Where to Kayak

Mission Bay – Bahia Point
map_bahia_pointLaunch: easy access to sandy beach areas off of service road along Bahia Hotel
Parking: several single slots along service road, full on weekends
Access: middle of Mission Bay – flat water – can paddle many directions.
Conditions: great for flatwater workouts, several surfskiers and S.U.P. launch from this stretch
Bathrooms: one building along street, if locked the nearest is in the park at cove
Notes: boat traffic in middle of channel and avoid swim area in cove
Mission Bay – Aqua Adventures Dock
map_aqua_adventuresLaunch: use of Aqua Adventure’s dock when the shop is open.
Parking: Large lot adjacent to the shop
Access: west end of Mission Bay – flat water – can paddle many directions. Easy access to Mission Bay channel and the open ocean.
Conditions: great for flatwater workouts, or starting point of coastal paddles
Bathrooms: available when the shop is open
Notes: a deli is located next door. Wednesday morning workout paddles leave from here
Mission Bay – South Shores
map_south_shoresLaunch: concrete boat ramp
Parking: large lot adjacent to ramp, usually open
Access: south east end of Mission Bay – flat water – can paddle along Fiesta Island and Sea World Conditions: great for flatwater workouts
Bathrooms: building adjacent to parking lot
Notes: boat traffic – jet skiers often use this stretch of Mission Bay
Mission Bay – De Anza Cove
map_deanza_coveLaunch: concrete boat ramp
Parking: large lot adjacent to ramp, usually open
Access: north east end of Mission Bay – flat water – can paddle along Fiesta Island and Campland Conditions: great for flatwater workouts
Bathrooms: building adjacent to parking lot
Notes: boat traffic – waterskiers often use this stretch of Mission Bay
Mission Bay – Vacation Island
map_vacation_islandLaunch: small beach at northeast end
Parking: large lot at northeast end
Access: middle of Mission Bay – flat water – can paddle several directions
Conditions: great for flatwater workouts
Bathrooms: adjacent to parking lot
Notes: motorized boat traffic, crew teams, and sailboats frequent this area. Ski Beach at southeast end where a boat ramp is located – avoid it and jet skis.
Mission Bay – Mariner’s Basin
map_mariners_basinLaunch: easy access to sandy beach area.
Parking: small lot adjacent to park, often full on weekends
Access: west end of Mission Bay and Mission Bay channel
Conditions: great for flatwater workouts. Mariner’s Basin is a great spot for skills practice
Bathrooms: available at the nearby park
Notes: avoid swim area in cove
San Diego Bay – Shelter Island
map_shelter_islandLaunch: easy access to sandy beach area, next to a busy boat ramp
Parking: lot adjacent to boat ramp. Do not use the boat trailer parking spots.
Access: north end of San Diego Bay and Pt. Loma
Conditions: varied
Bathrooms: available near the boat ramp
Notes: dangerous large boat traffic (shipping lane) in San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay – Liberty Station
map_liberty_stationLaunch: concrete boat ramp
Parking: small lot adjacent to Corvette Diner and stores
Access: north end of river channel leading to San Diego Bay
Conditions: easy paddle out channel, conditions are rougher in San Diego Bay
Bathrooms: a short walk south to the park
Notes: slippery ramp-be careful! dangerous large boat traffic (shipping lane) in San Diego Bay, rougher and windier in bay
San Diego Bay – Harbor Island
map_harbor_islandLaunch: easy access to sandy beach area
Parking: small lot next to beach
Access: north end of San Diego Bay and Liberty Station channel
Conditions: varied once you leave the Harbor Island marina
Bathrooms: available during park hours
Notes: motorized boat traffic, dangerous large boat traffic (shipping lane) in San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay – Chula Vista
map_chula_vistaLaunch: concrete boat ramp
Parking: large lot adjacent to boat ramp
Access: southern end of San Diego Bay, turtle coves to south, cross to Coronado Cays.
Conditions: easy flatwater conditions, wind and chop later in day.
Bathrooms: adjacent to parking lot
Notes: some motorized boat traffic when leaving harbor
San Diego Bay – National City
map_national_cityLaunch: concrete boat ramp in Pepper Park
Parking: small lot adjacent to ramp
Access: San Diego Bay area south of bridge, paddle along Navy fleet or cross to Coronado Cays.
Conditions: flat water sometimes windy and choppy.
Bathrooms: in Pepper Park adjacent to parking lot
Notes: some boat traffic using channel to bay, fishing lines, YMCA boat camp, afternoon wind and chop.
La Jolla Shores
Map_lajolla_shoresLaunch: sandy beach boat ramp
Parking: on-street parking or parking lot about 1/4 mile away
Access: La Jolla Cove & Caves, various coastal paddles, Marine Room surf spot
Conditions: varied. Usually a mild surf launch/landing.
Bathrooms: adjacent to the nearby park, with rinsing showers
Notes: a very popular kayaking and swimming spot. During the summer, parking can be very difficult. This site is used by several kayak rental companies and the launching and landing can become congested. Be aware of swimmers entering the launch zone.
Coronado – Ferry Landing
map_ferry_landingLaunch: small sandy beach at north end
Parking: small lot on north end, sometimes full on weekends
Access: middle of San Diego Bay – busy area. The charm of this launch site is all the restaurants, take out foods, tourist zone
Conditions: flat water with wind, chop, and lots of large ships.
Bathrooms: in shopping complex
Notes: ferry route and lots of large ships. Navy has no paddle zones near their bases and ships.
Coronado – Glorietta Bay
map_glorietta_bayLaunch: boat ramp – drive down Strand and turn into access road by Municipal Pool. Ramp and small parking lot at southern end of pool complex.
Parking: lot – can fill up on weekends
Access: middle of San Diego Bay – busy area, the bridge is spectacular. Can paddle north or south of bridge, or cross to downtown.
Conditions: flat water with wind, chop, and lots of large ships.
Bathrooms: in park
Notes: Ferry, large ships, and Navy has no paddle zones near their ships and bases.
Coronado – Beach
map_coronado_beachLaunch: beach
Parking: limited on-street parking and small lot.
Access: Pacific Ocean. This is often the starting point for the Coronado Circumnavigation paddle
Conditions: varied.
Bathrooms: Public restroom at the Coronado Cays Park
Notes: No need to stop at the guard shack for entry.
Coronado Cays
Launch: beach
Parking: limited on-street parking and small lot. Some parking is available across the Silver Strand near the park
Access: Southern portion of San Diego Bay
Conditions:flat water with wind, chop at times.
Bathrooms: Closest are located at Glorietta Bay Park, to the west
Oceanside Harbor
map_oceansideLaunch: boat ramp – drive down North Pacific Street to the boat ramp.
Parking: lot – can fill up on weekends
Access: Oceanside harbor and the open ocean.
Conditions: flat water within the harbor, varied ocean conditions outside the harbor.
Bathrooms: –
Notes: To the north of the harbor is Camp Pendleton Marine base, landing there is not allowed.
Lake Hodges (seasonal)
map_lake_hodgesParking: large lots
Access:  The lake is large and scenic, has a dock on lake, picnic areas and scenic bike or hiking.
Conditions: flatwater, wind and chop later in the day
Bathrooms: adjacent to parking lot
Notes: seasonal (usually March thru September, open a few days during the week.) City launch fees in effect. Many fisherman during open season.
Otay Lakes (seasonal)
map_otay_lakeParking: large lots
Access: Lower Otay Lakes. The Lake is large and scenic, has Olympic training dock and lanes on lake, picnic areas and scenic bike or hiking.
Conditions: flatwater, wind and chop later in day
Bathrooms: adjacent to parking lot
Notes: seasonal (usually March thru September, open a few days during the week.) City launch fees in effect. Many fisherman during open season.
San Onofre State Beach
map_san_onofreLaunch: beach
Parking: dirt lot – can fill up on weekends. Follow the dirt road all the way south to where it ends just before the nuclear plant. This south end is the paddle surfing area
Access: open ocean.
Conditions: flat water within the harbor, varied ocean conditions outside the harbor.
Bathrooms: Chemical toilets
Notes: If you’ve been down to San Onofre lately you may have noticed (or not) two small signs. One is the letter “O” and the other is the letter “K.” They are positioned near the drainage along the north end of Dog Patch. These signs represent the northernmost boundary by which we must not paddle beyond. The signs are staggered such that when you are out on the water, they read “OK” if you are within the boundary. If the signs read “KO” you are must paddle south. Please respect this boundary so that our privilege to surf San Onofre is not jeopardized! Many of us surf right along this line and usually find ourselves lined up with board surfers. If you are a novice, or are surfing a craft of limited maneuverability (i.e. a big sit-on-top), I encourage you to line-up further south – away from the board surfers.Paddle surfing is also permitted along the entire stretch of beach south of the power plant, down to the Camp Pendleton. These areas are accessible by trails from the main campgrounds of the state park. (via CKF)
Dana Point – Mother’s Beach
Launch: protected beach.
Parking: lot – can fill up on weekends
Access: Dana Point harbor and the open ocean.
Conditions: flat water within the harbor, varied ocean conditions outside the harbor.
Bathrooms: Near by
Notes: There is a bit of a paddle to the harbor entrance.

If we have missed your favorite launching spot, send us an email. For other kayaking spot, visit the California Kayak Friends website or Paddle California.