Where to Go Kayaking with Kids: USA

Can’t wait to take a family escape into nature? Kayaking with kids is a fantastic way to spend time together while having adventures in the great outdoors. Looking for a new yak that’s stable and custom-made for children to paddle with ease? Check out the Lifetime Youth 6 Feet Wave Kayak and the Sun Dolphin Bali.

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Kayaking with Kids: Top Spots to Paddle

Salmon River, Idaho

kayaking with kids

The Salmon River flows through remote wilderness and a canyon that’s approximately 40 million years old. Also known as The River of No Return, the region plays host to abundant wildlife including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, black bears and moose. There’s something for every kind of paddler here, with mild rapids for kayaking with kids and wilder white water for more experienced kayakers. Along the way, look forward to fishing for trout and taking a dip in riverside hot springs. If you’re all beginner kayakers, there are plenty of tour companies to guide you. 

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming

kayaking with kids

With steamy geysers, hot springs and the chance to see deer, moose, elk, eagles and badgers while you glide on by, the Yellowstone region is a wonderland of natural wonders. A great route for kids and beginners is the Lewis River Channel to Shoshone Lake. Furthermore, check out Lewis Lake, Jackson Lake, Brooks Lake and Hegdbon Lake. If you’re traveling with little ones and want to paddle for longer, consider a tour or a tandem kayak so you can take over when needed. Consider the Ocean Kayak Malibu or the Perception Pescador

Prince William Sound, Alaska


Encompassing over 3,000 miles of coastline, kayaking with kids in Prince William Sound brings non-stop adventure. Paddle within dramatic scenery of soaring glaciers, beaches and thousands of seabirds. Depending on the age and experience of your kids, take a guided tour around the sheltered waters of Shotgun Cove, see the waterfalls of Passage Canal and soak up the spectacular views of Kittiwake. To make the most of your trip, stay in Whittier as the gateway to the wonders of Prince William Sound. 

Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

kayaking with kids

The largest estuary in the United States is a haven for plovers, herons, osprey and striped bass. With so much watery beauty to explore, you’ll find a river tributary or creek to suit kayaking with kids, surrounded by forest and stunning coastal views. It’s easy to rent a kayak, launch your own or take a guided tour where everything is provided for you. If you’re traveling in the cooler months, consider taking a drysuit like the Stohlquist Amp Drysuit, so you don’t miss out due to the cold. 

Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada

lake tahoe

The nation’s second deepest lake is a cobalt blue wonderland for kayaking journeys. A popular vacation destination, there’s plenty to do with the whole family on and off the water, including hiking, shopping, dining on gourmet cuisine and nightlife. Launch at beautiful Sand Harbour and paddle in crystal clear water that often offers 70-foot visibility. For those with older kids, kayak around granite boulders and stay out for as long as you like. The scenery here always brings new surprises. 

French Broad River, North Carolina

kayaking with kids

Get set to paddle by the historic Biltmore Estate when you launch on the French Broad River from Asheville. Choose stable recreational kayaks like the Riot Kayaks Edge and set out to explore through wooded scenery across idyllic flat water. For longer journeys, follow more than 140 miles along the French Broad River Paddle Trail. You’ll find campsites and launch spots along the way to make the most of kayaking with kids on your next vacation. 

Looking for even more adventure? Check out awesome spots for kayaking in Africa
Nicole West

Nicole Leigh West is an internationally published travel and lifestyle writer. She's traveled to more than 60 countries and you'll most often find her kayaking, diving and swimming across the globe.

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