Sit-on-top DOUBLE KAYAKS - $35 PER PERSON Sit on-top SINGLE KAYAKS -$45 PER PERSON SINGLE STANDUP PADDLEBOARDS -$45 PER PERSON
Closed deck SINGLE KAYAKS - $60 PER PERSON Closed deck - DOUBLE KAYAKS - $50 PER PERSON (closed deck kayaks require wet exit and re-entry experience)
Fitness Paddling Pass - $125 per person/per month Open-deck kayaks only. Skip the gym and go outside! Enjoy unlimited kayak or standup paddling at both our Monterey and Elkhorn Slough locations for 30 days. Drop in anytime for a quick getaway! The 30-day pass starts with your first paddle so you can pay on arrival.
ELKHORN SLOUGH PADDLING MAP
Frequently Asked Questions about renting at Elkhorn Slough
How does it work?
a. No reservations are required for rentals, just walk in & pay on arrival. We have the largest fleet and have availability at all times. See below if you have a group of over 17 people. b. Check-in with staff at the store's front counter. Sign waivers, pay, take care of parking if needed, and gear up. c. We include optional splash jackets and pants that can be worn over your quick-dry clothing. We also have optional wetsuits if you prefer. d. We have private restrooms and changing rooms. e. Lock your belongings in your car. You can leave keys at the front counter if you choose. f. Meet up with our staff again, who will escort you to the beach for a mandatory but quick safety orientation. Everyone in your party must be present for a mandatory safety orientation. g. After your boat assignment, you can launch yourself and paddle the recommended areas for up to 4 hours. h. Let our staff know when you have returned.
What is the difference between renting and a guided tour? Do I need to know how to swim?
If renting, you will receive your gear and mandatory safety orientation on land, and then you can launch yourself whenever you are ready.
Capsizes are rare but can happen for a variety of reasons. If you capsize, you should have the upper body strength to climb back on your kayak. If you are uncomfortable or unsure of your skills, consider a guided tour where you will be accompanied by a guide at all times.
Our guided tours are for those who want to learn more about natural history of Elkhorn Slough and want the safety of having a guide. Our informative guides will make sure you get to see and experience as much as possible to get the most out of your time on the water.
When is the best time to paddle and see wildlife? Short answer: when its least windy!
Mornings are usually the calmest and least windy time of day but can be cloudier and cooler. Afternoons can be sunnier and warmer but with more onshore winds making paddling back harder. Strong winds are the main reason we limit or cancel rentals or rescue people on Elkhorn Slough.
* April-June: The earlier, the better. Afternoon winds are typical and always blow against you on the way back.
* July-Oct: Early morning and late afternoon are the calmest time of day on the water. The middle of the day is often the windiest. September and October are sometimes our warmest and least windy months!
What is included and what should I bring/wear? Will I get wet?
• You should plan on getting a little wet since this is a watersport! • Wear quick-drying clothing and bring extras to leave in your car. • Avoid wearing heavy cotton clothing on the water • We include optional splash jackets and/or splash pants to put over your quick-dry clothing • We also include optional wetsuits if you prefer them * We include a type 3 Coast Guard life vest designed for kayaking and must be worn, not carried • We have private changing rooms and restrooms * Bring personal items such as windbreakers, hats, sunscreen, eyewear retainers, and water. * Wear any footwear you don't mind getting wet, minimum flip flops for walking in the parking lot. • Don't wear expensive watches or jewelry or bring large backpacks on the water. * Phones and cameras should be in waterproof cases (available for sale at the store)
Do you have lockers?
No, but we have guest bins where you can leave clothing/shoes. We recommend locking valuables in your car, and if you want, we can hold your car keys.
What is best for children?
• Children must be at least 5 years for rentals. (Children 3-5 can join our 1.5-Hour Harbor tours) • Children 5-12 must be in a double with an adult • Kids 13+ can paddle a single kayak or standup paddleboard • All minors under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on the water at all times
How close can I get to sea otters and harbor seals?
Sea otters are a threatened species and are protected from harassment by Federal Law, and you may be fined if you disturb, touch or feed them.
Besides that, not only are they the cutest animals ever, but they are also an important keystone species for the entire ecosystem. Therefore we want to help them survive and thrive and not cause them any harm. Observe and appreciate from a distance to avoid stressing and causing them to waste their limited energy, especially mothers and pups. Keep at least 5 boat lengths away, Paddle parallel to them, and don't surround them if there are other kayakers in the area. Learn more about sea otters and other marine mammals.
What is the difference between the Elkhorn Slough and the Monterey location?
They are both unique places to paddle and see wildlife, so you really can't go wrong at either location! Both places are protected calm areas suitable for beginners. Both locations are sometimes subject to wind on certain days, making the water choppier and limiting how far you can paddle. We offer guided tours and self-guided rentals at both locations.
If you want to experience theElkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, come to our location in the North Harbor of Moss Landing, just 20 minutes north of Monterey on Highway 1. We paddle inland, and once past the Highway 1 bridge and the power plant, it is a quieter area with few buildings and is surrounded by mudflats and oak hills. Recently a new home for sea otters, you will see lots of them (and harbor seals!) all along your paddle route. This is also an amazing area for discovering shore birds - especially during spring and fall migrations! Strong afternoon onshore winds and winter tidal currents can sometimes make the return trip a bit challenging if you are looking for more excitement!
If you want to experience the exciting California Pacific Coast AND see an amazing array of wildlife, come to our Monterey beach location. We paddle the shoreline from the Monterey Harbor, Fisherman's Wharf, and historic Cannery Row areas. This is the best place to experience the famousMonterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary,with its diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Typically, paddlers will see everything from sea otters, seals, sea lions, the occasional dolphin, shorebirds, and habitats like kelp forests. Our paddling area is the most protected spot on the bay, but can occasionally experience small surf or swell outside the harbor area.
Can I land my kayak in Elkhorn Slough?
NO, all the land around Elkhorn Slough is either owned privately or protected by state and federal agencies.
I have a group of 17 or more people
You can reserve kayaks if you want to prepay on one credit card and get a 10% discount. There is a 2 week cancellation for refunds. This is best for large groups who want to keep their group event more organized. You will receive an email with trip details to forward to all members of your group and they can sign our online waivers before arrival to save time.
If you are not sure of how many people will show up from your group, it's best to just have them walk in and pay on arrival.
What is an open deck kayak?
Sit-on-top kayaks are user friendly, stable, self-bailing kayaks that you are not enclosed in. If you capsize, they don't fill with water, and it is easier to climb back on board (see photos on the graphic above). These are recommended for everyone, especially if there are children.
What do I need to know to rent a closed deck (sit inside) kayak?
Because they are less stable and, if capsized, will fill up with water, you should have practiced a wet exit AND re-entry rescue techniques. There are also more parts and safety equipment that you must know how to use.
Is there a weight limit?
Yes, 250 lbs per person for safety reasons.
Can I rent if I am pregnant?
Yes as long as you are not in your 3rd trimester.
Can I bring alcohol?
No, for safety reasons, we will not allow anyone under the influence of alcohol/drugs to get on the water.
Are dogs allowed on rental kayaks?
Yes, on open-deck kayaks only. There are many federally protected marine mammals that might get close to your kayak, and dogs should not jump into the water or harass them in any other way. Owners will be held responsible and may be fined.
There is no extra charge as long as dogs are under 40 lbs and they fit into a single kayak with 1 person or a double kayak with 2 people.
If dogs are over 40 lbs, they will need to go in a double with 1 person and be subject to a $35 fee during summer and holiday periods. These limits are set up to ensure safety for all, so please do not ask us to make exceptions.
We do not provide life vests for dogs, so bring your own, or they are available for purchase. We also recommend a leash.
Can I paddle the ocean outside Moss Landing harbor?
No, we do not allow renters to paddle in the ocean outside Moss Landing harbor. You can only paddle in North Harbor and public areas of Elkhorn Slough. Consider going to our Monterey location for an exciting ocean experience in a more sheltered part of the bay.
I want to learn more about the slough!
Check out the Elkhorn Slough Foundation'swebsite. They have a wonderful visitor center and beautiful walking trails on the south eastern part of Elkhorn Slough. They also have docent-led walks and host many school groups.
STORE HOURS: Open 9-5 Daily @ both locations except these HOLIDAY HOURS Christmas Eve 12/24 - closing at 3 pm Christmas Day 12/25 - closed all day New Years Eve 12/31 - closing at 3 pm New Years Day 1/1/2023 - closing at 3 pm
Call us (831) 373-5357 Why paddle with Monterey Bay Kayaks? • We received the Business Tourism award from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation * We are Certified Wildlife Stewards from Sea Otter Savvy • 2020 Travelers Choice by TripAdvisor • Two locations offer unparalled wildlife & paddling experiences with natural history tours, rentals and more
ABOUT MONTEREY BAY KAYAKS We are a locally owned and operated small business that pioneered eco-tourism in 1985 and has been a leader in kayak recreation and education ever since! We have introduced over 450,000 people to our unique and beautiful area with naturalist led tours, comprehensive rental packages and classes with ACA trained instructors. Our mission is to provide a wonderful and exceptional experience for everyone while fostering stewardship of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve.