Kayaking around Point Lobos

GPS Track for this route

It was a fantastic day for a paddle. Winds were down, and the swell was just enough to make things exciting, but not so much that we couldn’t go out. We started from what is commonly called Monastery beach. This beach is one and a half miles South of Carmel on Highway one. It has the advantages of easy access from the highway, easy launch (usually), and being free to park. Alternatively, you could drive into Point Lobos, pay to park, and launch from a boat ramp in a very protected area. From our point of view, this spot would have also been a fantastic snorkeling spot. The coordinates for the boat ramp are N36 31.208 W121 56.426. If you want to do the free launch, just look for the the beach that has signs saying “Carmel River,” just 1.5 miles south of Carmel. We paddled out through some small wavelets and into the ocean. We headed around several points – each with their own section of chop and confused currents. I imagine that paddling Point Lobos can become a pretty advanced paddle at times, so choose your day carefully. We didn’t get to see as much wildlife as on some of our other paddles, but we were rewarded with many opportunities to play in rock gardens, and develop our skills. We were fortunate enough to meet up with a group of several paddlers and followed them through several (though not all) of their maneuvers. Our double kayak wasn’t suited to all of the sections (like the passage that we ended up backing out of because a waves were blasting in from the other side (see GPS track). We saw 2 guys in single kayaks negotiate this turn. Point Lobos ranks as one of our favorite Kayak spots so far because of the fantastic, dramatic scenery.
I emailed Margarete at the Kayak Connection, and she told me:
You need to make a reservation for putting-in at Whaler’s cove: 831-624-4909.
You can also put in at Stillwater Cove next to the Beach and Tennis
Club in Carmel — 831-625-8507 for more information. They are right next to
the public put-in for Stillwater Cove.

View of the shore

Very close to the put-in you will find some narrow passages that are fun to paddle with the surge coming in and out

Very close to the put-in you will find some narrow passages that are fun to paddle with the surge coming in and out

There are some small caves that you can explore while rounding Point Lobos.  Most are too small to enter with a boat.

There are some small caves that you can explore while rounding Point Lobos. Most are too small to enter with a boat.

You will get a unique view of Point Lobos and the Monterey Cypress from the water.

You will get a unique view of point lobos from the water.

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