Whale Watching Kayak Tour
Owner/Naturalist Guide, "Big Wave Dave", up close with a gray whale calf in La Jolla.
Experience one of nature's most magnificent creatures - the gray whale - as it completes the longest migration of any mammal in the world. . .and experience it from a kayak!
The gray whale makes the incredible journey from Alaska to Baja California twice per year covering over 12,000 miles round trip. From December through March, our guests have the amazing opportunity to kayak amongst pods of whales as they swim as close to a mile within shore. Whales migrate in waves starting with the 40-50ft. males heading south and generally end with the females and playful calves making their way back north. This means we have a solid four months to see the variety of whales making the epic journey. Kayaking provides a truly intimate, up-close and eco- friendly opportunity to check out these gentle giants - an experience that you can't get on the large whale watching boats.
This trip is a fantastic paddle from the sands of La Jolla Shores, along the La Jolla Sea Caves, through the expansive kelp forests and over the top of our giant underwater canyons. You'll be joined by our expert naturalist guides who will point out harmless leopard sharks, sea lions, seals, as well as a variety of fish, pelicans, and other birds. Pacific white-sided dolphins, common dolphins (often in pods numbering over one hundred) and the larger bottlenose dolphins are often spotted on this tour.
Like all wildlife, gray whales are not entirely predictable, and we can't guarantee sightings. This is, however, a premier ecotourism experience and the best way to see gray whales in San Diego. Hike Bike Kayak is part of the California Gray Whale Coalition and part of the proceeds from your tour will go to the conservation of the gray whales and our local ecosystems.
What is Provided: Expert naturalist kayak guide, kayak, paddle, and life jacket. We use stable, easy-to-paddle sit-on-top kayaks. We also provide hot chocolate, tea, and cider to enjoy after the paddle to relive your new memories.
Tours Held Daily:
Tours available December through March, with the exact start and stop dates dependent on sightings. Tours leave at 10:00am. Tour is about 3 hours long.
Reservations are strongly suggested for our whale watching tour. Please Book Online or Call 866-HB-KAYAK (866-425-2925)
Please note that prices, tour times, and meeting locations are subject to change without prior notice. Up-to-date information is always provided when you make your reservation.
What to Bring: Be sure to bring clothing you don't mind getting wet, sunscreen, and a towel and dry clothes for afterwards. We have wetsuits for rent in our shop, if interested. Most of us go barefoot, but if you would like to wear shoes, make sure they can get wet. (Tevas or water shoes are great, but flip-flops are not recommended as they can fall off in the surf). Bring a 'leash' for valuable glasses, or purchase one from our shop. Small lockers are available for your valuables, including non-water proof cameras.
We strongly suggest taking Dramamine or another form of medication if you are sensitive to sea-sickness.
Ages and Participant Requirements:Ages 12 and up, must be able to swim. Due to the length of this tour, a moderate level of physical ability is required. Most guests will be slightly tired by the end, but find kayaking to be a fantastic experiece for nearly all abilities.
What to Expect: Be prepared to get wet! The pace of this tour is not strenuous, but expect to be paddling for nearly the entire trip - about six miles altogether (3 miles out and 3 miles back). While San Diego generally has mild weather year-round, occassionally we will have to adjust our tour times and dates due to rough conditions or inclement weather. Even though this is an active tour, no kayaking experience is required.
Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Start Location: We meet at our La Jolla Shores shop, where our friendly staff will check you in and get you fitted for equipment. We will then walk down to the beach as a group (about 3 blocks). At the beach, your guide will provide a brief paddle instruction before helping you launch into the waves.
Parking: Free parking is available on the side streets. The spots marked "90 minute parking" are NOT recommended, as the tour takes about 3 hours altogether.
We look forward to seeing you soon!