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San Pablo Dam in California

Trip Overview

Conditions were a bit gusty with the winds going from nothing to hang on to your paddle instantly. The water level seemed to be pretty low which made the beach launch less appealing due to exposed rocks. The docks are high so if the water were higher the best option would be the sandy area off to the side of the launch.

We arrived in the late afternoon to a nearly empty parking lot. As the evening progressed the docks began accumulating fisherman. This apparently was a good time for them because the fish were jumping! Too bad I am not much of a fisherman because they seemed to be jumping in the areas restricted to human powered vessels.

The wildlife seemed very abundant. We observed buzzards feasting on a dead fish and approximately eight deer grazing and lounging along the shore along with dozens of brids. A couple that we met while paddling said that they saw two Bald Eagles while paddling closer to the dam.


Apparently, there is a visitors center with a store and restaurant. We did not check it out.


Reduced fees during the week. $3 kayak launch fee


Take the Orinda exit off of 24 and head North West. Be on the lookout for the large sign and entrance on the right. You will see the right turn lane before you see the sign.


For info visit:
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip