Kayaking in La Jolla (Guidelines, Timing, Costs & FAQs)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: July 26, 2021
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The La Jolla Cove is a small beach cove at the southern end of La Jolla. Its rocky shoreline offers some of the best kayaking in San Diego.

La Jolla is an attractive tourist destination because of its scenic views and serene atmosphere. It’s also one of the best places for kayaking in San Diego. Kayaking La Jolla Caves is a must for all avid kayakers.

The caves are located about two miles from La Jolla Shores Beach, tucked near the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. The location itself is difficult to find, but there are plenty of resources online with tips on how you can find it and explore your surroundings.

Here is the Map:

The history of kayaking in La Jolla goes back to the early 1900s when people would use kayaks for sport fishing. The first business was established in 1915. It was called “Jetty Fishery” and it had a small fleet of fishing boats that were beached right on the shoreline at what is now Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The fleet consisted mainly of lobster boats with a few rowboats for recreational use.

In 1937, a man named Ernie Briggs started taking people out on kayaks from below the Torrey Pines State Beach lighthouse to do bird watching and other forms of recreation. The beach was once a popular gathering place for local residents to celebrate holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Step by step guide to La Jolla kayak tour

1. Sign up on the company’s website (https://www.lajollakayak.com/original-kayak-cave-tour/) with your email, phone number, and date of birth

2. Choose a tour

3. Make a reservation for your tour

4. Show up at the meeting point 20 minutes before your start time

5. Enjoy the tour

This is a great way to explore La Jolla Cove and get a breathtaking view of the rest of the beach. La Jolla Cove is a marine conservation area that’s home to an assortment of sea life. Take in all the sights and sounds of the tour and get up close and personal with whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

kayaking in la jolla

Here are some common guidelines:

  • Parking in the area is primarily residential, with spots filling up quickly so if you’re looking to park, best to get there early.
  • During the summer, take at least half an hour to find parking and use a rideshare company.
  • Most of the kayaking trip in La Jolla is easy for kayakers with no experience.
  • The La Jollas are home to a variety of sea life and other marine life. Visitors can spot leopard sharks, California’s state marine fish “the Garibaldi,” huge kelp beds, and even the occasional pod of dolphins.
  • Sanitized, disposable PFDs are handed out in order to avoid people having to take the time to take these devices from their service providers.
  • The tour operators have wetsuits for rent that come at an additional cost.

Best time to kayak la jolla caves

The La Jolla Caves are one of the only seaside caves in the United States. With a flourishing ecosystem, these caves offer an interesting and mysterious experience for those who take the time to kayak through these dark waters.

Kayaking from La Jolla Shores to Black’s Beach is best during the midday hours. The caves are reachable during low tide, which is typically early in the morning.

Costs and Kayaking Fees in La Jolla

  • Get a single kayak package with everything you need to get on the water for the first time, starting at $44.
  • Double kayak package starting at $69 (best if you want to take your friends or family).
  • You can rent wetsuits for an additional fee.
Sea Cave in La Jolla Cove
Sea Cave in La Jolla Cove

FAQs and Answers

Can you kayak La Jolla caves on your own?

Well, you can kayak La Jolla caves on your own but we would not recommend it. The coves in La Jolla are quite deep and that is why kayaking is not recommended. It is better to go with a group or at least with one other person who knows the way.

Can you kayak La Jolla caves without a tour?

Yes, it’s possible to kayak the La Jolla caves without a tour. You just need to be prepared and know the basics of how to get there.

Is it safe to kayak in La Jolla?

The water in La Jolla is rough and can be dangerous to kayak in (for the solo trip). Waves are more powerful than they seem and currents are strong, so kayaking should only be done by skilled kayakers with a life jacket on. They should also have one hand on the paddle at all times and never go out past the surf line, as they could get into trouble.

How long is La Jolla Kayak Tour?

When you’re at La Jolla, don’t forget to take a kayak tour around the cliffs. It only takes about 30-45 minutes!

What to wear kayaking in La Jolla?

La Jolla is a beautiful coastal town near San Diego. It’s a great place to kayak and there are many outfitters that rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboats. You want to be careful of the water temperature though as it can be very cold while the sun is out.

Some people might think it’s weird to discuss what someone should wear kayaking in La Jolla, but it’s not something that people should take lightly. Kayaking is an activity that takes a lot of strength and endurance and if your clothes aren’t appropriate, you are going to find yourself exhausted or overheated before even making it out onto the water.

Here is some stuff you may need to wear during kayaking in La Jolla.

Where do you launch the kayak in La Jolla Cave?

The La Jolla Cave launch spot is at the end of Fay Avenue near the turn-off to the Children’s Pool.

The kayak launch is located in a small cove just south of the La Jolla Del Mar Boat Ramp at the foot of Torrey Pines Rd.

Can you paddleboard in La Jolla Caves?

The answer is yes. La Jolla Caves are made of a dark, blue-gray limestone that is perfect for paddleboarders. The water in the caves is also calm and peaceful, which makes it an ideal paddleboarding spot. You’ll be surrounded by cool blue water and dramatic rock formations as you explore the caves that are home to seal and bat colonies.

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