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La Jolla Shores

San Diego Metro Area, California

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La Jolla Shores

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  • A tour group as viewed from La Jolla Coast Walk.- La Jolla Shores
  • Kayakers cautiously approach the sea lions.- La Jolla Shores
  • Seals and sea lions frequent the caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • Tour groups and lone kayakers are common.- La Jolla Shores
  • Unloading from a vehicle is permited on the beach.- La Jolla Shores
  • View toward La Jolla Children's Cove and La Jolla Sea Caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • A group learns safety basics while a solo kayaker contemplates his approach.- La Jolla Shores
  • View toward La Jolla Children's Cove and La Jolla Sea Caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • Tandam Kayakers with La Jolla Shores Beach in the distance.- La Jolla Shores
  • Looking northeast along the coast.- La Jolla Shores
  • Kelp beds on the way toward the La Jolla Sea caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • - La Jolla Shores
  • The view toward the caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • In the kelp forest, buoys mark swimming lanes.- La Jolla Shores
  • - La Jolla Shores
  • The La Jolla Sea Caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • View toward La Jolla Children's Cove and La Jolla Sea Caves.- La Jolla Shores
  • The La Jolla Sea Caves.- La Jolla Shores
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Kelp forest. Great wildlife. Family friendly.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
San Diego Metro Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Ocean
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Team

The coastline off of La Jolla is host to myriad species of wildlife, from large migrating sea mammals to small fish and a variety of seabirds. Even if the marine mammals are in hiding, the La Jolla Sea Caves and kelp forest offer year-round interest. Kayaking is one of the most accessible ways to get in the water and view some of this sea life. If you’ve rented a kayak from one of the local shops, your kayak will be waiting for you at the beach; simply walk down Avenida de la Playa to the beach. If you’re bringing your own, there is a beach entry and boat launch at the end of Avenida de la Playa. Vehicles are permitted on the beach for the purpose of unloading your kayak (or other equipment).

Buoys mark the areas within limits. To the west, the longest open water swimming lane in the United States forms the boundary. To the north sits Scripps Canyon and the San Diego–La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Preserve. But for kayakers, the real draw is La Jolla Bay, with Leopard Shark City, Pipefish Patch, Sand Dollar Beds, a kelp forest, and the popular La Jolla Sea Caves. Sea lions and seals congregate along the caves, but they are more likely to be laying around out of the water during pupping season in spring. Migrating gray whales head north in spring and south in winter, and common dolphins may be seen year round. Pipefish and Garibaldi are frequent sights closer to the beach and in the kelp forest. Cormorants and pelicans gather on the cliffs above the caves and may soar right in front of you.

Note: Waves approaching the caves can be unpredictable, so keep a safe distance or go with a tour group, especially if you are an inexperienced kayaker.

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Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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