places for overnight trips in NorCal

I am looking for places for overnight trips in Northern California. We are touring kayak folks, and would want a paddle of at least 5 miles, and up to 15 miles.

We are right now looking for an option for a Sat-Sun in November, but also want more info for next year, so hit me with any and all suggestions.

Some we know of:

  • Angel Island State Park boat in campsite (always booked, so we never seem to be able to get a reservation - anyone holding one of these that they would be willing to share the space with 4 easy-going folks)
  • Kirby Cove in Marin Headlands (closes in October)
  • Centennial Campsite in Marin Headlands (this is a possibility)
  • Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay boat-in campsite (too great a chance of snow in Nov., so not on our radar for now).

    Some we have already done (and reports written for the Places2Paddle section) are Tomales Bay, Spicer Reservoir, and Utica/Union Reservoir.

Kayak Camping, Or Kayaking and Camping?
We do a lot of kayaking, and a lot of camping, but we don’t camp out of our kayaks.

November is kind of late in the season. We have been snowed out on November 1 at Lake Tahoe. Usually by November we have already called it a season up in the Sierras, and start spending weekend on the coast.

One place on the coast were you can carry a kayak from your camp to the water is Doran county Park on Bodega Bay. But anywhere on the coast, you might have bad weather in November.

kayaking to a campsite
I should have been more specific. Looking for places where we put in our loaded kayaks at one place, kayak to another to camp for the night, then return to the car by kayak the next day.

Yeah, weather is definitely something we need to watch this late in the season…

Thanks for the reply.

Lake Sonoma
It’s about 2 hours north of S.F… Can Kayak camp there all year round. Not a true wilderness like Spicer, but it’s still nice. Lots of good birding. And fishing.

Pyramid Lake near Reno
It is a lot like Baja. Be careful in the Golden Gate. It can get nasty fast. Consider Mono Lake too.

If you hurry…(this Wednesday)!

You want to camp in Angle Island and never seem to get a permit? The Sojourn stops at Angle Island every year without fail.

You can only do weekend? Just join them on those days.

Can’t make it this year? They’ve been doing this for a few years now. So I’m sure they’ll do it again next year!

I read about the Bay Access stuff before - definitely sounds interesting. Maybe next time.

Lake Englebright
is a nice paddle. I think the lake is about 7 miles long with boat in camping along the way. Nice historical area on the Yuba River.


Nor Cal guys … would Eel River work ?

PS By “Bad Weather” I Mean
I should note that by “bad weather” at Bodega Bay in Fall I mean 40-50 MPH winds

Folsom lake SRA
Local club SSK is having a campout this weekend at Peninsula campgrounds-this is a drive or boat in campground-I believe there are other camp sites available-the boat traffic will be down considerably by Nov.

Here is a link:


Not much water in the Eel this time of

central california …
All the places you mention are in Central California.

Looking at a map I would think that northern California would put you near the cities of Redding and Eureka, and not San Francisco and Reno.

Nor Cal? Central Cal?
Yeah, what people call Northern CA doesn’t match up with the maps. Central CA is pretty much the area from Monterey to Santa Barbara. North of this is Northern CA.

I guess it was based on populations. Not many large populations north of the SF Bay Area, so they kind of got dropped out of the north-south determination.

Then again, I am not an expert on this, as I grew up in “upstate” NY (Westchester County).

which begs the question …
OK – so if central Californians claim to live in northern California, what do you call the real northern California?

Southern Oregon?

Well, there are folks up there who want to secede and form their own state:

Alta Y Baja California… Once Again
The original Spanish/Mexican state of California was divided into “Baja” or lower, California, and “Alta”, or upper California.

Now we call it NORCAL and SOCAL, but the dividing line is still the same

Most of Baja California is now the Mexican state of Baja Del Sur California that runs about 1000 miles south of the current Mexican/US border, and runs to the end of the Baja Peninsula at Cabo San Lucas.

When you look at the original Spanish/Mexican state, the dividing line is about Venture. That may not be the exact geographic centerline, but it is where the Ventura Current comes in, which makes both the marine and terrestrial climate on either side very different.

Another geo. question:
Where is Western Asia?

We all know where East Asia is: China, Japan, etc.

Central Asia is Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, ect.

So where is Western Asia? Turkey? Saudia Arabia? How can Middle Eastern be considered Western?

western asia
Western Asia is called the Middle East [or Near East if NE Africa is included] because the region already had a name when today’s concept of continents was developed back in the 16th century.

Rather than attempt to rename the Middle East the old name remained in general usage instead of western Asia.

Asia Minor is the Propoer Term
Look at a globe, world map, or better yet, download goggle earth.

You will see that Asia Minor, or the “Middle East” is somewhat separated from “Mainland” Asia by the Black Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

Technically, the Bosporus Strait in the middle of Istanbul, Turkey separate Asia from Europe.

The term “middle East” came from the days of the British Empire when world geography was all defined by its distance from London. The “West Indies” are 2000 miles east of where I sit right now.