Noyo Pacific Kayaking

A Resources for Beginers to Experts

 
Kayaking From Van Damme to Russian Gulch CA
Places to Kayak - California

Van Damme to Russian Gulch

Van Damme State Beach* is located 12 miles south of Noyo Harbor on Highway 1. Parking is free and it is less than 50 yards to the water. This launch site has excellent protection and seldom presents a surf launch. This site features extensive rock gardens, sea caves and kelp beds. Many small islets dampen the swells and provide some protection from the waves. There are very good reasons that this is one of the most favored kayak launching sites and paddling destinations on the Mendocino Coast. Guided tours are available by contacting: Lost Coast Kayaking, (707) 937-2434 .

Big River Beach is located ten miles south of Noyo Harbor on Highway 1. Parking on the north side of the river is free and it is less than 50 yards to launch in the River. Canoe and kayak rentals are available at Catch a Canoe on the south side of the River. Paddling out the mouth of the River and into the ocean will require going through the surf. This spot is popular with surfers and a sand bar off of the river develops steep wave faces. During ebb tides, the outgoing tidal current at the mouth causes the waves to become even steeper. When the current is strong, it can also make it difficult to re-enter the river. At least one kayaker has lost his life here. When conditions permit, properly equipped, experienced paddlers can make it through the surf zone. The nearby Mendocino Headlands feature extensive rock gardens and sea caves. During weekends, kayakers can expect an audience of sightseers to be watching them from the trails along the coastal bluffs.

Big River* is also a very popular destination for paddlers. The long estuary has excellent paddling. Trips are often planned so that paddlers can take advantage of tidal current flows. The upstream trip is done with the flooding (incoming) tidal current and the return is made with the ebbing (outgoing) current.

Russian Gulch* is located 8 miles south of Noyo Harbor on Highway 1. There is a fee for parking. It is approximately 100 yards to the water. This launch site has excellent protection and seldom presents a surf launch. There are extensive rock gardens and some sea caves. This site provides kayak access to paddling the nearby Mendocino Headlands approximately one mile to the south. Otters (possibly river otters) have been occasionally spotted in the cove just north of Russian Gulch.

*Easy launch site

Locations are from south to north
Point Arena to Albion River
Caspar to MacKerricker
Seaside to Pete's Beach
Wages Creek to Bear Harbor

You can look at a map of the coastline from Albion to Westport by clicking the link below.