Kayak & Rafting
California's North Coast region offers some of the finest kayaking & rafting opportunities in the west. Bring your own or rent a kayak and gear from one of our outfitters.
The multitude of waterways, Humboldt Bay, Humboldt Wild Life Refuge, The Lagoons, rivers-Trinity River, estuaries & sloughs -Eel River Estuary, Mad River Slough, Hookton Slough and coastline, Trinidad Harbor, contain plenty of choices for the first time paddler or wilderness-paddling fanatic alike.
And we have the Outfitters and Guides to make sure you get to enjoy every bit of it! If you are looking to purchase a piece of equipment to complete your own gear and supplies, we've got that too. Interested in going out on your own? Here's a link to "Sea Kayaking the Redwood Coast." A guide, available for purchase, designed for beginner to expert paddlers that provides detailed directions to launch areas as well as description of routes. (published by Explore Northcoast, a local paddling club).
Humboldt Bay - For a kayaker, there are many interesting trips to take within Humboldt Bay. Large parts of the Bay are included within the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and it's a prime spot for bird watching and observing marine life. Boat launching sites. Humboldt Bay includes Arcata Bay, to the north, Humboldt Bay proper (between Eureka and Fields Landing), and the South Bay (south of Fields Landing). Although appearing very large on the map, large parts of the Bay are mud flats, and eel grass beds. All tidally influenced so bring your tide book!
Indian Island is a paddle trip that begins at the Woodley Island Marina, rentals, instruction and tours are available at Humboats Kayak Adventures on Dock A. Please note: Indian Island is part wildlife refuge and preserved sacred Wyiot land, which we view from the water only.
Kayak and SUP rentals are also available at:
Kayak & Rafting Rentals/Tours & Instruction:
Bigfoot Rafting Company
Running North Coast rivers for several decades, Bigfoot Rafting is the largest and most experienced river outfitter operating in the Klamath-Trinity region. Guided trips, multi-day camp-outs and class IV and V Wilderness trips. You can also rent inflatable kayaks, rafts, inner tubes and gear from them. Willow Creek, CA. 530-629-2263 firstname.lastname@example.org
Humboats Kayak Adventures
Rentals, guided tours and instruction. Hum-Boat's waterfront location at picturesque Woodley Island Marina features the only dockside kayak rental facility on the redwood coast. Located on Dock A. 707-443-5157 www.humboats.com
On Humboldt Bay, offers kayak and stand up paddleboard instruction and rentals. 707-443-4222 www.humboldt.edu/hbac
Sea Kayak Tours of Trinidad Bay. Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours. Private Sea Kayak Instruction. Group Lessons. ACA Guide/Outfitter
Kayak Zak’s offers kayak instruction, guided trips, and kayak rentals in Humboldt Lagoons State Park, Redwood National and State Parks, Stationed at Stone Lagoon.
Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board instruction and tours on Humbodlt Bay, Trinidad Bay and Big Lagoon. Fishing and crabbing kayak tours are also available. 707.443.6328 www.pacificoutfitters.com
Six Rivers Rafting
Six Rivers Rafting provides the highest quality experience on the rivers in Shasta-Trinity & Klamath National Forest. They offer guided whitewater trips (class II-V), scenic wilderness trips, multi-day trips, gourmet dinner trips and Kayak lessons. 707-599-4221 www.sixriversrafting.com
Where to Kayak in Humboldt County
Mad River Slough/Humboldt Bay
Northern Humboldt Bay into Mad River Slough is where the Mad River was diverted into Humboldt Bay during the logging heydays. It is a very tranquil place to bird watch. Point of Access: Mad River Slough Boat Ramp located at the northern end of Manila.
Part of the Humboldt National Wildlife Refuge, it is a tidal slough 1.5 miles out along the south edge of Humboldt Bay including freshwater marsh, mudflats and open water. Look for herons and egrets as well as shorebirds, waterfowl, harbor seals, Cinnamon Teal, White-tailed Kite, American Avocet, and Brant (western race). Using the waterways gains access to areas often obscured from the main trail. Point of Access: Hookton Rd. Boat Ramp, approximately one mile down Hookton Rd., on the right.
Eel River Estuary
This area is rich in wildlife, a great place to get up close to many of the animals that frequent this tidal region on the Eel River Slough and Cockrobin Island area. Point of Access: End of Cannibal Rd., Loleta. A new boat ramp at Pedrazzini Park has been installed for easy access.
Trinidad Harbor and Pier
The Trinidad area is one of the most spectacular and pristine segments of the California coast, and has been established as a California Coastal National Monument Gateway with a beach launch for small boats and kayaks. Sea kayaking on Trinidad Bay offers participants the opportunity to explore the unique rock formations, kelp beds, seal colonies and migratory sea birds.
Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, and Freshwater Lagoon offer wildlife viewing, camping, picnicking, fishing, agate hunting, driftwood collecting and feature a boat ramp for small boats, kayaks, sail boats and wind surfers. While exploring the Big Lagoon/Maple Creek Estuary, participants have the opportunity to see river otters, elk, deer, migratory birds (including local ospreys) and much more. Point of Access Big Lagoon County Park Boat Ramp, north of Trinidad, Stone Lagoon Visitor Center Boat Ramp and Freshwater Lagoon further north via dirt road access parallel to Hwy 101. Kayak rentals and/or guided tours and instruction are available through Kayak Zak's.
Trinity River: During the summer an hour's drive due east of Arcata via Hwy 299 will bring you to the warm, sunny mountain town of Willow Creek and the cool clear waters of the Trinity River. The Trinity River is well known for its rafting and kayaking opportunities. Take a guided tour or rent a complete set up - inflatable raft or kayak to complete your own trip down the river.