Steve's Paddling Page

Montana de Oro

Montana de Oro is a great place for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and of course, paddling. The most accessible put-in for kayakers is Spooner's Cove (also a great place to take the kids, visitors, etc.). The water outside of the cove can get rough, the fog can come in, the wind can come up, etc. Use all of your paddling precautions, safety equipment and common sense before heading out. Once you do, the rewards are great! Head straight out from Spooner's Cove for about 1/2 a mile to get clear of the shore break and odd side-slip that occurs where points and coves convene. If you paddle out to the kelp beds, you should be fine. Then, head south for approximately a mile to get to the first big cove. There you will find sea caves, arches, rock gardens, perhaps otters, and who knows what else. Kayak heaven. There are plenty of places to explore as you work your way south. If you get as far as the buoy, the Diablo Canyon Nuclear facility is visible. We've paddled here three times so far, and plan to go back many more times. The only time I had the camera while paddling was a fairly foggy day, so these are the pics you get. Point to a picture to get the text description; double click the picture to view at full (640x480) size.
kelp beds feature shrunken headed aliens that appear and disappear with the swells Jim is mysterious even without the fog
Jim just went thru the cave; can't help but grin! go through the tunnel to reach this little cove.... watch for breakers on the other side!
tunnel as viewed from inner cove..not many people get to experience this kind of awe rock gardens just waiting for kayakers
bad pic of Jim coming through an arch land lubbers like Montana de Oro too

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