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your paddlesports destination

Estero Americano in California

Trip Overview

This is a beautiful paddle that starts off in a muddy ditch in a cow pasture. It is only about 6 miles to the sea from the put-in and it just gets better and better all the way out.

As you get near the ocean, this place resembles a fjord. Lots of birds, raptors and wildlife.

When the CA paddling books (see resources below) say you need at least 2 feet of tide here, you NEED at least two feet of tide. If you drag the bottom on the way out and the tide is going to fall, don't continue. Pick another day. If you stop along the way, check the mud before you try your full weight.

Afternoon wind will blow you back to the put-in, bring an umbrella. This is the site of the annual cow-patty pagent race.


There ain't no stinkin' facilities at the Estero.

Valley Ford is about 1 mile away.




SW out of Valley Ford at Dinucci's Restaurant to Valley Ford Estero. As you cross a small bridge over the muddy ditch, the put in is on the left, almost under the east side of the bridge. It's easy to spot. 3-4 parking spaces at the put in.


Two excellent books for Northern & Central California paddlers:

1. Guide to Sea Kayaking Central & Northern California, by Roger Schumann & Jan Shriner.
2. Adventure Kayaking Trips from the Russian River to Monterey, by Michael Jeneid

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip