Is It Safe To Kayak In Monterey Bay? Here’s The Answer

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: November 29, 2022
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Yes, Monterey Bay is a safe and beautiful place to enjoy a kayaking adventure. You will enjoy the beautiful scenery and get to see wildlife such as otters, sea lions, and seals. It is advisable to join a kayaking tour and paddle close to the shore as it is the safest.

Key Takeaways

  • Monterey Bay has the perfect cool and calm waters that are ideal for kayaking
  • At Monterey Bay, you will find numerous guided tours and kayak rentals which are very convenient
  • Guided tours are great because the guides will lead you to the safest place to kayak and where to see birds, fish, and marine animals
  • While kayaking at Monterey Bay, you must keep a proper distance from the animals

Eight Tips For Safe Kayaking In Monterey Bay

Tips For Safe Kayaking In Monterey Bay

Kayaking in Monterey Bay is a fun and fantastic experience that every kayaker ought to have once in a while. Here are some valuable tips to help you get the most out of your adventure to the bay.

1. Ensure You Are Confident Of Your Swimming Skills- although it is rare to capsize on Monterey Bay, being a good swimmer will guarantee extra safety as you kayak. Most paddlers who kayak on the bay have little experience, but they handle kayaking quite well. Their confidence is mostly from their swimming skills, wetsuits, and floatation jackets.

2. Carry Your Swimsuit And A Change Of Clothes- when kayaking in Monterey Bay, your kayak will get some water, and you are bound to get wet too. Always ensure you bring a change of clothes to wear when you are done with your kayaking trip.

3. Put On Sunscreen And Carry Sunglasses Or A Hat- don’t be deceived by the cool-looking weather and forget to keep the sun off your skin. Ensure you apply sunscreen before going out to the water; it is also advisable to carry sunscreen so that you can reapply later. A hat and sunglasses will also come in handy to keep your eyes protected from the reflection 

4. If Renting A Kayak, Ensure You Are Oriented Or Given A Pre-Launch Session- before you get on the water, ensure you have all the necessary information at your fingertips. The outfitters usually offer a lesson on paddling techniques, a review of the weather conditions, and the map to use as you kayak. This way, you will know what areas to avoid and how far away from the shore you can paddle.

5. When Paddling, Ensure You Keep A Proper Distance From The Animals- as you might be aware, Monterey Bay is a marine sanctuary home to thousands of marine animals. The federal law warns kayakers and anyone exploring the bay against changing the behavior of the mammals in any way by keeping a distance of about 100 feet from the animals.

  1. Carry some snacks and refreshments

Kayaking in Monterey Bay can be tiring, and if you will be out for a few hours, it is wise to bring something to eat or drink and replenish your energy. Also, ensure you have had an energizing meal before you start your adventure.

7. Start your exploration along with the Monterey or pacific groove shore

To get the most out of your adventure, you need to start at a protected and calm area. The pacific grove shore around fisherman’s wharf or lovers’ point is peaceful and excellent to start your paddling adventure. You will also get to see a wide variety of sea animals, including dolphins if you are lucky.

8. Paddle with a group and leave a float plan with a loved one in case of an emergency

For security purposes, it is advisable to paddle with a friend or as part of a group. Ensure you leave a float plan with someone so that they can know where to look if you don’t return on time. Carry your phone or a locator beacon in a dry bag to help you communicate your location in case of anything.

Frequently Asked Questions On Kayaking In Monterey Bay

Q. Where Can I Launch My Kayak In Monterey?

There are numerous kayak access points on the bay where you can safely launch your kayak. They include: 

1. Montara state beach

2. Pillar point harbor

3. Halfmoon bay state beach

4. Grey whale cove state beach 

5. Pacifica state beach

6. Monterey state beach 

7. Lovers point

8. Carmel river state beach

Q. Where Can I Rent A Kayak In Monterey Bay?

There are different kayak outfitters at the bay but finding a reliable one can be a challenging task. We’ve used several kayak rentals, and we can recommend a few. Here’s our recommendation for the best kayak rentals on the bay.  

Monterey Bay Kayaks

This is the best kayak rental company on the bay; their staff are professional and guide you on everything you need to know without leaving anything to chance. They also take their time to take you through the basics of paddling and kayaking in general. In my opinion, they are a reliable company that’s worth getting all your money. They offer kayaking lessons, tours, and boat rentals. Their rates for the various activities are as follows:

1. Beginner Kayaking Class: $75 per person every Saturday and Sunday between 9 am and 1.30 pm

2. Kayaking tours vary depending on the duration, but they start from $60-$100 per person.

3. Kayak Rentals: start from $30 per person

2. Adventures By The Sea

This company has shops located strategically along the bay; no matter where you want to launch, you will find them there. They also organize kayak tours and offer kayak rental services. We loved them because the rental lasts for as long as you want, and they don’t have time restrictions. Other than kayaks, they also rent out bikes for those who wish to have different adventures. Their rates are:

1. Kayak tours from $60

2. Kayak rentals from $35 

3. bicycle tour from $45 

4. Traditional bike rental $30 

5. Road bike rental from $90

Q. Do You Need A Permit To Kayak In Monterey?

No, you don’t need any permit when kayaking on Monterey Bay.


Monterey Bay is a safe and fantastic place for a kayaking adventure. Not only do you get to see lots of beautiful scenery, but you also enjoy seeing different sea animals. If you are looking for a unique kayaking location, Monterey bay should be on your bucket list. Make sure you plan and apply all our tips for a lovely and enjoyable adventure.



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