Best time to visit California

Kayaking and Canoeing in California

A perfect way to relax and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature

Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking and Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing are pleasant activities during which you can enjoy the scenery of California. And there is a large choice among 38 wild and scenic rivers. Everything depends on what exactly you are looking for, an active and exciting adventure or a pleasant relaxing float. It is also an excellent opportunity for birdwatching.

Merced river provides an interesting paddling adventure mixed with some wildlife watching. San Joaquin River gives the opportunity to paddle a little more while choosing the best route and avoiding obstacles. A multi-day journey down the Colorado River can become an unforgettable experience. It's a 122 km trip to Imperial Dam. You can adjust the journey to your own time frames and desirable stops along the route. The river flows through wildlife preserves, which gives an opportunity to have a close-up look.

Gold Lake is an easy paddling destination. It's better to plan a trip in the morning or in the evening as winds accumulate in the afternoon. Lake Almanor is another beautiful paddling spot.

Sugar Pine Reservoir is a perfect paddling and fishing spot. There is an island to paddle to and a couple of coves in the area. Sugar Pine is also a great swimming lake with nice and warm water.

The best place to paddle in Lake Clementine is at its upper part. This lake is within an hour driving distance from Sacramento, which makes it an excellent weekend getaway. Lake Faucherie features several spots where you can have easy access to the water. Paddling here is quite easy, but the best time is when the water is calm, in the morning or evening.

Generally, the best time for kayaking and canoeing on California's lakes and rivers runs from May through October. It's also the time when lots of campgrounds open their doors. Besides, if you paddle in the colder months, you need some extra clothing.

Practical info

When is the best time to go kayaking and canoeing in California?

The optimal time for kayaking or canoeing in California is from May to October, the summer season. This is the ideal time as the weather is excellent, and many campsites remain open. You may require additional clothing during colder months to deal with uncomfortable water temperatures. Show more

Where are the favorite canoeing spots in California?

California boasts of 38 wild and scenic rivers that are perfect for canoeing or kayaking. Places like Lake Clementine, Merced River, Colorado River, Lake Faucherie, among others, provide a range of paddling experiences, from laid-back to more intense. These spots offer opportunities to indulge in different cultural activities, wildlife watching, and fishing, amongst others. Show more

What kind of rivers are available for paddling in California?

California offers dynamic rivers for diverse paddling experiences, from mild relaxing floats to intense white-water rapids. These rivers provide various options, including multi-day tours down the Colorado River and short mellow paddles in inland waterways. Paddlers can enjoy the stunning views of both the land and water environments, including open waters, inlets, and marshlands. Show more

What kind of animals can be seen during a paddling adventure?

Paddling in California's water bodies offers a chance to see many animals like bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, and more. The wildlife spotting opportunities are complemented by the beautiful views of rivers and lakes. Additional sightings may also include salmon, trout, reptiles like turtles and giant salamanders, deer, bears, and more. However, seasons and locations determine possible animal sightings. Show more

How should I prepare for canoeing during colder months?

To prepare for canoeing during colder months, it is advisable to carry extra clothing that will keep you warm. Wearing layered clothing which can be adjusted according to the temperature can work well. Additionally, staying hydrated is crucial, even when it's not hot outside. You may also want to pack a thermos of hot soup or tea and energy-snacks to ensure comfort and warmth throughout your paddling trip. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin