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Stunning San Francisco Kayaking Destinations

San Francisco Kayaking

San Francisco is hot spot for kayaking, attracting locals and tourists alike with its urban settings and scenic coves. It’s simply one of the most beautiful places to canoe and kayak. With no shortage of water, the hardest part is deciding where to start.

Best Places to Kayak near San Francisco, California

From leisurely rides and views of the Golden Gate Bridge to challenging ocean waves and wildlife filled bays, here are a few must kayak destinations in and around the San Francisco area.

Horseshoe Cove

Sausalito, CA

Get a unique look at San Francisco’s most well-known landmarks with a paddle under the Golden Gate Bridge. Horseshoe Cove is on the northern side of the Golden Gate Bridge and a launch from Fort Baker gives you several options for kayaking routes. Explore the rocky coasts of the Pacific Ocean or kayak into Sausalito. For more experienced kayakers, take on the current and paddle to Alcatraz, Angle Island or Yellow Bluff.

Russian River

Sonoma County, CA

The Russian River runs through Sonoma County from Cloverdale in the north to Jenner in the west and offers a variety of kayaking. It’s known for its dynamic terrain, clear waters, wilderness and abundant wildlife. The top area is a Class I best suited for beginners, but further south the waters become more challenging, offering Class II and III rapids at times. The river offers an excellent array of wildlife from otters and turtles to ospreys, bald eagles and blue herons.

Monterey Bay

Monterey & Santa Cruz, CA

Paddle alongside sea lions, otters, loons, and even leopard sharks just south of San Francisco in the Monterey Bay. The bay is a sanctuary for wildlife and offers sheltered, calm waters for kayaking. Other activities at Monterey Bay include scuba diving, sailing and surfing.

Elkhorn Slough

Monterey, CA

Aside from the San Franscisco Bay, Elkhorn Slough is the largest tidal saltwater marsh in California. It is praised as one of the top ten wildlife viewing destinations and is a premier spot for kayakers. The marsh makes for easy paddling with six miles of navigable waterways. Get an up close look at San Francisco’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife including sea otters and migratory birds.


Marin County, CA

Fifteen minutes north of San Francisco is the vibrant coastal city of Tiburon, CA. A great intermediate paddle, Tiburon offers spectacular views of San Francisco, Alcatraz and Angle Island. Enjoy an adventurous paddle with rugged terrain and tons of wildlife to the Raccoon Straits or circumnavigate Tiburon for beautiful panoramic skyline views. The town itself offers quaint shops and restaurants and is full of Civil War-era history.

San Francisco Kayak Storage Racks

Exploring the many waterways surrounding San Francisco by kayak is fun and exciting. Make sure your kayak is ready for your next California adventure with a proper place to store it. Log Kayak Rack offers cedar log kayak and canoe storage racks that are as beautiful as they are practical. They safely store kayaks and neatly organize shorelines, backyards, parks and rental facilities. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your San Francisco kayak storage needs.