Destinations near me?

I do not have a kayak yet, but plan to get one soon, and hopefully take lessons, and what not. But after all that’s said and done, i was wondering if anybody knew of any nice spots around me. I would be more into it for the nature, calm water aspect of it all, I’m not a a rapids guy. Maybe even fish a little from my kayak. But like i said regardless what i’ll be doing, im pretty much a calm water/scenic kind of guy.

I live in Simi Valley, CA (ventura county), and was wondering if maybe there were areas around me that were close, that i dont know about, like hidden gems or something…or if the only good spots are like near the yosemite lakes or ventura beaches, etc.

any help would be appreciated…thank you much in advance!

lol w/ my luck no ones gonna be from CA :stuck_out_tongue:

You got de islands mon!
They are a little more advanced – but some great paddling.

Some Info

– Last Updated: Jul-18-06 4:41 PM EST –

A while back I think tparrent (sp?) asked this same question and was guided to the California Kayak Friends Site . A bunch of paddlers there like to do inland lake trips, they post quite often on newsletters that get forwarded to the San Diego Kayak club. There are several small lakes around the mountain areas of LA, San Bernardino and San Diego. Sorry I'm not much help I stick to paddling on the ocean since it is much closer and more exciting.

Lots of Places near you
The is a good site. I’m not far from Simi. There are lots of places for you to paddle. Here are a few (excluding all of the OC and SD which might be too far).

Channels Islands Harbor in Oxnard is very nice and you can paddle out into the open ocean or just stay in the harbor and canals.

There are some beaches to launch around Malibu.

Marina Del Rey is nice. You can stay in the harbor or paddle out into the ocean.

Lake Casitas is fresh water.

Long Beach has lots of sheltered paddling and then you can paddle out into the open ocean.

That person is no longer a member
of CKF. She couldn’t understand why most of the club members preferred to paddle on the ocean.

Rob Mohle’s Book
Adventure Kayaking Trips From Big Sur to San Diego is an excellent reference for where to paddle. All of the trips are rated from beginner to advanced and there are complete and accurate directions to the launch sites.

Also, as has been recommended, check out We are a very active club with many members. You’ll find paddling partners with skills from brand new beginner to advanced.

Email me and I’ll give you my phone number if you want to chat. I live in Agoura Hills and I’m the Ventura County coordinator for CKF.

I see …
I have to admit that I thought one of her emails warning about the dread danger of finding rattlesnakes in your kayak was an elaborate joke. It was until the heated replies started flying that I realized she was dead serious.

Not that I’m discounting Rattlesnakes as a danger, I lived in Tucson for a few years and had to clean critters out of my boat everytime I used it, but come on — .


– Last Updated: Jul-19-06 7:07 PM EST –

thanks for the heads up about everything discussed guys. i appreciate it..i would love to go on the ocean, but i want to get used to the act of kayaking first, before i take that plunge, so i wanted to start out on a lake, or somewhere else w/ still water, JUST IN CASE. i also want to do some fishing w/ my yak. Though i know SOT is the favorite for fishing, i think i'm going to go w/ a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 120. and for the fam a ocean kayak zest 2 (for the stability because my daughter is 3, and cant sit still lol).

i know of castaic, pyramid, perris, arrowhead, big bear lakes...but the reason i wrote this is i didnt know if anyone near my area knew of any nice hidden calm water spots that i could practice on... that i didnt know about.

also whats the preferred method of transportation? that zest2 is really long, and we will be buying a van in about 3 weeks, so i dont know if preferred is trailer or rooftop, and how much its going to set me back.

Thanks guys!

and also has anybody heard how those W.S. pamlico 120’s handle in the ocean (w/ spray skirt)?

L.A. Lakes
Lakes in the Los Angeles area are the worst place you could start out. The guys on jet skis will make mince meat out of you. Try Marina Del Rey. Start at the kiddie beach on Palauwan Way. If you get there early in the morning, the water is like glass and the parking is free. Paddle inside the marina untill you gain confidence, then head out past the breakwater into Santa Monica Bay.

has anybody been paddling in yosemite? places to rent up there? id imagine itd be a great paddle.

For the ocean, I wouldn’t consider a
Pamlico. It is a recreational boat designed for absolutely calm water. Some people call Rec Boats, Wreck Boats because they are NOT seaworthy when wind and waves kick up.

Before you buy any boats, I would suggest you spend some time with Xstreamline in Wilmington, Paddlesports of Santa Barbara, Southwind Kayak Center in Irvine, or Aqua Adventures in San Diego.

Take a lesson - Southwind offers an “Intensive Weekend” in Ventura that will teach you a lot about kayaking.

That will help you decide what boat to buy—then rent one and try it for at least a day before you buy it.

Starting out - if you plan on fishing
You might want to consider a sit on top that you can fish out of easily too. Would be much better for California than a Rec-boat. Models like the WS Tarpon and various Ocean Kayak models are pretty popular in Southern Califonia, they are seaworthy and easy to come by. I would second taking an introductory class at Southwinds and finding out what is available and what paddling on the protected bays is like. Another spot of interest is the Colorado River north of Yuma and South of Needles -nice desert flatwater paddling in fall and winter, it also has large impoundments that are pretty much lakes.

Yosemite paddling
I’ve been paddling on Tenaya Lake in Yosemite. Its not huge, but fun for a quick paddle around. Bass lake just south of the park is also nice. Mono Lake east of the park, is big lake were people go for long paddles. But there’s no reason you can’t take a short paddle and check out the tufa’s.

Regarding local Kayaking. Lake Casitas (mentioned above), Piru, and Castaic should be nice. Again watch out for Jet skis. For Harbors, try Ventura and Channel Islands. I think you will find them closer to you than Marina Del Rey.