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The Best Canoeing in California

Looking for the best canoeing in California? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around California. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top canoeing spots in and near California

  • El Dorado County, California

    Camp at Ice House Reservoir

    1 mi / 1 ft gain
    Desolation Wilderness is just west of Lake Tahoe, a part of Eldorado National Forest. It's a very popular backpacking destination as the PCT and Tahoe Rim Trail both run through the area. There are what seems to be endless amounts of mountain lakes, creeks, and rivers that run through this area w...
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  • Forestville, California

    Canoe the Russian River via Forestville

    Starting at Burke's Canoe in Forestville, CA this is a 10-mile self-guided canoe trip down the Russian River.  You can rent your canoe from Burke's and launch from their beach.  Burke's will also pick you up 10 miles down-river and shuttle you back to their parking lot.This canoe trip features lo...
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  • Calpine, California

    Camp at Salmon Creek Campground

    Salmon Creek Campground is a quiet campground in the Northern Sierra Buttes. Since it is right up the road from Sardine Lakes it seems to get overlooked a bit. We were able to reserve three campsites the same week of our trip. There were 11 to choose from! The campground is just passed the turn f...
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  • Redding, California

    Houseboat Lake Shasta

    1 mi / 1 ft gain
    Lake Shasta sits at the foot of infamous Mt Shasta, past the major Northern California city of Redding. From the Bay Area you can count on at least a 3.5 hour drive to get to waters edge, but the drive goes by quickly just cruising on HWY 5. There are multiple Marinas on Shasta but the largest is...
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  • Shasta County, California

    Camp out at Manzanita Lake Cabins in Lassen Volcanic NP

    Deep in the Lassen National Forest is the beautiful and surprisingly one of the least visited National Parks, Lassen Volcanic National Park. On the north entrance of the park, you will find the beautiful Manzanita Lake Cabins and Campground with the gorgeous blue lake in the foreground.  Getting ...
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  • Long Barn, California

    Camp at Black Oak Flat Campground

    / 5778 ft gain
    The campground operates on a first come, first serve basis and is typically open from May - September. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground provides potable water and bathrooms. The fee is $10/night for a single family site, or $25/night for a group site. ...
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  • Kelseyville, California

    Camp at Clear Lake State Park

    Clear Lake State Park is only two hours from downtown San Francisco and Sacramento. The state park offers amazing opportunities to photograph deer in the area and pick blackberries for breakfast on a morning stroll. On my visit I saw over 15 deer and one buck in full velvet. The sunrise and sunse...
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  • Bass Lake, California

    Camp at Greys Mountain Campground

    / 5293 ft gain
    From Greys Mountain Campground, Sierra National Forest is your oyster! Enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and more. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground has vault toilets and (sometimes) potable wate...
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  • Bishop, California

    Hike the Chocolate Lakes Loop

    7.4 mi / 1633 ft gain
    Begin at the South Lake Wildflower Trail and head toward Chocolate Peak (the brown peak on the horizon). Take note that the trail is not maintained once it leaves the main trail by long lake. Previous hikers have left rock cairns along the path to indicate the proper direction to take. It is sugg...
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  • Castaic, California

    Paddle Castaic Lake State Recreational Area

    6 mi
    Castaic Lake is a man made reservoir located 41 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, CA in the town of Castaic. Made up of two bodies of water, separated by a 425-foot dam, Upper and Lower Castaic Lakes have a combined 29 miles of shoreline forming the Castaic Lake State Recreational Area. The s...
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  • Shaver Lake, California

    Camp at Marmot Rock Campground

    / 8205 ft gain
    Located on the Courtright Reservoir, Marmot Rock Campground is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The Courtright Reservoir is great for boating and fishing. Trails access John Muir Wilderness, perfect for hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and backpacking.  Marmot Rock ...
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  • Trinity Center, California

    Camp at Hayward Flat on Trinity Lake

    We drove all around Trinity Lake and this was the best campground we found! Located right on Trinity Lake you will find Hayward Flat Campground.  From Weaverville California you will follow highway 3 north about 20 miles. Then take a right on Hayward Flat road two miles. Boom, you are there.  The...
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  • Shaver Lake, California

    Camp at Trapper Springs Campground

    / 8375 ft gain
    Potable water and toilets are available at the campground. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and grill. 7 campsites are handicap accessible. Maximum group size at this campground is 6 people per site. The campground is open from May - September. The campground fee is $24 per night, additi...
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  • Mendocino, California

    Paddle Redwood Outrigger Canoes up Big River

    Big River is a 40 mile or so river in the heart of Mendocino and its first 8 miles form the largest undeveloped estuary remaining in California. It is home to some amazing wildlife from seals to jellyfish to the endangered California Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead Trout. If you are lu...
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  • Arnold, California

    Camp at Boulder Flat Campground

    / 5653 ft gain
    Boulder Flat Campground operates on a first come, first serve basis. The campground is cash only and the fee is $15/night for a single family site. The campground provides vault toilets and potable water. If you wish to use a stove, grill, or make a campfire, it is highly recommended to obtain a ...
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  • Livermore, California

    Paddle Lake Del Valle

    Lake Del Valle is a reservoir located in Livermore, California. The lake has boat motor boats, pedal boats, patio boats, canoes, and row boats available for rent. There is a dock and rental  house in the marina.The lake is also a popular destination for picnics, barbecues, and camping. Parking fi...
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