Mendocino, California

Paddle Redwood Outrigger Canoes up Big River

Originally added by Benjamin Canevari

Gorgeous north coast wildlife and scenery in the heart of Mendocino County!

Big River is a 40 mile or so river in the heart of Mendocino and its first 8 miles form the largest undeveloped estuary remaining in California. It is home to some amazing wildlife from seals to jellyfish to the endangered California Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead Trout. If you are lucky you may spot a sea otter or the endangered California Golden Beaver.

The best places to put in at the river are right by Mendocino in Big River Beach or across the river at Catch a Canoe where you can even rent a classic California Redwood Outrigger Canoe

Outrigger canoes are really narrow but with the pontoons coming out on either side, you would have to work pretty hard to flip one of these over.

Winter can be rainy and chilly, but you don't get wet if you don't want to. So as long as you stay bundled up you'll be totally fine!

Some things to think about bringing along:

  • Water
  • Jackets
  • Blankets
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Swim Suit (if it's warm!)
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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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