Ocean entry points from Los Angeles

I’m fairly new and inexperienced. I’d like to do short day trips along the coast. Does anyone have a list of the best launch sites for beginners?

Newport Harbor
in Orange County is a very cool place to paddle. Contact California Kayak Friends www.ckf.org for more ideas and partners.

LA LA land
The CKF site has a great list of put ins.

Marina del Rey is supposed to be good. I was at Cabrillo Beach a couple of weekends ago, in Mission Bay the last few weekends. This coming Sat, there is a group going out at Newport - check out canoeandkayakguidebooks.com. On Sunday, Dana Point is the place to be - there’s a CKF coastal paddle and then a CLC show. I plan on being there and just paddling about the harbor.

Launching Sites
I don’t know where you live in the LA area, but Ventura Harbor and Channel Islands (Oxnard)Harbor have great public launch ramps, are fairly large harbors and have big jetties to play behind. For a change of pace, Lake Castaic and Lake Casitas are good spots for beginners.

Redondo Beach
Not sure if it is a good spot but there is a protected Marina area there where people launch and head down the Coast to Palos Verdes Area. This the closest spot to real “LA” that I know of.

In addition to the CKF web site
check out the best guide book for the coast. “Adventure Kayaking: Big Sur to San Diego” by Rob Mohle.

Rob is a local paddler from Shell Beach California and he and several friends have paddled the entire California Coast Line.

Rob’s book rates each area as beginner, intermediate, and advanced and gives complete driving directions as well.

Also, be sure to join CKF (I’m biased as I’m the Ventura County Coordinator), to meet some neat people who share your interest and skill level. We have members that are absolute beginners to paddlers who are among the most skillful anywhere in the world.


– Last Updated: Sep-19-06 2:12 PM EST –

Lots of Nimby attitudes in Newport Beach. Access for human powered craft is very limited, with limited parking. The best place in Newport is Near the sheriffs station on Bayside Drive (Corona Del Mar)

You can also try launching from the Newport Aquatic Center, but their gates are closed from Sunset to Sunrise

Huntington Harbor has some nice launching areas. The obvious one is on PCH in Sunset Beach, just north of Warner. The less obvious one is near the Sunset Marina, Huntington Beach of Edinger (make a left onto Countess (just before the bridge) for good parking. If you are going out into the ocean, just beaware of the Naval Weapons Station that changes its policy on human powered craft frequentl) Direct ocean access is fairly easy on the Weside of PCH in Sunset Beach. Park on side street (Pacific Avenue)

Long Beach has multiple places. I am most familar with Alamitos Bay area. Mothers Beach of Appian Way is a good place. There is another small beach off Baysore in the Belmont Shores Section. This is a good place to launch if you want a choice of the protected waters of Alamitos Bay, or wish to paddle in Long Beach Harbor.

The Long Beach Rowing Association on Boat House Lane has a dock and wash area. If you paddle after the rowers leave (usually after 10 am) you won't be in anyone's way. But if there is lot of crew activity at the Rowing Center it is probably best to try another place.

Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro is the closest to the actual Harbor, but keep in mind that you will be "escorted' if you get closer than 500 yards to any ocean going vessel.

There is a mothers beach off of Admiralty Way in Marina Del Ray that has easy access to the water.

Never used it, but you could also try Kings Harbor in Redondo Beach.

There is also Dana Point in South Orange County - a relatively small harbor with decent parking and easy access to the ocean. Probably the prettiest place to paddle from Loos Angeles to Oceanside.

Thanks everyone
for lots of good info, especially the CKF website.