Steve's Paddling Page

Paddling Morro Bay

Sunset in the back bay, Los Osos, CAPictures | Check out my Morro Bay paddling Blog!

Morro Bay is located on the central California coast. Separated from the Pacific Ocean by a narrow sand spit, the bay is bordered by the towns of Morro Bay on the northeast and Los Osos on the southeast.  It is a wonderful place to paddle, and has a different look depending on the time of year, the tides, and of course, the weather. The sand spit connects to Montana De Oro State Park, an excellent camping, hiking, horseback riding and tide pool exploring area. The estuary on the west side is bordered by Morro Bay State Park. The surrounding area affords numerous opportunities for hiking, dining, wine tasting, museum visiting, golfing, etc.

There are a number of  easy-access public launching areas. Good spots include Coleman Beach (by the skate park next to Morro Rock), the public boat ramp next to Tidelands Park, and the Marina next to the museum. At low tides, it is best to launch from the (town of) Morro Bay side, as the "back bay" is quite shallow and will become a large mud flat at lowest tides. When the tides are up (2+ feet or so), trips can start/end from the back bay town of Los Osos; good spots are at the access point at the end of Pasadena St., from the pier in Baywood, or from the Cuesta inlet. Paddlers should pay close attention to the winds and direction of the tide. The tide runs like a river through the main channel, making it easy to paddle with it, and difficult for in-experienced/less physical paddlers to paddle against it. A good general paddling rule is to begin your trip by paddling into the wind and/or the tide.


There are several canoe and kayak rental places along the bay; in Morro Bay on the Embarcadero or at the Marina, and "Out On The Bay" on 2nd Los Osos. 
More area info at

Views of the bay can be seen from webcams found at

If you are a first-time paddler in the bay, there is almost always a "last Sunday of the Month" paddle hosted by the fine folks from the KayakMorroBay Yahoo Group.

8/07 Since I first wrote this page, I have probably paddled the bay at least 50 times, in a variety of conditions. Please don't hesitate to email me if you have questions about paddling in this location.

Location (at Los Osos) 35:18:40 N 120:49:53 W Tides

Aerial view of Estero Bay; looking north
moorings between Morro Bay embarcadero and sand spit looking east from dune on sand spit

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