We’ve spent thousands of joyous hours exploring our local waterways on SUPs and in Kayaks, so we want to contribute to keeping them trash free. Every year, staff at Alki Kayak Tours work with Puget SoundKeeper and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition to provide guides and kayaks for volunteers at the Duwamish River Cleanup. If you’re interested in getting involved with a Cleanup, here are our recommendations for locations stretching from West Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula.


Date: September 14th
Time: 10am – 12pm
Location: Northwest Outdoor Center
Details: Join a Puget Soundkeeper Patrol to monitor pollution and remove debris from Lake Union.  No prior experience is necessary and volunteers will be outfitted with the necessary equipment (kayak, paddle, PFD, spray skirt and cleanup supplies). Expect to get a bit wet!


Date: September 17th
Time: 9:30am – 12pm
Locations: Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint, Alki Beach Bathhouse or Seacrest Park
Details: Join Puget Soundkeeper at one of three locations to clean up and document the trash floating in our West Seattle waterways. You’ll be part of an International Coastal Cleanup that, last year, resulted in over 18 million pounds of trash collected and provided data for an Ocean Conservancy report about trash in our oceans.


Date: September 17th
Time: Varies (depends on location)
Locations: Choose from many coastal options
Details: Join Washington CoastSavers for cleanups all over the Olympic Peninsula and down the coast of Washington. Volunteers can enjoy perks such as free camping at Olympic National Park Campgrounds (September 16th and 17th), free famous bean soup from Lost Resort at Ozette and a Salmon Feed and Poetry read at Tillicum Park.


Photo Credit:



Day Touring Trips Banner

Our friends Amanda and Quentin are experienced paddlers and guides who have spent many hours exploring  local waterways on SUPs and in Kayaks. We sat down to chat about some of their favorite day touring destinations on Puget Sound and nearby Lakes. Here are their recommendations, from West Seattle all the way to Nisqually.


Destination: Hiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks
Launch From: Golden Gardens Park
Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles
Paddle Highlights: See Eagles soaring overhead, gaze at Discovery Point Lighthouse, cruise under the Ballard Train Bridge and make a pit stop for lunch at a local eatery just a few steps from the locks. You might even see migrating salmon if the season is right!


Destination: Duck Bay in Lake Washington Park Arboretum
Launch From: 14th Ave. NW Boat Ramp – Lake Union
Distance: Approximately 5 miles
Paddle Highlights: Observe boat repair in action at Fisherman’s Terminal and spot famous fishing boats from the Deadliest Catch TV show. Don’t forget Gas Works Park and all the beautiful houseboats on the way to see the stunning lily pads in the lush Arboretum Park.

Kellog Island

Destination: Duwamish Waterway Park – Kellog Island
Launch From: Terminal 107 Park
Distance: Approximately 2.75 miles
Paddle Highlights: Cruise by the Duwamish Long House Cultural Center to learn about ancestral lands, experience calm waters on the south side of Kellog Island and see the Boeing Factory and the Marine Industry in action along the way.


Destination: Billy Frank Jr Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Launch From: Tolmie State Park
Distance: 4-6 miles
Paddle Highlights: Wildlife spotting, some serious birding and a peaceful non- residential shoreline with views of Anderson island across the channel.


Photo Credit:
Header Image, Ballard Locks & Arboretum Imagery: Hannah Letinich Photography
Kellogg Island Image: //www.geocaching.com/geocache/GCVD7D_mucking-around-kellogg-island?guid=9c91ca99-0fd0-4d67-bdc5-287d194314d5
Nisqually Image: //www.fws.gov/refuge/Billy_Frank_Jr_Nisqually/wildlife_and_habitat/habitat/open_salt_water.html


TUTORIAL: Outfitting Your Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) with a Bungee Cord Lashing System

Many touring Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) come with recessed anchor points pre-installed on the deck.  In this tutorial, we will show you how to install a bungee cord lashing system that can be used to stow your essential touring gear. A lashing system allows you to secure your PFD, sandals and dry bag on your SUP.  We recommend storing important items in a dry bag, because no one likes a soggy lunch or cell phone!


You Will Need
– Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) with recessed anchor points
– Approximately 6-8 feet of 1/4 inch Bungee
– Optional carabiner to secure items to the bungee

Step 1
Thread the bungee cord through the anchor point at the top left of your SUP.

Step 2
Thread the bungee cord through the anchor point at the top right of your SUP.

Step 3
Adjust the bungee cord so that there is an equal length on either side of the top anchor points.

Step 4
Cross the two ends of the bungee cord in the middle of your SUP and thread them through the opposite anchor points at the bottom of your SUP.

Step 5
Make sure that the two ends of the bungee cord are stretched taut and evenly across all four anchor points, then tie them together in an overhand knot.

Step 6
Double check that bungee cord tension is taut, load your gear, secure with an optional carabiner, then start your paddle adventure!

Repeat steps 1 through 6 for SUPs with a second set of anchor points behind the stand mat. The bungee cord will loosen over time, so you will need to untie the overhand knot, take out the slack, then re-tie the overhand knot.  


TUTORIAL: Outfitting Your Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) with a Bungee Cord Lashing System

Your Next Paddle Adventure


Use this guide for paddle camping or destination inspiration! We chose four locations that we know are great spots to paddle to and spend the night. Whether you are a beginner or advanced paddler these locations should spark a summer adventure into your future!


Location: Blake Island Marine State Park
Launch From: Fort Ward Park Boat Launch, Bainbridge
Distance: 3-4 miles
Amenities: restroom and water in summer, fire circles (the three Cascadia Marine Trail campsites on the west end of the island are for use by canoers and kayakers only)
Views: Olympic Mountains and Seattle skyline
Privacy: medium
Activities: hiking and biking trails, clamming, crabbing, fishing, horseshoe pits
Reservations: Campsites are first come, first serve
Cost: $12


Location: Northeast Corner, Bainbridge Island
Launch From: Fort Ward Park Boat Launch, Bainbridge
Distance: 10-15 miles
Amenities: table, fire ring, BBQ, playground, boardwalk (Cascadia Marine Trail campsite has room for 4-5 small tents)
Views: Puget Sound, Cascade Mountains, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker
Privacy: some
Activities: beachcombing, picnicking
Reservations: Non-reservation sites
Cost: $7


Location: Northeast Corner, Lopez Island
Launch From: Friday Harbor, San Juan Island or Anacortes
Distance: varies
Amenities: two restrooms, welcome station (several Cascadia Marine Trail campsites)
Views: Strait of Juan de Fuca and Mt. Constitution
Privacy: moderate
Activities: clamming, crabbing, fishing, swimming, wildlife viewing
Reservations: online or by calling 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688)
Cost: $12


Location: Deception Pass State Park
Launch From: Cornet Bay Boat Launch, Whidbey Island
Distance: 5-10 minutes
Amenities: cabin has large deck, picnic table, fully furnished electric kitchen, queen sized futon bed (bring your own bedding), electric heat, lights, bathroom and outdoor shower
Views: Deception Pass, Puget Sound and Mt. Baker
Privacy: complete solitude (max two people)
Activities: hiking trail system
Reservations: online
Cost: $69-$91


Photos from:

Your Next Paddle Adventure



by Greg Whittaker

This morning at 5:30am, I was awoken by the sound of big fat NW atmosphere colliding with my roof.   Many people may feel sorry for their “ruined plans”, but I got news for you, this is how it’s supposed to be in the Pacific Northwest.   I was stoked to hear the rain, knowing that the watershed was filling up, the hummingbirds are getting a much-needed drink, and the Evergreen State is again turning green.

The last two summers have been an anomaly of sun worshipper proportions.   Yes it has kicked ass having 6 – 7 months of dry hot weather when we are on the West Side of the cascades with access to Puget Sound to cool us down, however a return to wetter summers is why a lot of us live here.  I for one could not survive 98 degrees with 99% humidity, and choose to live in Western Washington for the ability to wear my NW layers which keep me comfortable no matter what the weather.   Yes people, the Seattle cliché of sandals and socks came from necessity, not style.   Just make sure they are wool socks or you will be hating your nasty cotton covered athletic sock feet.

What we have here is a Pacific Maritime Climate.   1000 foot cloud ceilings of grey during the summer months have evolved our unique flora and fauna of the region.   Cedars, a wetland species; salmon, dig fresh rain so they can sniff out their home waters and begin the migration to spawn.

So you newly arrived multitude of wary atospherians, it’s easy to survive and thrive if you know what’s up.   It comes down to one thing, bring layers.   Back in the day, oh say the 70’s, there were 2 options, nylon and wool.  Nowadays, thanks in part to local companies, some of the most technical fabrics known to man and previously only seen on Star Trek exist.   Thin, synthetic layers will keep you cool when it’s hot and can easily be stuffed in a drybag (yes get one).   When the weather changes, and it will, you can bust out the thin fleece and shell with a hood and go onward on your adventure and not freeze your hiney off.  Use a local independent outdoor gear shop and ask the knowledgeable outdoors professional what they recommend.

For those of you growing your own in the outdoor environment, this may present a problem, as cannabis is a dry climate plant.   Cover your weed and harvest early if it comes in a vengeance.   But hey, you can always buy recreationally, and use this opportunity to fill up your rain barrels.

So what’s the purpose of this message?  To get you outside year-round.   Search out a local and go bag a peak, cross a Puget Sound crossing, and go no matter the weather.  This connection to nature will help you respect where you are from so we can protect and preserve some of what’s left while we focus on high-density development to pack in the inevitable crowds that are migrating here.

If you are still bitchy about the weather and are stuck in a funk, image me holding my hand out with my pointer finger and thumb lightly rubbing the worlds smallest violin to your apathy and try to get over your first world problems.   Get layers and go outside, it’s why we live here.


Greg Whittaker is a transplant to the NW from being an Air Force Brat arriving in ’78.  Owner of Mountain to Sound Outfitters and Alki Kayak Tours he encourages you to shop LOCAL INDEPENDENT OUTDOOR SHOPS, which REI used to be, but is no longer.



Memorial Weekend Special | Free Gift Card with Purchase!

Memorial Day Deal_Working

Sale This Weekend! | Friday May 27th – Monday May 30th

We are offering a great giveaway for the holiday to get everyone geared up and ready to paddle! If you’ve been waiting to purchase a boat or board, this is the time to do it!

Check out our kayak and SUP inventory: http://www.m2soutfitters.com

The Details:
Spend $1,000 – $2,500 Receive a $100.00 Gift Card
Spend More than $2,500 and Receive a $200.00 Gift Card!

* Gift Cards Received are Valid August-September 2016 | Deal Only Valid with in Stock Merchandise*

Memorial Weekend Special | Free Gift Card with Purchase!

Westside Snow Report 2/5/2016

By Greg Whittaker

The groundhog saw its shadow and snow lovers are stoked. I’m not talking about the groundhog in Punxsutawney, I’m talking about my father, Darrell, who resides in Juanita, WA. He was born on groundhogs day 1949 and I use him as my litmus test for our region. This vast U.S. does not have the same snow cycles in the east coast as the west coast, so we need to differentiate when we are looking at what length of winter we will have in the NW.

With a couple of warm fronts the last 2 weeks arriving midweek, we have been continuing to get significant accumulation on the weekends up in the Cascades and skiers and snowboarders can expect to see more. Reports from riders are that Thursday was awesome with 7-12 inches of accumulation depending on wind drift, and blue skies. As I write this on Friday, upper lifts are closed at Crystal Mountain as a warm front pushes its way in, bringing 50-70 mph wind gusts. The warm front is expected to be followed by cool arctic air which will bring 3-7 inches by Saturday morning with calming winds. The weekend cold cycle continues!

City temps are creeping up as we approach the longer days, however we are still able to have major winter storms and some of the best snow days of the year can be expected in March.

So take the time, get your gear together, and if you haven’t been up to our NW ski and snowboard areas, they are all having a fantastic winter and it’s time to head on up. If you have any fun stories about your trip up in the hills, come on by the shop and let us know or just come by and touch the shiny trinkets, smell the wax, and hang out with some like-minded mountain folks living in the city.

Here are links to local ski areas so you can visit their sites for the most up to date info. If you want to contribute this dialogue, come by Mountain to Sound Outfitters and let us know how your trip was or feel free to post in the comment section.

Crystal Mountain Resort
Summit at Snoqualmie
Stevens Pass
Mt. Baker Ski Area
Mission Ridge Ski Area
White Pass Ski Area
Loup Loup Ski Bowl

Make sure you check the WSDOT Pass Reports for driving conditions.

Greg Whittaker is the owner of Mountain to Sound Outfitters your West Seattle ski, snowboard, kayak, and paddle board experts that can also rack out your vehicle so you can carry all that gear that won’t fit in your trunk.

Westside Snow Report 2/5/2016