The UW Waterfront Activities Center (WAC) at the University of Washington in Seattle is located directly behind Husky Stadium. From spring through fall, they rent kayaks and canoes to paddle around the Union Bay Natural Area and Montlake Cut to admire the wildlife: bald eagles, osprey (also known as seahawks), and various types of waterfowl. Continue to the Washington Arboretum and enjoy the protected waterways and hiking trails that provide spectacular animal and people watching.
- Note: Access to the inner water trails of the Washington Arboretum will be somewhat limited in 2022, because WSDOT has closed portions of the waterways due to ongoing 520 bridge construction. Union Bay Natural Area, the shoreline of the Washington Arboretum, and Beaver Lodge Sanctuary are navigable.
UW WAC Boat Rental FAQ
Location: On the shore of Lake Washington, within a short walk of the UW Lightrail station, on the southeast side of Husky Football stadium parking lot. Waterfront Activities Center (WAC), 3900 Montlake Blvd. NE, Seattle, WA 98195.
Parking is available in the WAC Center lot or Stadium E-12 lot (subject to stadium events). Hourly parking is $3; free parking is available from noon Saturday until 6:00AM Monday. More info: https://facilities.uw.edu/transportation/park-self-serve.
No reservations are accepted. Boats are rented on a first come, first served system, accommodating all walk-ups as boat availability allows.
Rental rates (2022 prices): Canoes $14/hour. Single Kayak $16/hours. Double kayak $20. UW students, faculty, and staff can receive discount rental rates with valid ID.
Hours vary throughout the season. For the latest info: Canoe & Kayak Rentals | Recreation (washington.edu)
- Weather dependent! They close depending on weather conditions. If in doubt, call before heading over.
- Closed for Opening Day Weekend (Windermere Cup, 1st weekend in May).
- Closed for Husky games in 2022 on September 3, 10, 17, 24.
- Closed for winter: typically, November-March
- Updates: check their website for weather updates and closures or call 206.543.9433 during open hours to listen to recorded rental information.
Who can rent: Must be 18 years of age or older with valid ID to rent boats.
Who can ride along: Children must weigh at least 25 pounds and be able to walk on their own.
Boat occupancy: Single Kayak 1 Person. Double Kayak 2 Persons. Canoe 2 Persons; 3rd and 4th persons if 90 lbs or less (Total passenger max: 525lbs).
Life jackets (aka Personal Flotation Device or PFD) and paddles are supplied with every rental. Life jackets must be worn and buckled at all times. They encourage patrons to bring their own PFD (Type I, II, or III). More info: Life Jackets, Vests & PFDs | REI Co-op
What to wear: Boaters and personal items onboard will get wet, so plan and dress accordingly. Lockers or dry bags are available for rent to protect valuables such as phones and wallets from splash damage. Dry bags do not float and will not protect items in the event of a capsize.
More info: Waterfront Activities Center | Recreation (washington.edu)