National Park Kayaking: 10 Thrilling Places to Paddle 

Photo: Wander With Alex

One of the best places for kayaking is in a national park. With its beautiful lakes and rivers, diverse ecosystems, and striking natural landscapes, a national park is perfect for paddling and exploring.  

Photo: Kalen Emsley

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a beginner searching for a new adventure, Glacier National Park offers some of the best kayaking in the country. Montana’s Glacier National Park has over 700 lakes. One of the best places for kayaking at Glacier National Park is Lake McDonald. It is the largest and deepest lake in the park.

Photo: Wander With Alex

Glacier National Park (Montana)

With its winding rivers, serene mangrove forests, and crystal-clear waters, the Everglades offers a multitude of breathtaking vistas that are perfect for exploring by kayak. Furthermore, because the Everglades is home to countless species of marine life and wildlife to discover on the water.

Everglades National Park (Florida)

Photo: Mark Jacquez

For those new to ocean kayaking, the waters around Anacapa Island offer gentle but beautiful scenery. And for more experienced kayakers looking for excitement, exciting channels and coves with crystalline waters provide excellent opportunities for spotting wildlife and exploring hidden caves along the shoreline

Channel Islands National Park (California)

Photo: National Park Service

Kenai Fjords National Park is one of the most gorgeous and diverse regions in all of Alaska. A guided tour is highly recommended for beginners as conditions on the water are known to change rapidly with wind or storms.

Kenai Fjords National Park (Alaska) 


The peaceful and calm waters of the vast Rio Grande River wind through canyons flanked by majestic limestone cliffs on either side. In addition, several smaller creeks provide quieter routes where you can enjoy a peaceful paddle in solitude.

Big Bend National Park (Texas) 

Photo: theraja/DepositPhotos

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Photo: Brandon McDonald