May 23, 2024


Kayaking under the sun in Redding CA

Redding, California, is a haven for water enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Its waterways offer the perfect summer paddling experience, inviting people to participate in one of the area’s favorite year-round activities – kayaking.

Time Magazine dubbed Redding the “unofficial capital of kayaking” for its paddle-obsessed population. The meandering Sacramento River was voted the #2 best spot for urban kayaking in the United States in 2023 by USA Today, and the city’s recreational lakes are sure to keep you coming back for more!

Dive into the thrill of kayaking at some of the finest rental locations in Redding. Here’s a list of the top kayak rentals in Redding, CA.

Kayak Rentals in Redding


Headwaters Adventure Company

2525 Park Marina Dr, Redding, CA | (530) 223-2411 | [email protected]

At Kutras Lake, Headwaters Adventure Company offers an array of aquatic rentals, including single and tandem kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. This spot guarantees a day of paddling amidst picturesque scenery alongside the Sacramento River. Children and pets are allowed on rentals. Life jackets included.

Action Sports Rentals of Redding

915 Wall Street Unit #1, Redding, CA | (530) 440-2216 | [email protected]

Action Sports Rentals presents an enticing deal with full-day rentals of paddleboards, single kayaks, and tandem kayaks. They also allow multiple-day rentals without any overnight fees.

North Country Raft Rental

Sundial Bridge Drive, Redding, CA | (530) 244-4281

Strategically situated just north of the Redding Civic Auditorium along the Sacramento River, North Country Raft Rental makes launching your kayak as easy as it can be. You’ll find single and tandem inflatable kayak rentals available for single- or multi-day use. The rental also includes paddles and life jackets, ensuring safety during your adventure.

Lake Shasta Kayak Rentals


Holiday Harbor at Shasta Lake

20061 Shasta Caverns Rd, O’Brien, CA | (530) 238-2383 | [email protected]

Holiday Harbor at Shasta Caverns provides a variety of water sports equipment for rental, including stand-up paddleboards, wakeboards, kneeboards, and water skis. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can be rented for daily or weekly use.

Jones Valley Watercraft

22300 Jones Valley Marina Dr, Redding, CA & 16250 Silverthorn Rd, Redding, CA | (833) 474-2782 | [email protected]

Jones Valley Resort at Shasta Lake offers two convenient locations to rent kayaks and wakeboards for an unforgettable day on the water. Daily and weekly rentals are available.

Shasta Marina at Packers Bay

16814 Packers Bay Rd, Lakehead, CA | (800) 959-3359

Shasta Marina at Packers Bay rents stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and lily pads for daily and weekly use. They provide life jackets for every size, ranging from small children to large adults.

Silverthorn Resort & Marina

Silverthorn Resort & Marina offers an assortment of rentals that includes wakeboards, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, water skis, and more.

Whiskeytown Lake Kayak Rentals


With its pristine beauty, Whiskeytown Lake is a perfect spot for kayaking. Two marinas offer on-site kayak rentals that include single, double, pedal kayaks, SUPs, and the unique Hobie Fiesta, a 4-person pedal kayak.

Brandy Creek Beach

15280 Kennedy Memorial Drive in Whiskeytown, CA | (530) 359-2269 | [email protected]

Located on the tranquil southern side of Whiskeytown Lake, Brandy Creek Beach offers serene kayaking adventures. Kayak rentals are available in the second parking lot at Brandy Creek Beach (not to be confused with Brandy Creek Marina).

Oak Bottom Marina

12485 State Highway 299 West, Whiskeytown, CA | (530) 359-2671 | [email protected]

On the northern side of Whiskeytown Lake, Oak Bottom Marina provides stand-up paddleboard and kayak rentals, promising a day of fun and exploration.

Trinity River Kayak Rentals


Trinity River Rafting

31021 State Hwy 299 W Big Flat, CA | (530) 623-3033 | [email protected]

For a whitewater kayaking adventure just 60 miles west of Redding, you’ll love a day spent on the Trinity River. Trinity River Rafting specializes in curated rafting and inflatable kayaking experiences, ensuring personalized trips and even inflatable kayak training.

These locations encapsulate just a portion of the kayak rental opportunities in Redding, CA, this summer. Whatever your chosen destination, remember to prioritize safety and always wear a life jacket. Dive into Redding’s spectacular waterways, and enjoy a summer filled with unforgettable kayaking adventures! Feel free to reach out for additional Redding activity recommendations.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the best place to kayak in Redding CA?

A: Some top kayaking spots around Redding, CA include Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, home to Brandy Creek, Whiskey Creek, and Oak Bottom Marina which offer crystal clear waters and rugged natural beauty. Kutras Pond is a peaceful spot for paddling and wildlife viewing right in town. For larger water adventures, Shasta Lake and the Sacramento River both provide miles of shoreline and channels to explore by kayak. With an abundance of lakes, rivers, and creeks, Redding is a paddler’s paradise with stunning scenery.

Q: Can you kayak the Sacramento River in Redding?

A: Yes! The Sacramento River in Redding, CA was voted the #2 top urban kayaking spot in United States by USA Today in 2023. Safety precautions must be observed due to strong currents during heavy water flow seasons.

Q: Can you kayak on Shasta Lake? 

A: Absolutely! Shasta Lake is a popular kayaking location with on-site kayak rentals available at Holiday Harbor, Jones Valley Resort, Shasta Marina at Packers Bay, and Silverthorn Resort & Marina.

Q: Where can I kayak in Whiskeytown Lake?

A: Popular kayaking launch sites at Whiskeytown Lake include Brandy Creek Beach, Brandy Creek Marina, Whiskey Creek Boat Launch, Oat Bottom Boat Launch, and the Oak Bottom Marina as well as multiple sites located just off the highway along the perimeter of the lake. Residents and visitors often launch kayaks on the west side of the Whiskeytown Dam where parking and portable bathrooms are available.

Q: Is it safe to kayak on the Sacramento River?

A: Kayaking on the Sacramento River near Redding can be safe if done with proper precautions:

  • Go with an experienced guide or group your first few times out. The river can be unpredictable for beginners.
  • Check water flow and weather conditions before launching. High, fast flows in the spring or after heavy rains make kayaking more dangerous.
  • Wear a life jacket and don’t kayak alone. Having a partner and safety gear is essential.
  • Start upstream and work your way down. This avoids fighting the current.
  • Know your limits. Certain sections of the river may be beyond your skill level.
  • Beware of sweepers (fallen trees) and submerged obstacles that can trap or upend you.
  • Tell someone your float plan and take a whistle and phone in case of emergency.
  • While there are some inherent risks, kayaking the Sacramento River can be safe and extremely rewarding if you take proper precautions.
  • Check with local outfitters on ideal spots for beginners.




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