If you study the maps through the year you’ll start to really understand the wind and weather patterns here.


John Wayne Marina – Current conditions and 3 webcams (scroll down page for webcams).

PNNL Environmental Monitoring – Weather, Currents, Water Quality

Olympicrainshadow.com weather station – Located 4 miles north of the bay.

New Dungeness Lighthouse – Current conditions and 2 webcams (scroll down page for webcams). Located 8 miles north of the bay.

PADDLER’S TIP: Although it is often sunny at Sequim Bay, there is almost always a light wind during summer days and the temperature generally averages a few degrees cooler than Seattle in the summer (70 degree average in July and August.)  The wind is generally from the north and is blowing in cooler air off of the strait. If it’s blowing from the south there is probably a storm brewing somewhere nearby. The good news is that the wind is fairly consistent in the summer. It usually starts around 9:30 am and subsides around 7 pm. With glassy water and the unique quality of the light, I think mornings and evenings are without a doubt the best time to paddle on Sequim Bay during the summer. Other seasons can be less predictable and there are so many micro-climates in Western Washington you can’t really predict the weather here with much accuracy. The best thing to do is plan for wind and rain on every trip and keep an eye on a number of different forecasts and web cams before you head out.   

More to come as I rebuild the site…

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