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California is my favorite place in the world to enjoy kayaking. The best season is May through June when temperatures are warm and snow is melting. Hot sunlight, clear cold water and smooth rocks make it a unique experience. Boat’s can be bought or rented at California Canoe and Kayak in in Sacramento.


Coloma on the South Fork of the American River is a hot spot to base out of with class II and III runs right out of town, and a park and play spot just downstream at Camp Lotus. If you want to enjoy a bit of the rafting lifestyle, enjoy an evening the infamous Coloma Club. Head to the North Fork American to spice it up with some class IV!


Coloma to Greenwood – II

The Gorge II-III

Chili Bar II-III+

North Fork American – Chamberlains.

For the III-IV and easy V paddler, the California Salmon River is a true hidden gem. Located far in the Northern section of California, the river is free flowing and surrounded by 80% national forest. That means there is free camping everywhere. This river has a very special feeling, plenty of fun rapids and friendly locals. Otter Bar is based on the Salmon for good reason!


The Cal Salmon IV-IV+


For a little more challenge check out the South Fork Salmon and Clear Creek, both IV-V runs.


Chico is the perfect destination city for those looking to go big. It’s the closest major town to the renown Big Kimshew Creek and South Branch of the Feather.