Best kayaking trips in the US! We list amazing destinations all over the country that are perfect for getting out on the water.

Best Kayaking Trips In The US

Get those paddles ready! It’s time to get out on the water!

Kayaking is so fun and over the years we’ve been wanting to kayak in more places. If kayaking is something you’re also into (or want to get into), keep reading. With the help of some of our blogger friends, we’ve put together an epic list of some of the best kayaking trips in the US.

We detail what makes each location special, rental information, and even where to grab a bite after your paddle. And don’t worry, if you’re new to kayaking, most of these places are great for all skill levels.

Best Kayaking In California

Lake Tahoe

Meg of Fox in the Forest

If you want to enjoy one of the best kayaking trips in the US then head to Lake Tahoe. After all, this stunning lake is hidden away high in the Sierra Nevadas and straddles the border between Nevada and California.

And if you visit Lake Tahoe in summer, you can rent a kayak and paddle out to Fannette Island in Emerald Bay. You can rent a variety of kayaks from ​​Kayak Tahoe’s Emerald Bay location, for around $25 per hour, and then just head out from the beach near Vikingsholm. Then, once on the island, visit the small stone teahouse here and grab a cuppa. Just be sure to bring closed toe shoes since the walk from the beach would not be enjoyable barefoot.

Next, venture to the end of the bay and enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Sunken Forest before heading back. Just be sure to set out early in the day since the lake can get really choppy in the afternoon and paddling can become a nightmare. Weather can also change here quickly so be sure to double check the forecast before you set out.

Then, when you’re feeling a bit peckish, grab a delicious meal at the The Lake House, the Coldwater Brewery and Grill, or the The Gateway Cafe in the South Lake Area.

And when you’re ready to call it a night, enjoy a stay at the luxurious Edgewood Tahoe just across the border in Nevada.

Lake Tahoe is one of the best kayaking trips in the US
Lake Tahoe

San Diego

Maria of San Diego Explorer

La Jolla is one of the most popular areas in San Diego for kayaking and one of the best kayaking trips in the US. My husband and I did a tour with Bike and Kayak in La Jolla that was called 7 Caves Tour. Our relatively small group of 7 guests and our guide started our kayaking adventure in La Jolla Shores, a nice, shallow beach that makes getting in and out of the water and through the swell relatively easy. 

From there, we paddled along the La Jolla coast over the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which is home to a 533 acre underwater world brimming with fascinating sea life. We saw seals and sea lions swimming by our kayaks, bright orange Garibaldi swimming below our kayaks and when we got closer to shore, even a spiny lobster on the rocky cliffs of La Jolla Cove.

La Jolla Cove offers a completely different coast line than La Jolla Shores. Here you will find rugged cliffs, tide pools, and several caves. Our guide explained that these caves were used by smugglers during the Prohibition to bring alcohol on shore. One of the highlights was paddling into one of the caves and getting a closer look. La Jolla is a fantastic spot to kayak, as it offers so much to see and do, once you are on the water. 

La Jolla is one of the more upscale neighborhoods in San Diego, but it is so worth staying here. One of my favorite hotels in La Jolla is the Pantai Inn, a small boutique hotel overlooking the water. So stunning. For special dinner, I recommend The Marine Room, a fantastic fine dining restaurant with a view you will never forget. The building is built so far into the surf, that at high tide, the waves crash right into the window. Absolutely fantastic!

San Diego
San Diego

Best Kayaking In Florida

Apopka

Victoria of Florida Trippers

If you are looking for one of the best kayaking trips in the US, look no further than Emerald Cut, located in Apopka Florida. Apopka is very near Orlando, just to give you a mental point of reference for where in Florida this kayaking trip is located! This is truly one of the best places for Kayaking In Florida!

The starting point for this trip is at a place called Kings Landing. You can rent both canoes and kayaks and you are also allowed to pay a small fee to launch your own. Stand up paddle boards are also welcome. 

Once you launch, you will head right and paddle upstream through crystal clear “Emerald” color waters. The water is shallow and swimming is encouraged. Lots of people bring lunch and spend about 4 hours on this kayaking trip. Once you head to the end of the trip, you turn around and you paddle back downstream, which makes for a relaxing ride through the shaded jungle-like atmosphere. You truly won’t believe you are in Florida!

When you are done, head to the nearby town of Mount Dora and stay at the famous Lakeside Inn and grab a bite to eat from Fiesta Grande Mexican Grill to cap off your fun day!!

Apopka
Apopka

Crystal River

Without question, one of the best kayaking trips in the US that you can take is to Crystal River. As the name suggests, the water is crystal clear, making it a great place to kayak. You can see all kinds of wildlife in the water, including manatees! Kayaking alongside manatees is one of the many reasons to visit Crystal River.

A favorite spot to kayak is near Three Sisters Springs. You can bring your own kayak or rent one from Hunter Springs Kayaks. They provide you with a map and tell you the best areas to spot manatees. The water is calm, so it’s perfect for all abilities. You’ll most likely spend at least two hours on the water. Be sure to follow all rules and regulations should you come in contact with a manatee.

Once you’re done paddling for the day, head downtown. There are a lot of great places to eat in Crystal River. St. Johns Tavern has 20 beers on tap and great food options. If you’d like to stay in the area, the Plantation on Crystal River is a good option. It has on-site restaurants, a golf course, and they can arrange an outing to swim with manatees.

Crystal River is one of the best kayaking trips in the US
Crystal River

Everglades

Lori of Naples Florida Travel Guide

Exploring any place from the bow of a kayak gives a unique perspective, but when you’re kayaking the western Everglades, the watery experience brings new meaning to the term immersive.

The “River of Grass” that is the Florida Everglades flows from central Florida south and west into the Ten Thousand Islands. As you might imagine, it’s a veritable playground for kayaking, hiking, boating and every other imaginable water sport.

If you’re near Naples and Marco Island and have your own kayak, you can put in at several places like the Turner River Canoe and Kayak Launch or Fakahatchee Strand near Ochopee. The kayak trail in Rookery Bay is also a well-marked watery trail through the mangrove estuary.

If you’re relatively new to kayaking or new to the Everglades, it’s best to take a guided kayak tour. There are several excellent tours led by experienced Florida naturalists where you can explore a few distinct ecosystems — gliding along grassy marshlands, maneuvering your way through twisty mangrove tunnels, or slipping through open water as smooth as glass. Jenny’s Eco Everglades tours and Rising Tide Explorers are two of the best kayak tours to book.

Kayaking the Glades is a perfect way to see the native wildlife of the Everglades as well. You’ll no doubt see an alligator in the distance or on the shore, but keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, invasive cyclid species, bald eagles, osprey, and dozens of other unique migratory and wading birds.

When you’re ready for a break, grab a grouper sandwich or burger and a cold beverage at The Snook Inn on Marco Island, before settling in to your accommodations at the Marco Beach Ocean Resort.

Everglades
Everglades

Key West

Charles of US Gulf Coast Travel

Kayaking in Key West, is absolutely phenomenal because you can paddle from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. Of course you can also do the same at either end of any of the several dozen islands of the Florida Keys. However, Key West is the most fun and interesting, making it one of the best kayaking trips in the US.

After visiting Key West many, many times, on my last visit I decided to try a guided kayak tour. And what a special treat it was. Lazy Dog Adventures was highly recommended and I now join the crowd and 100% recommend them. Lazy Dog kayak eco-tours explore Cow Creek, between Key West and Stock Island.

Our Lazy Dog tour guide led us through three gorgeous mangrove tunnels (so amazingly cool), showed us dozens of nurse sharks resting on the sandy bottom below us (you would never know they are there), let us handle a benign jellyfish, described history and nature of the area, and much more.

After kayaking with Lazy Dog, do what I did, and head across the bridge onto Key West and eat at Half Shell Raw Bar. Wait for a waterside table, order the peel-and-eat shrimp, and toss your empty shrimp shells into the water (it is encouraged), and watch the tarpon go crazy in a feeding frenzy below you. 

One of my favorite places to stay in Key West is The Marquesa Hotel.

Key West
Key West

Silver Springs

Another of the best kayaking trips in the US is to Silver Springs State Park, just outside of Ocala. The park itself is famous for its glass bottom boat tours. However, another way to get out on the water is by kayaking.

If you’d like to bring your own kayak, you have to pay a $4 launch fee, plus park admission of $2 per person. There are also many rental options. For two hour rentals, you can get a single kayak for $35, a tandem kayak for $45, or a tandem clear bottom kayak for $60.

There is a loop you can kayak that takes under 2 hours, giving you plenty of time to explore and take pictures. We saw many different kinds of birds, fish, and turtles. Apparently there is also a possibility that you’ll see wild monkeys, but we didn’t see any on this trip.

We were happy that we got the clear kayak. Although sometimes it fogged up, with a quick wipe you could see down below the kayak. Because the water is so clear, we could see very well, even a few meters below us.

If you’re hungry after your time on the water, we recommend visiting Big Hammock Brewery & Bites. They have excellent ramen! To stay and explore more of the area, we recommend Hilton Garden Inn Ocala Downtown. It’s right on the city’s historic square and a quick drive from Silver Springs State Park.

Silver Springs is one of the best places to kayak in the US
Silver Springs

Virginia Key

Virginia Key, is a small island just off of Miami. Away from the hustle and bustle, it’s a peaceful oasis where you can enjoy nature. Virginia Key also has an amazing ecosystem, making it one of the best kayaking trips in the US. You can explore that ecosystem by kayaking on Virginia Key. You can bring your own or rent kayaks from Virginia Key Outdoor Center.

To start, you push out into a lagoon which is always full of manatees. From there you can paddle around the island and see views of the Miami skyline. For a really epic adventure, go on one of their sunset kayaking tours! While on Virginia Key, you can also check out their mountain bike trails or relax on the beach.

Being so close to Miami, you’ll have plenty of food options after your day on the water. Sawaddee Thai & Sushi in Miami Beach is a favorite of ours.

Virginia Key
Virginia Key

Weeki Wachee

Erin of Super Simple Salty Life

Weeki Wachee Springs is on Florida’s Gulf Coast, just minutes from the beautiful west coast beaches. The Weeki Wachee River flows 12 miles from the Weeki Wachee Spring to the Gulf of Mexico. This spring is the deepest naturally occurring spring in the United States, pulsing out 150 million gallons of water a day! The force from the headspring creates a simple relaxing paddle through the tranquil Florida landscape, which is great for new or unskilled paddlers.  

Most of your paddling will be under shady cypress, oak, and palm trees. You may spot manatees, turtles, water birds, large fish, and playful otters. You can see all the way to the sandy bottom of the river because the aqua water is crystal clear! Weeki Fresh Water Adventures is the only kayak and stand-up paddleboard rental facility inside the park. After the launch point, paddle three miles downstream to the shuttle bus pick-up point, where you and your boards get a return drive back to the parking area. We brought our own paddleboards and rented a tandem kayak for our older kids, which worked out great!

Paddling down the Weeki Wachee River takes about two hours. In order to get an early start and beat the Florida heat you should stay nearby. There are several hotels in the Weeki Wachee/ Spring Hill area, the Hernando Beach Motel sits right on the water at Little Pine Island Bay and is a close and affordable option. While you are there, grab a bite to eat at the Lei-Lo Tiki Hut on the water, offering fresh seafood, live music, and cold tropical cocktails!

Weeki Wachee
Weeki Wachee

Best Kayaking In Hawaii

Oahu

David & Intan of The World Travel Guy

The island of Oahu, Hawaii has lots of great places to kayak, but one of the best is Mokolii Island (generally known as Chinamans Hat because of its resemblance to a traditional Asian rice farming hat).

This little island is located on the windward side of Oahu (near Kualoa Ranch), and it’s one of the most famous natural landmarks in the Hawaiian islands. You see it on all of the postcards and calendars.

From the shore at Kualoa Beach Park, the distance is less than half a mile to the Chinamans Hat Island, and you can reach it in about 30 minutes of steady paddling with a kayak. There’s no shade at all, so you’ll want to bring a hat and sunscreen with you!

Once you land on the island, you can even do a short hike to the top of the rock, which is intense and a bit sketchy. It only takes about 20 minutes, but from the top of the island, you get amazing panoramic views of Kaneohe Bay and the whole windward side of Oahu island!

You can bring your own kayaks for this adventure, or rent them in Kailua. One good company to rent from is Twogood Kayaks, or there are also tour options for this trip on Viator.

After kayaking, be sure to stop for a bite to eat at Buzz’s Steakhouse in Lanikai! A great hotel to check out in Oahu is the Imperial Hawaii Resort, located on the beachfront in Waikiki.

Oahu
Oahu

Best Kayaking In Idaho

Boise

Faith of 3 Tickets Please

With a river running right through the middle of the city, several bodies of water in our city parks and a state park with a great lake just miles from the city center, Boise has great places to paddle. However, perhaps what makes Boise special is that the city holds paddle opportunities for all. An inexperienced paddler can enjoy the flat water of the 50-acre circuit in Esther Simplot Park. While a more experienced kayak can take on the Boise Whitewater Park. Whatever your level, Boise has the right water for you.

As locals, we have our own kayaks. However, if you don’t have your own gear, we definitely recommend Idaho River Sports. The rental shop has the largest supplies in the region and is located in Esther Simplot Park right next to great kayaking.

Since kayakers are some of the coolest people around, we recommend newcomers to Boise stay at the Modern Hotel. A re-animated Travelodge in downtown Boise, The Modern has all the retro vibes and a great bar and restaurant  to go with it.

Boise also has some great eats and drinks after a long day of paddling. In the last decade, Boise has become home to an amazing craft brew scene. While there are literally dozens of breweries to suggest, we love 10 Barrel Brewing for its good brews and yummy pub food. When you are there, definitely try to Steak “Not Just” Nachos. It is our absolute favorite after a day on the water.

Boise
Boise

Best Kayaking In Louisiana

New Orleans Bayous

James of Travel Collecting

A highlight of any trip to New Orleans is to head out of the city and into the bayous or swamps that surround the area. Paddling through the bayous in a kayak is the perfect way to really immerse yourself in this fascinating place.  

I took the Manchac Magic Kayak Swamp Tour with Wild Louisiana Tours and would recommend it. We had about two hours on the bayou, plus a 30-minute ride in a mini-van each way from New Orleans. We were picked up from the north edge of the French Quarter near Louis Armstrong Park. 

Along the way, we picked up kayaks on a trailer and then parked on the side of the road at a small pull off. The beginning didn’t look too exciting as we were kayaking from the side of the road under a road bridge. But we soon headed deeper into the bayou and left the road far behind.  

It started to narrow and eventually became so shallow that we had to watch out for submerged roots, as it was possible to get caught on them. It became a much more intimate experience than a comparable swamp boat tour, as it was quiet and the shore was close by. The swamp was incredibly beautiful, with cypress trees, grasses, and other plant life surrounding us. We also saw waterbirds and several small alligators sunning themselves on mud flats as we passed by. 

The guide stopped several times and gave us information about the history of the area, and of key natural features we were seeing.  

The kayaks were open sit-on style and you could choose from single or tandem models. Take sunscreen and apply it to your legs! There were no bugs when I was there.  

Back in New Orleans, a favorite restaurant is Sylvain, with great cocktails and casual elegance. For somewhere to stay, it’s hard to go wrong with the beautiful Hotel Mazarin, centered around a traditional courtyard.

New Orleans Bayous
New Orleans Bayous

Best Kayaking In Maine

Acadia National Park

James of Parks Collecting

Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, the Schoodic Peninsula, and tiny Isle au Haut in Maine. Which means there are miles of pink granite shorelines to explore. Bar harbor is the nearest gateway town, just outside the main section of the national park, and the beautiful Porcupine Islands are dotted around Frenchman’s Bay, just offshore.

There is no better way to explore this area than in a kayak. You can get up close to the shoreline and take your time to enjoy the spectacular scenery. It’s also common to sight birds like ospreys, loons and eagles (including bald eagles) and marine life such as porpoises and harbor seals.

Guided kayak tours, led by licensed guides, are available through a couple of operators. Coastal Kayaking Tours offer 4-hour trips around the Porcupine Islands, in tandem kayaks (maximum 12 people per group), with about 2.5-3 hours on the water, with a break on a rocky beach in the middle. This is ample time to enjoy the scenery and maximize your chances of seeing wildlife. They also have shorter 2.5-hour trips around Frenchman’s Bay for those with less time or stamina.

The other main operator is Maine State Sea Kayak who provide trips on the quiet western side of Mount Desert Island. They also have guided trips around Long Pond for those who prefer calmer waters.

A great place to stay in Bar Harbor is the boutique Bar Harbor Grand Hotel, a replica of the original Roddick House. The area is a major lobster fishery and there are several lobster pounds where you can get super fresh lobster. A top pick right in Bar Harbor is Stewman’s Lobster Pound.

Acadia National Park is one of the best kayaking trips in the US
Acadia National Park

Cape Porpoise Islands

Karen of Outdoor Adventure Sampler

Kayaking in the Cape Porpoise Islands near Kennebunkport is one of the best kayaking trips in the US. The thrill of the open ocean combined with calm passages between the uninhabited islands make for a delightful day trip. You can also do a sea kayaking overnight trip on one of the three remote islands that allow camping. The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust manages the camping reservations for Trott, Cape, and Vaughn islands. Tenting on an ocean front campsite under a perfect starry night is an experience not to be missed.

On a day paddle in the Cape Porpoise Islands, make sure to visit Goat Island with its lighthouse dating back to 1883 still in use. Walk amid the fragrant wild rose bushes as you explore the island. Walker Point, the George Bush family compound, can be seen from the island.

There are several kayak outfitting companies in Kennebunkport to rent a boat or to take you on a sea kayak tour of the islands. Or use your own boat and launch at the causeway on Pier Road.

Kennebunkport is a cute village to explore after paddling. It’s quintessentially Maine sea coast charming. Grab a lobster roll at the Clam Shack in town to complete your Downeast Maine experience. A great place to stay is the King’s Port Inn.

Cape Porpoise Islands
Cape Porpoise Islands

Best Kayaking In Montana

Lake McDonald

Jessica of Uprooted Traveler

There are few lakes that are more picturesque than Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald, sitting at the foot of some of the most dramatic mountains in the United States. In fact, even the rocks lining the lake’s bottom are famously gorgeous, boasting vibrant colors of red, green, and purple, thanks to their rich iron content.

Better yet, Lake McDonald is super easy to kayak on, with a dock to launch on its west side and a wide, flat beach if you brought your own vessel. The waters are calm and suitable for any level of kayaker. That’s why it is considered one of the best kayak trips in the US.

This fjord-like lake spans over ten square miles and is actually the largest body of water in the park! While you can just paddle around and take in the scenery, there’s also plenty of places to drag your kayak ashore and explore, like along the Lake McDonald trail that skirts the lakeshore.

When I visited Glacier, it was a hot summer’s day that was perfect to enjoy the cool glacier-fed waters. I used my Intex Explorer K2 kayak– in fact, I keep this inflatable kayak permanently stored in the back of my SUV for just this kind of occasion so I’m ready for an outdoor adventure at any time!

Alternatively, there are a couple of outfitters in Apgar Village where you can rent hard-shelled kayaks.

To be close to all the action, make the historic Lake McDonald Lodge your homebase, conveniently located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and overlooking the lake. After your day on the water, consider heading to the nearby town of Columbia Falls for beer and a seriously delicious slice at North Fork Pizza.

Lake McDonald
Lake McDonald

Best Kayaking In North Carolina

Hatteras Island

Maria of Maptrekking

Kayaking on Hatteras Island is special because it has unique ecosystems to explore. The salt marsh is crucial to removing pollutants from the water and acting as a safe place for sea creatures to raise their young. This means you observe nature easily, like sea turtles, dolphins, skates, crabs, etc. You can also paddle out to Pamlico sound which is one of the largest estuarine systems in the world!

Though you can bring your own kayak, it is much more convenient to do the nature kayak tour with Hatteras Island Ocean Center. This way you can focus on enjoying the experience and learning more about the surrounding nature. The salt marsh can be confusing to navigate because there are many ‘paths’ to follow. Usually, leaving the marsh is fine, but when you are trying to return to the launch site, it’s easy to get lost.

Since the salt marsh is a mix of seawater and freshwater (brackish water), it is affected by the tides, so it’s very important to be aware of when high tide and low tide will be. Having a guide will eliminate the risk of getting stuck far out in a remote part of the marsh because there’s not enough water to paddle back. A guide will also make sure other conditions are alright – extreme wind speed can easily turn your kayaking a nightmare!

Hatteras doesn’t have many hotels. Most visitors stay in cottages or beach houses for rent. The easiest way is to use an online booking site like Airbnb or you can also contact a local rental agency. Hatteras has amazing seafood so you can’t go wrong with most restaurants, but the Breakwater Restaurant is especially nice.

Hatteras Island
Hatteras Island

Best Kayaking In Ohio

Lake Erie

Nikki of She Saves She Travels

If you’re looking for one of the best kayaking trips in the US, look no further than Lake Erie! One of the Great Lakes, and bordering the northern coast of Ohio, Lake Erie is a fantastic spot for kayaking.

Near Sandusky, Ohio is an island on Lake Erie called Put-in-Bay. This unique spot in the Midwest feels very tropical, yet is located in the northern part of the Midwest, making summertime the most ideal time of year to visit and kayak.

Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Put-in-Bay, and a unique way to experience the area. You’ll see the limestone coast of the island from a distance, along with smaller neighboring islands within Lake Erie. You won’t need a guided tour for this area, just rent your kayak and explore the area.

Best done over an hour or two, kayaking at Put-in-Bay typically starts off the shore of the South Bass Island State Park from Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals. You can rent gear and load your extra’s in lockers for safekeeping. Make reservations in advance!

Put-in-Bay is a fun area with a lively downtown. The island is full of history, wineries and geologic wonders – like caves you can tour! Dine at The Keys or Margaritas on the Rock for the perfect island setting. To stay on the island, book your accommodations early as the summer travel season books far in advance. Stay at the Anchor Inn Boutique Hotel or the Commodore Resort, both centrally located.

Lake Erie
Lake Erie

Best Kayaking In Oregon

Bend

Jenifer of The Evolista

Bend, Oregon is one of the best kayaking trips in the US. In addition to many lakes, the Deschutes River flows through canyons, forested areas and Downtown Bend. 

There are plenty of whitewater rapids for experienced paddlers, and a section that’s referred to as the Bend River Float through the middle of town. This picturesque slow float from Riverbend Park to Drake Park is great for all ages and abilities. There’s also a really fun section through the Bend Whitewater Park with Class I and II baby rapids.

The river is filled with kayaks, stand up paddle boards and innertubes. Inflatable kayaks are the ideal choice for the Bend River Float. You inflate them at Riverbend Park, the beginning of the journey, and when you get out at Drake park, you just deflate them and walk back. If you don’t have your own kayak, you can rent a kayak or inner tube from Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe. 

There are plenty of great dining options when you’re done at the Old Mill district or downtown. For the best Thai food you’ve ever had, Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats is a must! SpringHill Suites by Marriott is conveniently located in the middle of everything. Outdoor enthusiasts are sure to have a blast in Bend.

Bend
Bend

Best Kayaking In Texas

Caddo Lake

Lydia of Lost With Lydia

Caddo Lake straddles the border of Louisiana and Texas. It is known for its mysterious cypress trees covered in hanging Spanish moss. 

Caddo Lake is one of the only Texas lakes to form naturally. The lake is also known for its wildlife. There are many species of birds and fish, and even some alligators that patrol the lake’s waters.

Kayaking or canoeing is an incredible way to explore the waterways. Many visitors opt to kayak in Mill Pond, which is located at Caddo Lake State Park. The park service rents out canoes or you can bring your own. Mill Pond is an easy area to kayak and should only take a couple hours to explore.

If you’re interested in a longer adventure, there are many paddling trails nearby. A popular route is to begin at Backwater Jack’s and paddle down to Mill Pond State Park. This route is a little over 7 miles round trip and is a great way to experience the beauty of the Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake. For this trip, you can rent kayaks from Riverbend Outfitters.

After your paddling trip on Caddo Lake, stop in the small town of Jefferson for great food and interesting history. Check out Kitt’s Kornbread Sandwich and Pie Bar for sandwiches with buttery cornbread crusts and delicious pie. 

There are some cute bed and breakfasts in the town of Jefferson too. Check out the Excelsior House Hotel or the Carriage House B&B to spend the night, but be aware these spots are said to be haunted!

Caddo Lake
Caddo Lake

Best Kayaking In Wyoming

Grand Teton National Park

Catherine of Nomadicated

Escape into Grand Teton National Park’s nature, paddling among the more than 100 waterways along the dramatic jagged Grand Teton Mountains.

Kayak Grand Teton’s largest lake, Jackson Lake, exploring smaller bays like Half Moon Bay and Colter Bay.

Easily accessible and at the foot of the Teton Range’s biggest peaks, Jenny Lake, String Lake, and Leigh Lake are the most popular lakes to kayak. For the adventurous, forgo the public ferry by kayaking Jenny Lake to hike Hidden Falls & Inspiration Point yourself.

For a more challenging experience, try paddling down a section of the Snake River, getting the chance to see some of the park’s wildlife up close. Pass through famous park sites like Ansel Adam’s famous Snake River Overlook and disturb the serenity of Oxbow Bend.

While the glacier-fed waterways are cold all year round, visit between late spring and early fall to avoid severe weather, road closures, and hazardous paddling conditions. In the morning, the waters of the Teton lakes are generally calmer, and become rougher as the day progresses. The weather is known to change quickly, so check the forecast before embarking on your trip.

Stop by a visitor center to purchase a boating fee, which is not included in the National Park Pass. Although I brought my own, kayak rentals are available at Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake.

Several camping areas are provided throughout the park, with Jenny Lake being the most popular and first to fill up. For a more contemporary lodging, the Jackson Lake Lodge overlooks Jackson Lake and the Teton Mountain Range and offers multiple dining options.

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park

Final Thoughts On The Best Kayaking Trips In The US

We’ve really grown to love kayaking. It’s a fun way to explore, spend time outside, and get some exercise. We hope this list of the best kayaking trips in the US has inspired you to get out on the water. And if there are any other places you think should be on the list, let us know in the comments below. Happy kayaking! 🙂

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Best kayaking trips in the US! We list amazing destinations all over the country that are perfect for getting out on the water.