Best Kayaking in California

Looking for the best kayaking 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 incredible Outbound community.

  • Explore Sunset Cliffs Open Ceiling Cave

    Starting from you parking spot on the street you will see it right away. Then look to the right in the small bay--to the right of it you'll see a small place to climb down. There is no rope so be careful when scaling it. Walk south until you hit t...

    0.5 miles

  • Hike the Potato Harbor Trail on Santa Cruz Island

    As California’s largest island, Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands is the perfect little getaway from Los Angeles. Getting to the island is possible only by a one hour boat ride through Island Packers, click here to find out more about them....

  • Camp at Russian Gulch State Park

    Just two miles north of Mendocino, you'll find this beautiful, well-maintained park that features a little bit of everything. The campsite is situated between a rugged beach and a stunning 36-ft waterfall, giving you plenty of easy and fun options...

  • Hiking Convict Lake

    In 1871, a group of inmates escaped from a prison and were ambushed near the lake by a posse who had tracked them down. The inmates escaped the shoot out after killing two of the men in the posse and the lake now had a name – Convict Lake.You won’...

    3 miles

  • Camp at Parsons Landing

    The distance can vary depending on where you start. It is a 2.5 mile hike from Emerald Bay or 7 mile hike from Two Harbors or you can kayak in. There are 8 primitive campsites (6 people/ site) which means there is no running water, no supplies...y...

    7 miles 0 ft gain

  • Explore Tenaya Lake, Yosemite NP

    Tenaya Lake is located alongside Tioga Road in the park's Tuolumne Meadows region. There is a family-friendly trail that surrounds the lake. Though some spots along the trail on the western shore may require fording the waters, the 2.5-mile trip ...

    2.5 miles

  • Beach Camp on Santa Rosa Island

    This adventure is not for the inexperienced. There is a campground on each of the Channel Islands and even camping at Water Canyon on Santa Rosa Island is moderately difficult, especially in the summer. The payoff is one unlike any other on the We...

    16 miles 50 ft gain

  • Camp at Catalina's Two Harbors

    An island camping escape is a mere 50 minute boat ride away from the southern California coast. If you're feeling generous with your funds, you can also opt for a helicopter ride, leaving out of Long Beach and 15 minutes later landing in Catalina ...

  • Kayak Camping in Point Reyes

    Like camping in remote locations? Love oysters? This is it! Tomales Bay offers boat-in only campgrounds along the east side of the peninsula. We departed from Chicken Ranch Beach, which is on the west side of Tomales Bay. We jumped in our kayaks a...

  • Hike the Sky Trail in Point Reyes

    Sky Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is a dramatic, mostly single-track trail that runs along the main spine of the Inverness Ridge and across highest mountains in Point Reyes, looming above the Olema Valley and Highway 1 which mark the San ...

    11 miles 1250 ft gain

  • Kayak in Elkhorn Slough

    Elkhorn Slough is located in Moss Landing, which is in the dead center of Monterey Bay, California. Elkhorn Slough is one of California's largest wetlands and part of a National Estuarine Reserve located in central Monterey Bay, California, just a...

  • Explorer Montana De Oro's Spooner's Cove

    Spooner’s cove is one of those small hidden beaches where you can watch stunning sunsets in a peaceful environment. Located in Montana De Oro State Park, the small gem is surrounded by countless hikes and camping spot. It is also one of the only a...