Best Places to Kayak in CA

Any seasoned whitewater kayaker will be happy to know that California offers some of the most exciting (and challenging) rapids in the entire country.  But the newbie paddler need not fret, as the state is also home to a variety of flatwater routes. Hereunder are some of the top paddling destinations you should add to your California kayaking itinerary.

Lake Sabrina

This small lake in the southwest California city of Bishop has become more than just a great place for fishing, but a favorite kayaking spot.  It offers clear, faultless waters reflecting the surrounding juniper trees and mountain range.  It’s a picturesque option for those who want to both do some paddling and angling.

Channel Islands

This chain of five islands can be found in the southern coast of the Golden State, itself a national park and a top kayaking destination.  Kayakers can paddle their way into the many sea caves in the area, including the renowned, 100-foot Painted Cave.  The Channel Islands also offer snorkeling adventures and an opportunity for visitors to espy the many local aquatic species.

Monterey Bay

This is one of the best places to kayak on open waters in the entire state.  It likewise gives paddlers a chance to witness the area’s myriad wildlife, including the seagulls and pelicans that riddle the banks and the occasional sea lion.  It’s also easy to access, being just two hours away from San Francisco.

Lake Sonoma

Lake Sonoma lies north of Santa Rosa, a scenic kayaking spot in the foothills of Sonoma County.  Visitors will enjoy paddling through waters and stopping by various inlets surrounded by the area’s vast oak woodland.  This lake is perfect for both a relaxing kayaking experience and the occasional fishing.