where to kayak in nothern Cali???

Just moved to Cali and wondering where there is to paddle. I live in Concord and work in Vallejo. Is there anywhere to paddle near these areas?

What are you looking for?
There’s water all around you, what kind of boating do you want to do? What’s your skill level? Comfort Level?

Is Bay Area based and seems like a good group. They seem to be mainly a sea kayaking group and the ocean and Bay are all around you there. There is also flatwater on the many reservoirs. Lake Berryessa is nearby. There’s also a big reservoir near Livermore. You’re near the Delta too. I’m not a fan of the Delta because of all the power boats and the Deep Water Shipping channel, but I’m a no skills, repeat my first paddle indefinitely kind of paddler. The Delta is pretty though and there is tons of water to explore. If you want whitewater, you’ll (I think) have to go east to the mountains. Cache Creek has some whitewater in the spring. My guess is that it’s not yet a good WW time because of the huge amount of snow we got and the rivers are all running dangerously high. Or maybe that just makes them better for the WW fans. I’m not that familiar with WW though as again, I’m a calm, flatwater paddler. If you look at a map of California, you’ll also see lots and lots of reservoirs up in the mountains. They’d be a couple hours from where you are, but well worth it on the weekends. Stay at the lower elevations for now as the snow hasn’t finished meeeelllltttting yet. The smaller the reservoir, the fewer power boats and jet skis. I stay away from Folsom Lake for example.

Good luck and enjoy. I’m sure you’ll get many tips from others as well.


And Western Sea Kayakers

– Last Updated: May-26-05 1:42 PM EST –

There is plenty to paddle in the Bay Area. The BASK people are out most every summer weekend. Check their website. The have an emailer server, but not a bullitin board. Membership is about $30 per year

I live in the Valley, and Monterey Bay is closer, and I prefer it. A group called Western Sea Kayakers is active in the SF Bay Area, but more oriented to Monterey Bay. Check their Website. Lots of trips, and lots of great trip reports on the email server. Membership is also about $30 per year.

Absolutely get up to Lake Tahoe when you can.

We had a pretty good PNET group going last year, but there are only a couple of us left on this board now.

If you get interested in WW check out BOOF.Com. It is the local WW board.

As for myself, I like to go to Monterey Bay in Fall and Spring when it is not so crowded, and head for the Sierras in summer.

Thanks for the info
Thanks for the info. I’m interested in calm to kinda rough water. My skill level is probably intermediate. I just got stationed here in the Coast Guard. Haven’t really got to go out into the boat yet to check out the area but we do have a couple of good charts and alot neat places to go like some of the sloughs. I can actually launch from out station in the vallejo marina next to the mare island causeway and head up the napa river or head out to san paublo or suisun bays. The water around here looks nasty compared to where I’m coming from. I hope I don’t tip over anytime soon… Are any of ya’ll local or around me?

“calm to kinda rough water”

The below location is often calm turning to rough (sometimes very rough). If it doesn’t sound like what you’re looking for Choose more protected area’s of the Bay.

(This is assuming that you are practiced in self rescue).

For my money the most interesting location on the Bay is to put in at Horseshoe cove (see directions below) and do a loop around the East side of Alcatraz and Angle Islands. Be aware of the tides because you’ll have a head-wind coming back and will probably need help from the current. When there’s a big ebb you’ll encounter very dynamic conditions at the bluffs about 1/2 mile before the put-in/take-out. Horseshoe cove is also a good starting location for going out under the Golden Gate.

If you prefer less dynamic conditions there are sloughs, easy bays, slow rivers and what-not all around you. Any local map will work. Also, If you go to a local paddle shop (REI, CCK) they will have books related to local waters.

There are people at this site that live in the Bay Area. I’m an hour and 1/2 north and don’t make it to the Salt water very often.

CKbikes and Cuda have provided good recommendations for boating clubs in the Bay Area.

Good luck,


hopefully you will go over
better to do it a few times with friends intentionally than by yourself unintentionally. Any,any chance you get to join in on a BASK meeting will be worth it. The brothers could be a fun paddle in strong tides because you can play in between the two Brothers Islands.

I recall a BASK paddle that went from San Quentin to Sausalito during a strong ebb tide.

If you’ve been a solo paddler and this is new territory it’ll be worth meeting up with some BASK folks. Don’t take offense if a trip leader asks specific questions about skill levels.