Kayaking Shelter Cove
Dramatic vistas of steep cliffs plunging to the sea from a 2,000-foot ridgeline make the Lost Coast among the most scenic paddling areas on the West Coast. Here Cap Mendocino — the westernmost point of land in the “Lower 48”—plows into the Pacific, awash in sea spray, like the bow of a giant ship.
In the 40-mile lee of this massive cape are a handful of remote beaches where, under the right conditions, a skilled and adventurous paddler might make landfall. Although intermediate kayakers with good sea sense may enjoy short trips in the vicinity of Shelter Cove or Bear Harbor, the rest of this route can challenge even the most advanced coastal paddlers. The rewards, however, are great, as this remains the wildest stretch of seashore in the state. The North Coast’s natural beauty is widely celebrated, but far from fully grasped. Cruising along under paddle power is a unique opportunity.