Anacortes Kayak Tours

Join Our Team of Fun Professionals and Sea Kayak in the San Juan Islands!

Anacortes Kayak Tours is a family-owned sea kayak tour operation in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We are based in the seaside town of Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island. We offer both Day-Trips and Multi-Day expeditions throughout the San Juan Islands archipelago.

Trips operate in the San Juan Islands National Monument, the Cypress Island NRCA, and Deception Pass State Park.

About Anacortes Kayak Tours

This year Anacortes Kayak Tours will be celebrating our 21st year in business. We started as a tiny company with a handful of guides who helped us grow it into one of the most successful sea kayaking businesses in Washington State. Although we are a larger company now, we still retain the intimate culture of a family-operated organization. As a woman-owned company, you will see the "big boss" Megan working in the office every day, while her husband, Erik handles the daily logistics, risk management, and repairs. The close proximity of the decision-makers allows us to have a more organic work environment. We all work hard and have a lot of fun doing it.

One thing which makes our company unique is that we strive to foster a robust paddling culture within our staff. If you want to develop your personal paddling skills to a higher level then this is the place for you. Our location near the famously dynamic waters of Deception Pass allows guides to hone their abilities in their free time. There is no better classroom to become a truly competent paddler than in Deception Pass. Additionally, we co-own the successful kayak school called Body Boat Blade International and so our guides have access to knowledgeable coaches who can help in your personal development. There is no cost to you for the on-water skills training that you will receive, and all land based logistical trainings are paid.

Another advantage that working in Anacortes offers is access to the outstanding landscapes of the North Cascade mountains. Because we are the only island in the San Juans that is connected to the mainland by a bridge, our staff can easily make the most of their days off. Within a couple of hours' drive, you can be above the treeline and hiking into some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest. With the islands in our front yard and the mountains in the backyard, it is hard to beat the lifestyle opportunities available in Anacortes.

The Employee Experience

We value the lifestyle experience of being an outdoor professional in a seasonal gig. Our hope is always to build a team of like-minded individuals who want to work hard and play hard. Although the #1 focus is always going to be on ensuring that all of the trips are as successful as they can be, we understand our guides' passion for personal development and exploration. We strive to hire an appropriate number of people so that we can cover all of the requirements of the business and also allow for ample free time to explore. 

Our expectation is that you come to us with a high degree of personal motivation and professionalism and that these qualities will manifest themselves in a job well done. Although the owners, Megan and Erik, are almost always nearby, they have little interest in micro-managing anyone. If you need lots of structure, and the constant presence of management to keep you on-task then this job is probably not for you. Fun-loving independent and responsible people can thrive here.

After a season with AKT, you will hopefully be able to take with you an advanced paddling skill set as well as a well-developed "sense of place" here in the San Juan Islands. Working in this environment will bring you loads of experience in customer service as well as leadership skills that can transfer into any professional workplace. Longtime friendships and even several marriages have blossomed here at AKT. We feel fortunate to be a venue for all of these good things to happen and we hope that the AKT experience will always be more than just a job.

Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have the following qualities:

  • Self-motivated and places a high value on personal responsibility.
  • Personal or professional outdoor experience. (Preferably on the water, but not required)
  • A high degree of self-confidence. (Pronounced anxiety can be a problem on this job)
  • Sunny disposition, and a tendency to see the bright side of life.
  • High emotional intelligence, empathy, self-awareness.
  • Tolerance of a variety of beliefs and opinions. (We sell fun, make it fun.)
  • A degree in the natural sciences is helpful, but a passion for learning about natural systems is essential.
  • A love for cooking is very helpful on our camping trips.
  • A desire to learn more and the willingness to "fail spectacularly" while doing so. 
  • Patient and kind.
  • Willingness to step in and help where needed. 
  • Hard-working and healthy.
  • NOTE: This is leadership job which requires a higher duty of care. You will be leading people on trips conducted on the sea, a highly dynamic environment. If you suffer from anxiety or have any condition which might prevent you from operating at a full capacity during stressful situations then this is not the job for you. 

Room and Board

AKT does not provide housing, but we do whatever we can to help our staff secure a place to stay. 

Most years see guides sharing houses or apartments in town. Rent prices can vary widely from year to year, but you can expect to pay between $500-$600/month. Some guides have managed to live in their vans for the season as well. If this is part of your plan then you should speak to us more about it.

Employee Perks

Perks include:

  • Free use of our equipment for personal development and exploration.
  • Pro-deals on paddling/camping gear and clothing.
  • Assistance in finding housing.
  • Proximity to qualified coaching for skills development.
  • A rewarding work environment with other dynamic professionals and like-minded people.
  • You'll be working on the sea in the San Juan Islands, a better "office" will be hard to find!

Getting Here and Getting Around

We recommend that you have a car while you are here. A bicycle will suffice, but staff should realize that one of the places that you'll be working requires a 12-mile ride to and from town. After a long day of paddling, this can be a bit tiring (but lots of people have done it). 

The real advantage of having a vehicle is that you'll be better able to take advantage of the recreational opportunities that living in Anacortes has to offer. The rivers and mountains are close by, but they do require having access to a car.

For Fun

Fidalgo Island has loads of recreational opportunities. Over 50 miles of trails in our Anacortes Community Forestlands are available for you to hike, run, or mountain bike on. Mt Erie, in the center of the island, offers good rock climbing as well. There are several lakes for swimming and cliff jumping on those hot summer afternoons. The town of Anacortes has great restaurants and bars, two grocery stores, and lots of local shops.

As the Home Port of the San Juan Islands, Anacortes is ideally located for exploration of the world-class San Juan Islands National Monument. As long as we have kayaks available, we encourage our guides to get to know the area on their time off.

If you are interested in whitewater kayaking then you'll love the access to some incredible stretches of rivers here in our area. Within a two-hour drive, you'll be able to access a variety of Class II to Class V runs.

As mentioned earlier, having bridges connecting us to the mainland means that you'll be able to make to most of your time off. Your days off are not dictated by a ferry schedule. The North Cascade mountains offer innumerable hiking opportunities with trails leading to breathtaking views. If you want to visit the city then Seattle is just a 90-minute drive, and Bellingham is only 45 minutes away.

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter, along with three professional references, to erik@anacorteskayaktours.com and eschorr68@gmail.com. The second email address is to ensure that we receive your submission. (Occasionally the servers will block outside email addresses for some reason.)

We will contact you then to set up a good time to talk about the possibilities and to make sure that we are a good fit for you.


Contact Anacortes Kayak Tours