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Shasta Paddlers Blog

Favorite Paddling Destinations

Tiffney Ottoboni - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This week I would like to hear from paddlers on what their favorite paddling destinations are.  It can be a specific place or a type of water.  California has beautiful lakes, rivers for all skill levels and the ocean.

I love the silent glide on a glassy lake. My favorite lake has been Tahoe. With its gradient blues and milliondollar homes lakeside it is surreal.  Closer to home I enjoy my weekly paddles on Whiskeytown Lake.  The quite glide into Boulder Creek and just sitting between the rocks as the water flows over them is peaceful for me. Any stress I may have been feeling just melts away.  When I want to kick it up a notch I head to the river. 

Here in Redding we are blessed to have the majestic Sacramento River in our backyard. I try to paddle the river evey week.  During the summer Shasta Paddlers paddles different sections of the Sacramento every Tuesday evening.  The first section is a wonderful section with a couple of class two rapids it will teach techincal boat handling skills. Gives just enough of an adrenaline rush to get the heart pumping. The other three sections are wonderful sections to experience the wild life. Everything from river otter, osprey, eagles and even the swans that guard a river home.    Not only do we have the Sacramento but we have Clear Creek which is a fun little creek to kayak on.  The Trinity River offers thrills for all levels of paddlers and the Klamath is a surprisingly warm river during the summer to paddle on also.

However, my favorite type of water to paddle is in the ocean.

I try and get to the ocean two or three times a year. I enjoy paddling in Trinidad.  Every spring we join Explore North Coast and enjoy the sights of Trinidad. This year we were blessed to have a pod of five grey whales join us!  Exploring the coast of Trinidad offered everything from the rhythmic movement of the swells to the pounding of the waves against the rocks we are playing around.   For surfing action I enjoy Crescent City's South Beach. Usually what we do is rent rooms at the Crescent Beach Motel and just launch right from there into the surf. It is a good place to learn.  The beach offers a gentle introduction to the dynamics of the waves.


This year I have had the opportunity to kayak in Fort Bragg.  I took the Whitewater of the Sea course with Liquid Fusion. This was a lot of fun!  I learned the fundamentals of rock gardening which is essentially riding the waves in over the rocks and reefs. We even explored some caves.  

In March I took a surf zone class with Jeff Laxier and Cate Hawthorn who own Liquid Fusion. This class taught the etiquette of surfing with others and how to safely launch and land through the surf. We also learned how to identify the "friendly" waves as well as how to ride them. 

So what kind of water do you like to paddle in? Where do you like to paddle?  I know there are places that I have not gotten to yet.  I am always looking for new places to explore.


Niemi commented on 30-Jul-2014 02:39 PM
Playboat surfing at Crescent City is a blast! Flatwater, moving water in my long boat anywhere. Too many beautiful places to mention.
Mike Carlson commented on 02-Aug-2014 09:52 AM
Canoeing backwaters in a creek or lake in the upper midwest. Kayaking a quiet river and watching the wildlife or kayaking the ocean are all top on my list.
Tiffney commented on 03-Aug-2014 09:30 PM
I agree Crescent City is fun in a play boat. The Mendocino coast is an awesome place to kayak too! We have a huge event planned there in September!
Patricia Crow commented on 04-Aug-2014 10:42 AM
Castle Lake above Lake Siskiyou is my favorite flora and fauna scenic spot for just floating and looking.
Tiffney commented on 06-Aug-2014 06:55 AM
Patricia, I have not been to Castle Lake yet. Is it difficult to get to? I will put that on my list.

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