San Rafael, California

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

Top Kayaking Spots in and near San Rafael

  • Richmond, California

    Picnic at Point Molate Beach Park

    The beach park is very small but has sand along the shore for water access. Along the small cliffs of the beach there are picnic tables and grills for a nice cookout and family picnic. This beach would also be a great place for kayaking or standup paddle boarding as it is fairly secluded and away...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Baker Beach

    4.8
    If you're looking for a beach that's a little more protected and scenic than Ocean Beach, then Baker Beach is it. Bring a cooler and some burritos out and kick it with your friends. On a sunny weekend day in SF, there's usually a sizable crowd here, so if you need parking, be sure to get here ear...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Paddle at Crane Cove

    5.0
    Crane Cove is a beautiful waterfront park with access for paddle boards and kayaks.  This area is protected from the wind (it will be less choppy here than in the middle of the bay). If you decide to paddle up to mission bay or down towards Islais Creek you'll most likely face more currents and w...
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  • Inverness, California

    Kayak Camping in Point Reyes

    4.9
    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 and headed north in the bay for a quick breather at...
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  • Napa, California

    Kayak the Napa River

    4.0
    The Napa River is one of the largest California Central Coast Range rivers, draining approximately 426 sq. miles on its 50 mile journey beginning just south of the summit of Mt. St. Helena to the San Pablo Bay, passing through many of the landmark towns of Napa Valley including an incredible 6 mi...
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  • Marshall, California

    Kayak Tomales Bay

    5.0
    Kayak Beautiful Tomales bay and experience the bioluminescence ecology of the bay. Timed during the lowest crescent of the moon, and starting around sunset, you will paddle into the sunset and wait until it is completely dark, continuing on around the bay to experience the bio-luminescence natur...
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  • Foster City, California

    Paddle the Foster City Lagoon

    The Foster City Lagoon is one of the most calm waters to paddle on.  This is a great spot for beginners to learn how to paddleboard for the first time. The lagoon gets very still and makes it the perfect spot for reflection photos.  On sunny days, there are many kayakers, SUP, small boats, and ev...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Paddle Half Moon Bay Jetty

    The Half Moon Bay Jetty is a calm place to paddle as it is covered on all sides. There is an opening into the ocean on the far side, but is mostly calm with plenty of beach area to launch. Keep in mind, there are boats in the harbor so keep an eye out. There is also a scenic hike nearby the West ...
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  • Forestville, California

    Steelhead Beach

    Steelhead Beach offers two great spots to access the river. There's a small beach on the right-hand side of the beach (south end) and a launch site on the left (north end) of the beach. The launch point makes for a great spot to start your float down the river. Make sure you have a shuttle car or...
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  • Forestville, California

    Mother's Beach ("Mom's Beach")

    4.0
    Mother's Beach, known locally as Mom's Beach, is located in Forestville, California. This beach is a hidden gem situated on the scenic Russian River, between Steelhead Beach and Sunset Beach.  Dog Friendly: Mom's Beach is a great spot to bring your pup on a leash.  Times of Operation: The bea...
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  • Monte Rio, California

    Monte Rio Community Beach

    Monte Rio Community Beach is located in the Sonoma County town of Monte Rio. The beach nestles up to the Russian River offering a great chance for families to kick back and relax by the water or bring your kayak or stand-up paddle board for fun on the water. Dog-Friendly: Monte Rio Community Be...
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  • 3160 North Shoreline Boulevard, California

    SUP Shoreline Lake

    3.0
    Shoreline Lake features a big lake, many hiking and biking trails, and lot of picnic areas in Mountain View, CA. Kayaks, SUP, and various boats can be rented from the boat house. This is a great place to enjoy the water no matter what season it is. There are large grassy areas for kids to run and...
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  • Half Moon Bay, California

    Stroll along the Southern Beaches at San Gregorio State Beach

    4.0
    2.9 mi / 413 ft gain
    Not a trail per se, but approximately 3 miles (down and back) of beautiful beach to walk down. Lots of interesting caves, wild animals, and rock formations to discover. This is a popular location for sea kayakers. San Gregorio State Beach was originally founded to protect the estuary at the back ...
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  • Los Altos, California

    Park Day at Foothills Park

    1.7
    Disclaimer: Foothills Park requires proof of residence in Palo Alto or being accompanied by a resident of the city. Learn more here.Foothills Park is 2.7 miles west of 280 after exiting Page Mill. After exiting you take a short scenic drive up the hill and come to the park entrance on your right...
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  • San Jose, California

    Catch a Sunset at Alviso Marina County Park

    3.0
    9 mi / 72 ft gain
    This tranquil 20.6 acre park is open year round from 8am to sunset. It’s the gateway to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It is filled with boardwalks, trails, and all kinds of wildlife. I went here with the sole intent of catching a pretty sunset after a long week.  I g...
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