Book Now
Browse Lodging Options
Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California
HOME
GROUPS
MEDIA
FILM
BLOG
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle

Your Guide to the Best Kayaking in Redding, CA

By Redding CVB | 08/14/2019 | Great Outdoors, Kayaking, Paddling, State & National Parks

Picture yourself out on the lake on a warm summer evening, your paddle cutting through the water as smooth as glass as you propel your kayak towards a setting sun as it dips over a forested horizon. Does this sound like paradise? To those who know and love the Shasta-Cascade region, it sounds a lot like kayaking in Redding, California.

Redding's many waterways that wind through the Shasta-Cascade region offer visitors plenty of options for cooling off or taking a smooth kayak trip during spring, fall or even winter -- it's a year-round activity here since Time Magazine named Redding the "unofficial capital of kayaking for our weird obsession for all things with a paddle." The Sacramento River, Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown Lake, and Kutras Pond all offer world-renowned flat-water paddling, secluded views, and a chance to escape a busier pace of life in favor of the rhythm of your paddle as it plies in and out of the water.

You’ll find a wide variety of kayaking opportunities in and around Redding, but here are a few favorites that should make the to-do list for any visitor to the area. And remember—pack your personal flotation device (for safety and to comply with California laws), sunscreen, plenty of H2O, and snacks for your day out on the water.

Sacramento River


This wide and lazy river rambles right through the heart of Redding and beyond, making it an easily accessible place to launch your craft. Some people might want to drop a line and catch fish right from the kayaks—or simply paddle and enjoy the scenery, which includes glimpses of people strolling, running, or biking along the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail. Or, you can find yourself in nature with trees all around to accompany your journey.

Shasta Lake


Photo courtesy of Antlers Resort & Marina @antlersresort

A massive landmark in Northern California -- or UpState California as we're calling it -- Shasta Lake is a man-made lake with “fingers,” or inlets that appear to be a series of coves that actually connect in the deeper parts of Shasta. These fingers are ideal for kayakers, who can spend hours exploring new parts of the lake while remaining close to the shore to avoid the turbulent wakes of motorized vessels.

Whiskeytown Lake


Some of the well-loved Whiskeytown National Recreation Area trails are closed for repairs and maintenance after a forest fire swept through this area in 2018, but Oak Bottom Marina is now open, as well as access points along Whiskey Creek and Brandy Creek. Newcomers and longtime-fans of Whiskeytown now get to fall in love with its crystal clear waters all over again. It’s still one of the best sunset paddles around.

Kutras Pond


Stand-up paddleboard yoga at Kutras Park. Photo courtesy of Audrey DeLong via Instagram @audreydlong

Well-loved by families, SUP yogis, meetup groups, and quite a few ducks quacking their way across the water, this clear and quaint pond is located in Kutras Park just a stone’s throw from the Sacramento River. It’s a great place for beginners to brush up on some paddling skills before braving the river or larger lakes in the area.

Manzanita Lake


Photo courtesy of Madi McCarley via Instagram

If you are seeking a little peace and quiet and don’t mind a quick day adventure 45 minutes east of Redding, Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park is worth the trip. Located near the north entrance of the park, the lake features 360-degree views of the peaks and volcanoes of the southern Cascade, cooler temperatures than you’ll find closer to Redding, and untouched natural landscapes as far as the eye can see. Plus the lake is open only to non-motorized boats, so you’re guaranteed to have a quiet paddle. If you’re into fishing, bring your pole along with you.

Renting Kayaks and Equipment


Photo courtesy of Headwaters Adventure Company @headwatersadventurecompany via Instagram

Need to rent gear? There are several local businesses that make it their job to get you set up in safe, reliable, and fun gear. Located in Redding, Action Sports Rentals, Jefferson State Adventure Hub, and Headwaters Adventure Company can all provide you with kayaks (and stand-up paddleboards) for any adventure. When visiting Whiskeytown Lake, the Oak Bottom Marina can provide you a boat right on the water. On Shasta Lake, Holiday Harbor, Jones Valley Resort and Antler's Resort and Marina all offer easy ways to jump in a kayak or other boat and start exploring.

No matter what destination near Redding you choose, you’ll find that traveling by kayak is a relaxing way to sit back and enjoy the incredible views of the region. See why it’s become a must-do activity for so many people who visit this region again and again.

Written by Jill Sanford for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

Your Guide to the Best Kayaking in Redding, CA
You’ll find a wide variety of kayaking opportunities in and around Redding, but here are a few favorites that should make the to-do list for any visitor to the area.
READ MORE
10 Kid-Friendly Outdoor Adventures in Redding, CA
Tucked away at the top of California in the Shasta-Cascade region, Redding is a great spot to take your kids for an outdoor family adventure. Parents will find lakes, rivers, hiking trails, culture, and gold-mining history a-plenty—all ready to be…
READ MORE
10 Lakes, Rivers, Pools, and Swimming Holes Where You Can Cool Off in Redding, CA
The variety of options for getting in the water to beat the heat in Redding, CA makes this city a great spot for families and outdoor adventurers in the summertime.
READ MORE
10 Things to do for $10 or less when visiting Redding
Let’s face it, when we travel, we want to enjoy attractions and things to do wherever it is that we go. But sometimes we want to stretch our dollars as far as we can. Luckily for you, Redding has plenty…
READ MORE
The 8 Best Dog-Friendly Trails near Redding
Hiking in and around Redding, California, is fantastic, but there’s one way to make it even better—hitting the trails with your favorite four-legged friend. Take advantage of these eight scenic and dog-friendly trails.
READ MORE
Hiking to Kings Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park
King’s Creek Falls is a 40-foot waterfall located in the middle of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail is moderate, which makes it a perfect adventure for the casual hiker, or a nice add on to the nearby Lassen Peak…
READ MORE
3 Hikes to Lose Yourself in Nature in Lassen Volcanic National Park
There is nothing quite like being outdoors, and experiencing the solitude found on the trail. I also love that hiking can be for everyone. Whether you prefer summiting a mountain peak, climbing along a cascading creek, or taking a stroll…
READ MORE
Redding -- your perfect getaway for hiking adventures and an outdoor vacation
In Redding, located in the heart of UpState CA, you'll find an endless outdoor adventure playground perfect for all ages and interests. Hiking is one of the activities we do best around here with more than 225 miles of trails…
READ MORE
10 Amazing Waterfalls to See in Northern California
An international outdoor destination ringed by the Southern Cascades to the east and the much smaller range of the Trinity Alps to the west, Redding is a hotspot for waterfall chasers. It’s an area with both short and long winding…
READ MORE
10 Awesome National & State Park Day Trips Worth Taking from Redding
Wild, uncrowded, and memorable—these are the defining features of the far Northern California outdoors. The expanse of public lands around the town of Redding features an endless lineup of outdoor adventures, from fly fishing to summit bagging to scenic driving.…
READ MORE
Why Redding Is An Underrated Mountain Bike Town
In far Northern California, the promise of uncrowded trails means plenty of space to spread out and shred the singletrack—and Redding serves as the best base camp to explore it all. Within 15 miles, you’ll find more than 225 miles…
READ MORE
The 11 Best Hikes in Northern California
It’s no secret that California is home to some of the best hiking in the country, especially in the northern part of the state. With a lifetime’s worth of hiking opportunities, the tough part can be zeroing in on one…
READ MORE
How to Plan a Perfect Couples Getaway in Redding
Whether your perfect date includes stargazing in a national park, watching the sunset over a vineyard, or enjoying a night on the town, you can find it in Redding, California, a fantastic place to spend time with your special someone.…
READ MORE
8 Fun Winter Activities for the Whole Family in Redding, CA
Redding, California, sits in the backyard of some of Northern California’s best outdoor recreation and wilderness, from majestic Mt. Shasta to lesser-known gems amid the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. Redding makes for a great home base for outdoor adventure in…
READ MORE
Top 7 Attractions You Want to Cross off Your Bucket List in Redding, CA
Burney Falls. Photo courtesy of @jermverde on InstagramSteeped in state history and beset by the Sacramento River, Redding has since 1844 existed as the deserving home of satisfied locals. Since first inhabited by Wintu Native Americans, Redding has plays host…
READ MORE
Exploring the Undiscovered Gems of UpState CA With Redding as Your Home Base
A nearly uninterrupted expanse of forest teeming with snow-capped volcanoes, trails, and wild rivers makes Northern California’s Shasta Cascade region an unparalleled hub for outdoor adventure. The area encompasses 20 percent of the state’s land mass but has less than…
READ MORE
10 Extreme Adventures to Try on Your Next Trip to Redding, CA
Imagine a place where a weekend can involve cliff jumping into waterfall-fed pools, backcountry skiing on an active volcano, rock climb on granite spires, and whitewater rafting wild rivers. Sounds like paradise, right? For those of us familiar with Northern…
READ MORE
6 Can't-Miss Outdoor Experiences That You Can Only Have in Redding, California
The northernmost portion of California is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts, and the city of Redding sits smack dab in the middle, making it an ideal base camp for boaters, rafters, sailors, hikers, and cyclists (just to name…
READ MORE
The Ultimate Guide to Lake & Water Life in Redding
Redding might be the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find the crowds that you think of when you hear “California.” In fact, this area makes up the 20 percent of…
READ MORE
Why Redding, California Is the Family Getaway You Didn't Know You Needed
If you think you know California, but haven’t visited the northern Shasta Cascade region, also known as UpStateCA, you’re missing out on some of the best outdoor recreation and natural beauty the Golden State has to offer. Situated in the…
READ MORE


OUR PARTNERS
Board of Directors Information Contact Us Website Developed by Drozian Webworks