Kayak or Canoe the San Joaquin 

Kayaks against a blue sky

General Information:  

Participants should be reasonably physically fit and prepared to get wet. The minimum age to participate is 12 years old; minors must be accompanied by an adult. Canoes are two-person boats, sit-on-top kayaks are single-person boats. Special group tours can be scheduled for groups of 10-12 (kayaks) or 10-14 (canoes). Call 559-248-8480 ext. 213 for details.

Reservations are required for all tours. Making reservations at least 2-4 weeks in advance is recommended. All tours include necessary equipment and instruction from our trained guides. Tours may be cancelled due to low enrollment, weather and hazardous river conditions.  

Refund policy: Full refund provided for cancellations made at least 1 week in advance of tour. 50% refund provided for cancellations made three days prior to tour.  No refund provided for no shows. Requests to reschedule a booked trip are not guaranteed, and must be made 3 days (72 hours) prior to the trip to be considered. If the tour is cancelled due to low enrollment, weather, or river conditions, participants will be notified with as much lead time as possible and given the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.  

Give the gift of adventure on the San Joaquin!

Click here for more information or to purchase a gift certificate today.

 

Evening Kayak and Hike

Sycamore Island 

Join us for an evening of kayaking and hiking at Sycamore Island! Start off the night learning the basics of maneuvering a kayak, then try out your new skills through paddling games and challenges on one of the calm water ponds adjacent to the river. We’ll end the evening with a guided one-hour hike around the pond. Enjoy the sounds of crickets, owls, and frogs as you learn about the crepuscular (most active at dusk) and nocturnal life near the river.  Note: depending on sunset times for each program date, the hike may be an evening, sunset, or night hike.

Time: 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Price: $30/participant

Participants: Maximum of 12 participants. Ages 12+.  Kayaks are one person, sit on top boats. 

Dates:  June 25th, July 16th, August 20th, September 10th 

 

Registration for 2022 is Now Open!

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Family Day at Sycamore Island

Nature Walk and Calm Water Canoe Tour

Bring your family and join us for a morning of exploration and canoeing at Sycamore Island! We’ll begin the day with an interactive, family-friendly nature walk, exploring the plants and wildlife found along the San Joaquin River. You’ll learn to use binoculars and new games to build your observation skills. After the walk, everyone will enjoy a break by the water. Bring a snack! We’ll end the morning with an hour of canoeing on a calm water pond. Your guide will teach you how to paddle and provide on-the-water guidance so you can feel confident and have fun exploring the pond. This is the perfect introduction to canoeing for the whole family (ages 6+)!

Time: 9am - 12pm

Price: $50 per canoe (up to 3 participants)*

Dates:  June 11th, July 9th, August 6th, September 3rd 

Canoeing Guidelines: 

  • A total of 8 canoes are available on each date
  • Each canoe can hold up to 3 participants (Canoes are 2-person boats with a spot in the middle for a third participant under the age of 9)
  • Participants must be 6+ to be in a canoe
  • Participants ages 6-11 must be in a canoe with an adult
  • Participants ages 12+ may paddle with another participant 12+
  • All youth (ages 17 and under) must be accompanied by an adult on site

*Group leaders must determine how many boats are needed to accommodate your group/family. 

 

Registration for 2022 is Now Open!

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Saturday Morning Long Half-day Kayak Tour 

Lost Lake to Owl Hollow

Begins with exhilarating riffles and includes the natural beauty of an undeveloped section of the San Joaquin River. 

Time: 8:30am - 1:30pm*
Price: $55/person
Participants: Maximum of 12 participants, each person has their own boat. Ages 12+ 
Dates: Postponed until further notice

*With shuttling, the total approximate time is 5.5 hours, about 4-4.5 hours on the water. River conditions and group dynamics (paddling speed) can increase or decrease the length of the tour, so all ending times are approximate.

Click the Register Now button and scroll to your selected date to register today! 

Registration for 2022 is postponed until further notice.

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Saturday Morning Half-Day Kayak Tours

Sumner Peck Ranch to Owl Hollow

Enjoy beautiful views and calm downriver stretches.

Time: 8:30am - 12:30pm*
Price: $40/person
Participants: Maximum of 12 participants, each person has their own boat. Ages 12+ 

Dates: Postponed until further notice

*With shuttling, the total approximate time is 4 hours, about 2-2.5 hours on the water. River conditions and group dynamics (paddling speed) can increase or decrease the length of the tour, so all ending times are approximate.

Click the Register Now button and scroll to your selected date to register today! 

 

Registration for 2022 is postponed until further notice. 

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Sunset Kayak Tours 

Sumner Peck Ranch to Owl Hollow


Enjoy beautiful views and calm downriver stretches.

Time: 4:30pm-8:30pm* 
Price: $40/person
Participants: Maximum of 12 participants, each person has their own boat. Ages 12+ 
Dates: Postponed until further notice

*Trips begin at 4pm later in the season due to earlier sunsets. With shuttling, the total approximate time is 4 hours, about 2-2.5 hours on the water. River conditions and group dynamics (paddling speed) can increase or decrease the length of the tour, so all ending times are approximate.

Click the Register Now button and scroll to your selected date to register today! 

Registration for 2022 is postponed until further notice.

 regnow

 

Saturday Morning Bald Eagle Canoe Tours

Millerton Lake State Recreation Area

Join us for a morning of guided canoeing and Bald Eagle observations at Millerton Lake!  Perfect for first-time paddlers and novice birders, we’ll learn basic paddling skills and practice our observation skills on this four-hour tour. We will start with an introduction to Bald Eagle behaviors, migration, and habitat at Millerton. From there we will unload our canoes, go through a short lesson on safe and effective canoeing, and head out onto the water. We will be on the water for approximately three hours. Binoculars are recommended. 

Please note: while Bald Eagle sightings are likely, they cannot be guaranteed.

Time: 8:30am-12:30pm
Price: $40/person*
Participants: Maximum of 14 participants, 2 people per canoe. Individual participants welcome to register. Ages 12+ 
Dates: Bald Eagle trips take place between December and January of each year
*Registration does not include the park entry fee, and participants will be required to pay $10 fee per vehicle to enter the park.

Registration for 2022 opens in October.

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Canoe and Kayak Rentals

2-person canoes and 1-person sit-on-top kayaks can be rented at Sycamore Island on a first-come-first-serve basis for use in the closed ponds (no downriver trips permitted with rented boats). Call ahead to check availability, (559) 801-8690. Paddles, life jackets, and entrance fees are included with rentals. $20 for the first hour and $10 for each additional hour; $50 for all day rentals. No experience is required and the boats are transported to and from the ponds for you. For more information on Sycamore Island, click here.

 

Private Tours

Book a private tour for your group and receive a 10% discount on the sold-out pricing! You may choose to book canoes or kayaks for a downriver or calm water tour for your group. Canoes require teams of two patricipants per boat and are a great way to promote team building. Our one person sit-on-top kayaks offer the perfect way to learn and practice individual paddling skills while taking in the beauty of the San Joaquin River. In addition to the options listed above, you can also book a Calm Water Adventure or Full-Day Tour for your group. 

Please note: private tours cannot be booked with less than 14 days notice and must be paid at least 7 days in avance.  Pricing for private tours is listed below and is not negotiable; by booking a private tour you are reserving all spaces for that trip and are welcome to fill as many or as few of those spaces as you like. Contact the River Parkway Trust at (559) 248-8480 ext. 213 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information or to schedule your tour today,  Private Calm Water Adventures begin in February; private downriver trips begin in late March.

Private Tour Pricing (includes 10% discount* on sold-out pricing)

Please note: pricing for private tours is not negotiable; by booking a private tour you are reserving all spaces for that trip and are welcome to fill as many or as few of those spaces as you like.  

 

 Half Day

(Peck Ranch - Owl Hollow)

Long Half Day 

 (Lost Lake - Owl Hollow)

 Calm Water 

(Sycamore Island or Peck Ranch)

Combination Half Day and 2-hour Low Ropes Challenge Course 

 Canoes 

(Up to 14 people)

$565  $630 $380  $780

Canoes

(Up to 28 people) 

 $1,135 $1,260  $760  $1,350

 Kayaks

(Up to 12 people)

$435  $540  $325  $650

*25% discount on sold-out pricing is available for eligible non-profits with verifiable 501(c)(3) status.

River Guide Training Videos and Resources
 canoes