Top Underrated Kayaking Destinations in the US
The U.S. is home to wide expanses of land with boundless variety and inimitable beauty. We have Great Lakes, extensive rivers, peaceful bays, and open oceans on every side — which means there are plenty of places to kayak.
Though there is an endless number of amazing places to paddle, certain spots stand out for their unique scenery and the exceptional experiences they provide. Many are well-known, but among them are some hidden gems waiting to be discovered by you.
The 5 Best Places to Kayak in the US
We’ve compiled a list of five of the best kayaking destinations in the USA to help you start planning your next trip.
1. Lake Powell
Located in southern Utah and stretching down to northern Arizona, Lake Powell is surrounded by astonishing geological beauty. This lake — which is actually a human-made reservoir — runs through the Glen Canyon with winding arms. The main body of the lake stretches approximately 186 miles with nearly 1900 miles of shoreline.
Kayakers paddling through Lake Powell get up close and personal with the distinctive red rock canyon walls the area is known for. Lake Powell offers kayaking opportunities for every visitor from beginners to experts.
2. Eleven Point National Scenic River
Eleven Point National Scenic River flows through the rolling bluffs and valleys of the Ozark Hills in southern Missouri. The 44 miles of scenic river are steeped in charming history and natural beauty, with largely undeveloped shorelines and surroundings. It is considered one of the best rivers to kayak.
This river offers a serene, relaxed journey with calm water conditions and minimal obstructions. Kayakers can soak in the views of the birch and sycamore trees that line the shore and enjoy ample fishing opportunities.
3. Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay stretches over 200 miles through six states along the East Coast of the U.S. It offers breathtaking biodiversity, with over 300 species of fish alone. The shoreline is peppered with beaches, national wildlife refuges, and quaint coastal towns — ideal conditions for multi-day paddling trips.
Because of its size and diversity, the Chesapeake Bay offers various water conditions for kayakers of different experience levels. Beginners will find many areas with shallower, calmer waters.
4. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Paddle through secluded coves, past towering cliffs, and waterfalls along the shore of Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s upper peninsula. This picturesque journey features 42 miles of blue-green waters, sheer cliff faces, and colorful archways and rock formations.
The Great Lakes can be as rugged and wild as the ocean because of their vast size. Conditions can change quickly. While experienced kayakers can venture out on their own, beginners should join guided tours for safety.
5. Prince William Sound
Prince William Sound is part of the Chugach National Forrest in Alaska. The sound is about 70 miles wide and covers an area of 15,000 square miles. It’s home to 150 glaciers and countless species of wildlife including black bears, humpback whales, seals, and sea lions.
In addition to the wildlife, kayakers enjoy stunning views of fjords, snow-capped mountains, and clear, deep blue waters.
Kayaking Made EZ
No matter where you like to kayak, launching your boat is an important first step. At EZ Dock, we offer a wide selection of floating docks and kayak/canoe launches so you can start your kayak trip easily.
Browse our online collection of floating docks to find the perfect fit for your favorite place to go kayaking.