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Best U.S. Kayaking Trips for Summer

Kayaking trips offer some of the most fulfilling outdoor adventures the world has to offer. If you enjoy being on the water, there is perhaps no solo adventure more exhilarating than getting in a kayak and cruising a flat river, or even surging over raging rapids. 

While there are hundreds of fun and interesting waterways on which to begin your kayaking journey, these are some of the best locales in America, featuring some of the most stunning views, best kayaking, and most memorable experiences of your life. 

Blue Heart Springs, Idaho

Gorgeous, clear, crystal blue waters wait for you in the Hagerman Valley. Blue Heart Springs’ heart-shaped basin is a hidden paradise reachable only by boat. With water staying at a brisk 58 degrees even on the hottest days, its clarity allows you to see to the bottom, where the springs bubble up throughout the day. 

Surrounded by walls of lava rock, Blue Heart Springs is home to all sorts of wildlife, including snakes and lizards, and is a popular destination spot. 

San Juan Islands, Washington

Just off the U.S./Canada border, the San Juan Islands are home to strings of orca and dolphin pods, along with sea lions, seals, dolphins, and otters, giving you a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the animal kingdom. 

Home to remote coastlines, country farms, and historic seaside towns, this 172-island chain features breathtaking vistas and plenty of places to explore, giving you the chance for a hybrid adventure — both in your kayak and outside of it. The biggest problem here is finding enough time to experience everything. 

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Idyllic in ways that no other spot in the U.S. can be, Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park isn’t home to whitewater rapids, but you will find the most amazing visual experiences in the world. Spectacular glaciers, sprawling forests, winding waterways, and maybe even some puffins, sea lions, orcas and humpback whales. Glacier Bay National Park is roughly the size of Connecticut at approximately 3.3 million acres, so there is plenty of space — all of it a breathtaking sight. 

Colorado River, Arizona 

While the length of the Colorado River certainly offers all manner of adventures, we recommend the somewhat tamer 15-mile stretch between Glen Canyon and Lees Ferry. As part of the Grand Canyon, its red rock canyon walls and spectacular skies offer a one-of-a-kind experience, and the manageable currents will ensure you won’t be overwhelmed with rapids while enjoying a marvelous trip within one of the world’s largest canyons.

Kekekabic Lake, Minnesota

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but this is the one that stands out. This remote glacial lake in Minnesota is part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, making it a perfect choice for your kayaking trip. 

You can experience deer, moose, otters, bald eagles, and loons in the dense pine forests while you sail through the picturesque network of lakes and streams. While you’re there, you can maneuver along some of the other nearby waterways, each with their own spectacular views and features, and start checking off a few of those lakes too.

Laguna Grande, Puerto Rico

There are only five bioluminescent bays in the world, and Puerto Rico has three of them. Fajardo’s Laguna Grande features perhaps the most magical night-time kayaking experience, with a mind-blowing encounter that will have you thinking you’re in a Disney musical. 

The smooth waters glow a vivid blue when your paddles stir up the blooms of microorganisms, meaning every stroke you make creates a new burst of glowing light. Best of all, Laguna Grande is only 45 minutes from San Juan, making it an easy-to-reach destination. While you’re there, explore the similarly ambient Mosquito Bay in Vieques and La Parguera in Lajas for more bioluminescent adventures.

Kane’ohe Bay, Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its lush white-sand beaches, and Kane’ohe Bay, located on the island of Oahu’s northeastern shore, extends those beach vibes into the water. As the largest sheltered body of water in the main Hawaiian Islands, it’s one of Hawaii’s calmer locales for kayaking. 

Without even leaving your kayak, you can look through the water’s glassy surface to spy parrot fish and mahi mahi on either of the barrier reefs. Hop out and wander along the low-tide sandbar and marvel at the views of Pyramid Rock. And while you’re in Hawaii, you may as well visit some of their other incredibly unique sites. We hear they have a few. 

Your kayaking trips are great adventures, but finding public restrooms on your excursions doesn’t have to be. When you can’t find a place to go, Cleanwaste offers you the amenities of home while you’re exploring the great outdoors.
Cleanwaste’s Toilet in a Tube® is great for rafters and kayakers. It’s lightweight, portable, and floats, making it perfect for all your kayaking escapades. Look for Toilet in a Tube® and explore all of Cleanwaste’s products, perfect for any outdoor trips!

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