The United States is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, and there’s no better way to experience them than by kayaking. From the rugged coastlines of Maine to the vast wilderness of Alaska, the country offers an abundance of kayaking spots that are sure to get your heart racing.
So grab your paddle, strap on your personal flotation device, required accessories and get ready for an unforgettable adventure as we explore the best places to kayak in the US.
Get ready to immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery and to push your limits as you paddle through challenging rapids and explore secluded coves.
Let’s dive in and discover the beauty of the great outdoors from the water’s edge. Here are ten of the best places to kayak in the United States, along with more information on what makes each location so special.
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1. Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska is a popular destination for kayaking enthusiasts due to its stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife.
Kayakers can explore the park’s vast wilderness, paddling through icy fjords and along rugged coastlines, while taking in breathtaking views of glaciers and snow-capped mountains.
The park offers a range of kayaking options, from guided tours to rentals for experienced paddlers. The guided tours are led by knowledgeable experts who can provide insight into the area’s ecology and history, as well as ensure the safety of the kayakers.
Kayakers may encounter a variety of marine wildlife, including humpback whales, seals, sea otters, and porpoises. Additionally, the park is home to a variety of bird species, including bald eagles and puffins.
Kayaking in Glacier Bay National Park is an unforgettable experience that offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the beauty of Alaska’s wilderness and connect with nature in a truly unique way.
Visitors rated one of the best places to kayak in the US leaving 4.9 out of 5 stars.
2. Acadia National Park, Maine
Acadia National Park is a coastal national park that offers kayakers the chance to explore rocky shorelines, secluded coves, and pristine forests.
Visitors can also paddle through the area’s crystal-clear lakes while taking in the views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors rate the park highly, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.
3. Lake Powell, Arizona /Utah
Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir that stretches across the border of Arizona and Utah. The lake is surrounded by stunning red rock formations and canyons, making it a popular destination for kayakers who want to explore the area’s unique scenery.
The calm waters of the lake are also perfect for beginner kayakers. Visitors rate Lake Powell highly, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
4. Burgess Falls, Tennessee
Burgess Falls is a beautiful waterfall located near Cookeville, Tennessee in the United States. The area is popular for kayaking, as visitors can enjoy a thrilling ride down the cascading waters of the waterfall.
The kayaking experience at Burgess Falls is best suited for intermediate to advanced kayakers due to the fast-moving water crafts and long distance kayaking though a good courage with proper kayaking gears can beat any thing.
Visitors rate the Burgess Falls kayaking experience highly, with many noting the beauty of the waterfall and the excitement of navigating the rapids. The area is also known for its scenic hiking trails, picnic areas, and fishing opportunities.
Overall, Burgess Falls is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for an adventurous kayaking experience in a stunning natural setting. Visitors are rated this fall with an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
5. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
Lake Tahoe is a large alpine lake that offers kayakers stunning views of crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and majestic mountains. The lake is known for its calm waters, making it perfect for beginner kayakers.
Visitors can explore the shoreline and secluded coves while taking in the views of the surrounding mountains. Visitors rate the area highly, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
6. Crystal River, Florida
Crystal River is a popular kayaking destination located in Florida, USA, renowned for its crystal clear waters and diverse marine life, especially the friendly manatees.
The area offers a unique kayaking experience as visitors can get up close and personal with the manatees, which are attracted to the warm spring waters in the winter months.
Kayaking in Crystal River is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area, with its clear waters, lush vegetation, and abundant wildlife.
Visitors can kayak on their own or take a guided tour to learn more about the manatees and the ecosystem of the river. The crystal clear waters also offer an excellent opportunity for snorkeling and swimming.
Visitors rate the Crystal River kayaking experience highly, with many noting the incredible experience of kayaking with the manatees as the highlight of their trip.
The area is also known for its friendly and knowledgeable guides, who ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience. Average rating of this beautiful river is 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Overall, Crystal River is an excellent destination for nature lovers and kayaking enthusiasts looking to get up close with manatees and explore the natural beauty of Florida’s waterways.
7. Colorado River, Arizona
The Colorado River is an iconic river that offers kayakers the chance to paddle through the Grand Canyon, one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the world.
The river is known for its challenging rapids and stunning scenery. Visitors rate the river highly, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
8. San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Washington that offer kayakers stunning views of rugged coastline, wildlife, and peaceful atmosphere.
Kayakers or visitors can explore the area’s secluded coves, inlets, and forests while taking in the views of the Olympic Mountains. Visitors rate the area highly, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
9. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a collection of 21 islands in Lake Superior. Kayakers can explore sea caves, secluded beaches, and pristine forests, all while taking in the stunning views of Lake Superior.
The area is also home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears and bald eagles. Visitors rate the area highly, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
10. San Marcos River, Texas
San Marcos River is a scenic river located in Texas, USA, and is a popular destination for kayaking enthusiasts. The river offers a calm and relaxing kayaking experience, making it a perfect destination for beginners and families.
The crystal clear waters of the river flow through lush green forests, creating a picturesque backdrop for kayaking. Visitors rate the San Marcos River kayaking experience highly, with many noting the peaceful atmosphere and abundant wildlife.
The river is also known for its tubing, snorkeling, and swimming opportunities. The river is easily accessible, with several rental services available for kayaks and other equipment.
Overall, San Marcos River is a great place to enjoy a tranquil and refreshing kayaking experience in a stunning natural setting. Visitors rate the park highly, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
When planning a kayaking trip to any of these locations, it’s essential to consider a few factors to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to check weather conditions before heading out on the water. Storms and strong winds can make kayaking dangerous, so it’s best to wait for calm weather.
It’s also important to check for any potential hazards in the area, such as strong currents, rapids, or wildlife.
When kayaking, it’s essential to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and to stay hydrated, especially on hot days. Sunscreen and sunglasses can also help protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
In conclusion, the United States is a kayaker’s paradise, with a vast array of stunning locations to explore. From the peaceful waters of Lake Tahoe to the dramatic sea caves of the Apostle Islands, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had.
Whether you’re an experienced kayaker looking for a challenging rapids adventure or a beginner seeking a tranquil paddle, there’s a spot on this list that will suit your needs. So grab your gear, hit the water, and prepare to be amazed by the beauty of the American wilderness.
Remember to take all necessary precautions, stay hydrated, and enjoy the thrill of the ride. With the best places to kayak in the US at your fingertips, your next great adventure is just a paddle stroke away.