Days
1
Motors Allowed?
Yes
Difficulty
Easy / Class A
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Kayaking Coos Bay on the Oregon coast is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed year round and can be enjoyable for all ages. Paddling provides a new perspective on the scenery and a quiet approach to water navigation that rewards paddlers with up-close views of birds, fish, and other wildlife. The Coos Bay Estuary is fed by over two dozen freshwater tributaries and spreads nearly 20 square miles, creating opportunities for year-round paddling. The paddle route starting in North Bend explores the open water of the bay and leads to Kentuck Inlet, which is a popular seasonal fishing area.

While paddling the coastal estuary at Coos Bay, you will likely see birds and other wildlife of all sorts including blue herons, snowy egrets, ospreys, and turkey vultures, as well as river otters, seals, and sea lions. As always, keep a respectful distance from the wildlife, and do your best to leave them undisturbed in their habitat. Remember, you are a visitor, and this is their home. Binoculars or a camera’s zoom lens are good tools to help you see wildlife without needing to approach and disturb them.

The Kentuck Inlet has interesting grassy islands where waterfowl like to hide, which are good spots for birdwatching. Once you have spent some time in the inlet, return back to the open waters of Coos Bay and paddle toward the Highway 101 bridge. The bridge itself is somewhat interesting, and produces pretty scenery at sunrise and sunset, especially with the large sand dunes in the backdrop. Depending on the wind and tidal conditions, there can be somewhat large swells that form in Coos Bay. Be aware of these conditions in advance, particularly if you are not comfortable paddling in moving currents and waves. The route finishes by paddling back toward the launch along the shoreline in North Bend.

Tides and winds in Coos Bay can be very strong at times, so paddlers should always be aware of the tide tables and wind forecasts and plan accordingly. If you wish to camp in the area of Coos Bay, the Kentuck Inlet, or along the Coos River, note that free and dispersed camping options are extremely limited on the Oregon coast. State park and county camp areas are the most available camping options, and sites can fill up quickly in the warmer spring and summer months. Make reservations in advance.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

$5.00

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Birdwatching. Interesting scenery.

Cons

Industrial scenery.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

43.408179, -124.220886

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

43.408179, -124.220886

Water Temperature

55.00 °F (12.78 °C)

Features

Fishing
Bird watching

Trail type

Loop

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

Yes

Shuttle required

No

Site characteristics: Water

Sound/Strait

Portage required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Southern Oregon Coast + Rogue River, Oregon
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

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A profound concept originally envisioned by governor Oswald West, in 1967 the Oregon legislature ultimately realized his vision of making the entire Oregon Coast forever open to the public in a piece of landmark legislation titled the Oregon Beach Bill, officially making all 363 miles public land. "The People's Coast" is truly a one-of-a-kind coastline, a unique blend of mountains and rocky stacks, towering old growth forests, marine sanctuaries, tide pools and kelp forests, charming towns, historic fishing communities, world-class golfing, breweries, and simply jaw-dropping scenic beaches. We encourage you to plan your next trip at visittheoregoncoast.com or by calling (541) 574-2679.

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