How to book an adventure with Native California guides

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

This story is presented by Visit Native California. Read more about Visit Native California by visiting

Visit Native California is an initiative centered around shining a light on ways visitors can learn about and from the more than 100 Native American tribes in the Golden State. Here are three ways you can get involved in supporting and learning from three area tribes.

Tour Tahquitz Canyon

Tahquitz Canyon is located on land stewarded by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. This area has cultural and historic significance to the tribe, and features a 60-foot seasonal waterfall, native wildlife and plants, an ancient irrigation system and rock art. 

Admission includes:

Day hikes to tour the area and check out unique cultural and educational exhibits at the Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center. Watch "The Legend of the Tahquitz" in the theater room before heading to the observation deck and meandering the many artifact displays. Purchase your day-hike tickets at the trail head at Tahquitz Canyon Visitor Center (500 W Mesquite Ave Palm Springs).

Ranger-led Interpretive hikes are included with paid admission. These insightful tours are 2.5 hours long and depart from the Visitors Center (year-round) at 8 a.m. and (October through June only) 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. 

Fish the lower Klamath River

The lower Klamath River is part of tribal sovereignty on the Yurok Indian Reservation. Join guides like Pergish Carlson (feature in the video above) to fish this incredible watershed and learn about how the Yurok people have lived in community with the river for thousands of years. There is no public access to this second largest river in the state, and it is the most productive fishery on the West Coast!

River trips 
Try your hand at catching salmon and steelhead with a Yurok guide through Blue Creek Guide Service! Full-day trips include rods, reels, tackle, bait, and life jackets. Bring a fishing license, weather-specific clothing, rain gear, sun protection, a lunch and beverages. The guides also recommend bringing a camera (with waterproof protection!) and a positive attitude. Reserve your trip in advance. Scenic tours are available by request. 

Paddle Sonoma County

Suki Waters, of the Kashia Pomo Tribe, is the owner of WaterTreks EcoTours in Jenner, California. She has a long history and love of this land where her family has lived for multiple generations. Today, Waters' company brings visitors onto the water and the coast for a memorable paddling experience.

Tour options
Guided tours
include kayaking or stand up paddle boarding along Jenner's Russian River Estuary in Sonoma Coast State Park. You'll learn about the history and diverse wildlife of the river and coastal areas. The experienced guides help visitors spot dolphins, watch for harbor seals, and walk the beaches to learn about native plants and Native American culture. Day tours run from 3-4 hours and 5-6 hours. You can even head out on a meteor shower, full moon, bioluminescence, or evening tour on special dates!

WaterTreks EcoTours also offers half- and full-day kayak rentals.

All times and offerings are current at times of publishing. Please contact the guide services and outfitters to learn their offerings, hours, and prices when you are interested in booking.

Feature image and films by Sanjana Sekhar and Lauren Begay.

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. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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