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If you have never kayaked before, it is a great and fun activity to try out this summer! Northwest Adventure Center has plenty of kayak rentals available. Whether you’d like to rent one on base or rent one to take on a trip, here’s the info you’ll need and some places to kayak.


Northwest Adventure Center

8050 NCO Beach Rd.

JBLM-Lewis North, WA 98433

Russell Landing Marina

8981 American Lake Avenue
JBLM-Leiw North, WA 98433

Adventures Unlimited

739 Battery Road
JBLM-McChord Field, WA 98438

If you are interested in renting kayaks, you can do so on base at the Northwest Adventure Center, Russell Landing Marina or Adventures Unlimited. Kayak rentals range for $40-50 depending on size and how many days you’ll be needing it. If you do not want to put the kayak on your vehicle’s roof, you have the option of renting a trailer to put the kayak on and pull.
To view the full price list for rentals, click HERE.

   exclusive laketapps 


Kayak Safety

There are a few things you need to know and plan for before going kayaking. You can take a FREE online Paddlesport Education Course. If you are planning to rent through one of the centers on base then they do require you to take this course and print out the certificate at the end. Everyone on the kayak is required to have a lifejacket on board. Share your “Float Plan” with someone. A “Float Plan” is a description of where and when you plan to travel in your kayak and what time they should expect you back. If you are not back, provide them with local Coast Guard information where they can contact for help. Avoid alcohol during your paddle trip. You can get a BUI if you boat under the influence, even on a kayak. If it your own personal kayak, make sure to label it with a sharpie so if you get separated from your kayak it can be returned to you if found.

View Float Plan info HERE.
View a Paddler Safety checklist HERE.
View the FREE Paddlesport Safety Course HERE.


American Lake
On JBLM – North Fort
American Lake is a fantastic place to kayak, especially for beginners. If you want to skip the hassle of having to transport the kayak with your vehicle, this is a great option for you! You can grab a kayak rental at Russell Landing and walk it a mere 10-15 feet to the water. American Lake has calm waters besides the occasional boat passing by and causing a little waves. The lake is large and you’ll have plenty of places to explore. 

Lake Tapps County Park

2022 – 198th Ave. E.

Bonney Lake, WA 98391
1 Hour from JBLM

Lake Tapps is another gorgeous Washington lake that makes a great spot to kayak. The park is well kept and has facilities available to enjoy your afternoon after kayaking. The lake has a section of beach access, restrooms, charcoal grills, picnic tables and trails. There are also life jackets you can use for FREE during our time at the park. Parking in the park is $7 per vehicle but they do offer a military rate at $5 per vehicle or $3.50 per vehicle for seniors. 

Bowman Bay – Deception Pass State Park

4399 Bowman Bay Road
Anacortes, WA 98221
2.5 Hours from JBLM

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to explore a truly beautiful spot in Washington then Bowman Bay is the perfect spot! Deception Pass is by far our favorite state park in Washington. It offers stunning views, hiking trails, picnic tables and grilling areas, and a beach with tide pools. You will need a Discover Pass to access this area. You can purchase a $10 day pass or $30 annual pass. It is VERY important to note that when kayaking inside Bowman Bay you need to stay inside the Bay. Do not attempt to kayak outside of the bay or around Rosario Head. The tides and currents through that area are very dangerous and unpredictable. Inside the Bay still offers a great experience and when we went there was a very curious seal that came right up to us in the kayaks to sniff. Also keep an eye out for otters and different types of birds.
Purchase a Discover Pass HERE.


Written By: Olivia Harrell



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