your paddlesports destination

Tule Lake NWR in California

Trip Overview

The canoe trail here is a series of man-made channels for the wildlife refuge. The USFWS created the channels in a rough rectangular grid and marked out a two mile route for the trail.

Lots of waterfowl, songbirds, and shallow flatwater/riparian/marsh wildlife. The vegetation on either side of the trail is dense tule, so you cant land and walk around. The USFWS doesnt allow it anyway.

Not worth a destination trip, but if passing through or visiting the area it may be worth a half-day excursion. We spent the weekend camped in adjacent Lava Beds National Monument to explore the caves. The canoe trail was a one-time diversion.

The water trail further north on Klamath Lake is better. See the write-up in Oregon (

Accommodations: No camping on the Refuge.
Lava Beds National Monument is adjacent, has a campground. Dispersed camping on nearby Modoc National Forest.
Motels in town of Tulelake.

Fees: None

Directions: See directions on Tule Lake NWR web

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddling, Hiking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water, River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip