Lower Columbia Exploration 6-Day Kayaking Program (Levels I-II) 


Experience the best that Columbia River Kayaking has to offer in this fun and educational all-inclusive trip.

The LCE Program is designed to take you to our favorite spots and immerse you in the natural beauty and history of this special place and its people. Sightsee your way with local experts along tidal marshlands, kayak next to 90-foot basalt cliffs, waterfalls and ancient Sitka spruce trees more than 300 years old. Explore wooded trails on a short day hike along Skamokawa Creek. Enjoy leisurely stops along sandy and cobbled beaches for lunch and play. You will see many species of birds and mammals including Roosevelt elk, river otter, Tundra swans, Cackling Geese, Bald Eagles and American white Pelicans, to name a few possibilities. Experience first hand the now wild river shorelines where whole towns with salmon canneries, mills, farms and homes once thrived in the 1930s, and paddle along the path of Lewis and Clark into two wildlife refuges.


  • Expertly led kayaking through the stunning tidal waterways of the Lower Columbia River 
  • Guided sightseeing of diverse local wildlife, botany, ecology, geology, and historical sites
  • Live music performances and interactive presentations by and about the people of the Columbia-Pacific Region
  • Leisurely day hikes, picturesque beaches, and time to explore the town 
  • Relax in comfortable accommodations with an incredible view of the river
Columbia River Kayaking - 957 Steamboat Slough Rd, Suite 1, Skamokawa, WA, United States


DAY 1: Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner, Evening Presentation

Check-in at Skamokawa Resort begins at 3:00. Sometime between 3:30 and 5:30, walk over to Columbia River Kayaking's shop to meet your guides and get fitted to the kayak and gear that you will use for the program. Dinner will be served in a reserved area at the The Duck Inn Restaurant - just a short walk from the hotel - featuring fresh local ingredients, including a meat or vegetarian entree, vegetables, salad and home-made dessert. After dinner, CRK guide and expert naturalist, Andrew Emlen, will give a slide presentation on the history of Skamokawa.

DAY 2: Kayaking Introduction

Breakfast is usually at 8:00 a.m. At 8:45, participants will meet at Columbia River Kayaking to either paddle from the dock or shuttle to another put-in to take advantage of the tide. After an introduction to paddling in protected waters, we will paddle for about two hours before stopping for lunch on a river beach.  Sack lunch provided which includes your choice of salad, sandwich, or wrap, with fruit, chips, and homemade cookie. After our day’s paddle, we return to our kayak shop in Skamokawa, where your guides will present a demonstration of all the commonly used kayak rolls and rescues. There will then be an opportunity for any participants who want to try learning these skills to don a wetsuit and practice. After the demonstration/practice, you will have about an hour and a half to relax before dinner. After dinner, historian Irene Martin, who earned the 2000 Governor's Heritage Award for her work documenting the cultures of the Lower Columbia, will give a presentation. A gillnetter, Episcopal priest, and author of six books on the history of the region, Irene’s wide-ranging interests and intellect make for a fascinating evening.

DAY 3: Kayaking Day #2

Activity Note: Day 3 and Day 4 itineraries may be switched to take advantage of better tides or weather. After a day of paddling, we will walk across the road to the 1894 schoolhouse that has been lovingly restored as the River Life Interpretive Center. It serves as a historical museum, bookstore, and community center. After dinner, a local folk group perform music by and about the people of the Lower Columbia River, including their original songs. These performers are known for creative arrangements using various combinations of voice, guitar, cello, banjo, mandolin, mandocello, and percussion.

DAY 4: Kayaking Day #3 and Hiking

We will start the day with a short and easy hike at Alcyon Farm, a short drive up valley with wooded trails along the headwaters of Skamokawa Creek. After lunch we will take a short and easy paddle in protected waters. Wednesday evening’s program will be a slide lecture and stories about the area.

DAY 5: Kayaking Day #4

After this final day of paddling, participants get to visit our retail shop and have some free time to explore. Our final dinner showcases wild-caught salmon along with other fresh local foods. After dinner, our musicians return with more music, more varied instrumentation, and more singing. The musical program may include sing-along numbers as well as local Columbia River tunes.

DAY 6: Departure Day

Our program ends after a hearty 8:00 a.m. breakfast at your lodging. No program is scheduled, but you are welcome to continue sharing remembrances of the week. Check-out time is 10:00 a.m.

957 Steamboat Slough Rd., #1

Skamokawa, WA 98647

957 Steamboat Slough Rd., #1

Skamokawa, WA 98647

  • A hat for rain or sun
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Non-cotton pants (e.g. wool, nylon, or pile)
  • Non-cotton shirt/pullover
  • Tennies, Teva-type sandals or neoprene booties to wear in the kayak
  • Wool or non-cotton socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Good walking shoes or light hiking boots
  • Paddling gloves
  • Shorts
  • Spring program participants should bring wool, polypro or capilene thermal underwear
  • Wetsuits, pogies and paddling jackets are available to borrow

Kayak and gear

All meals included, 14 total (5B, 4L, 5D)

5 nights at the Skamokawa Resort

4 tailored private kayaking tours 

3 after-dinner presentations about local history and culture

2 live music performances

1 easy day hike

Local tour of 1894 schoolhouse and interpretive center

Kayaking instruction and skill-building for all experience levels

Experienced Group Leaders

Check-in at Skamokawa Resort begins at 3:00. Sometime between 3:30 and 5:30, walk over to Columbia River Kayaking's shop to meet your guides and get fitted to the kayak and gear that you will use for the program.

LEVEL I: Scheduled for mornings or days with little tidal movement, or in protected areas and creeks. No experience necessary!

LEVEL II: May experience light wind (up to 8 kts), small waves (1'), or moderate current (1 kt). Capsize and wet exit experience are strongly recommended.

50% deposit required at time of registration. Remaining balance due 30 days prior to starting date of the program. Registration fee is refundable minus 10% processing fee until 14 days before the event. From 14 days to 7 days before the event refund will be half of total, no refunds will be given after 7 days unless your spot fills. If your spot fills, you may have a refund minus 10% processing fee. Rescheduling is encouraged.

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Columbia River Kayaking
957 Steamboat Slough Rd, Suite 1, Skamokawa, WA, United States