"Stand Up Paddle (SUP) at McNear's Beach" Top 5 Page for this destination San Rafael Things to Do Tip by karenincalifornia
San Rafael Things to Do: 40 reviews and 62 photos
McNear's Beach is a very easy spot for launching a stand up paddleboard. This is part of the Marin County Park system. The beach is a close walk from the parking lot, and has an outdoor shower. Launching is easy whether it's low or high tide. That's because there is a real beach there, not just the usual mud that makes up most of the shoreline in San Pablo Bay. The water can be a bit choppier than China Camp, just a little farther north. From here, you can paddle out to The Sisters, south to San Rafael, or north to Gallinas Creek.
One thing I like about this area is the few number of boats. Of course, if you are tempted to cross over to the other side, you'll need to watch out for those high speed Vallejo ferries. Also the current in the middle of the Bay, even San Pablo Bay can be quite strong. Consider that this is the single point where the Petaluma, Napa and Sacramento Rivers and all their tributaries converge.
I also like that fact that the San Pablo Bay is really large. I've paddled quite far from shore, perhaps a mile or more - not right at McNears but farther north, and I haven't even made a dent in the Bay at that point. Another plus - I haven't known anyone to be cited for not wearing a PFD. I will usually wear one, particularly if I feel like venturing far from shore. However, the few other paddlers out there usually don't.
Directions: In San Rafael, take San Pedro Road to McNear's
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