La Jolla Cove and sea caves (kayak)

Trip date: 11/17/2014

Launch: La Jolla, California

Permit/Pass: No entrance fees. Street parking

Inspections: None

Directions: From Interstate 5 take the La Jolla Village Dr. exit and head west up the hill until you come to Torrey Pines Rd. Turn left to follow Torrey Pines south and down into La Jolla. As you turn toward the coast watch for La Jolla Shores Dr. on the right. Take the right turn onto La Jolla Shores Dr. and drive a few blocks to Avenida De La Playa. Turn left and continue to the beach, where you can unload your boat. Parking is to be found along the side streets.

Synopsis: This is a beautiful spot to get some offshore kayaking experience. The beach launch is gentle, the water is clear and the caves are just enough of a challenge to keep one coming back. On weekends, though, parking may present some difficulty, so be willing to wait in line to drop off your boat, or cart it.

Portage: If you're unwilling to drop off and leave your kayak while you park, you'll have to carry or wheel it from wherever you find a space.

Type: Loop

Distance: 3.7 miles

Time: ≈1.5 hours

Rating: Easy-Moderate (factors: offshore, beach launch and landing, wave conditions, caves)

Paddling notes: Be sure to spend enough time gauging the waves before entering the caves. Things can get choppy in there when a big set comes through.

La Jolla Cove and sea caves


  -- There are plenty of options here, but most people (and there are a lot of tours here) head directly toward the caves and La Jolla Cove. I headed due west because I wanted to extend my paddling time and in order to create a sort of loop for myself.

  -- As you end up directly north of La Jolla Cove veer to the southwest. I was trying to clear the  point enough to see Point Loma to the south but didn't go far enough.

  -- Circle inshore and follow the coast back through the kelp beds and past the cove.

  -- Just to the east of La Jolla Cove you come to the caves. After taking your fill of play here, turn back to the northeast, site your landing landmark, and paddle back.


Video: Youtube