Wildlife Refuge Full Day Tour (Levels I-II) 

400 Year-old Sitka Spruce Trees

Great Wildlife Views

Mostly Protected Route

Follows in the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark

This tour is good for beginner and intermediate paddlers and explores a large part of the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer. Depending on the tides, this can be a one-way trip that begins in protected Elochoman Slough. Here we will paddle along the path of Lewis & Clark, who were led into the slough by two canoes of Wahkiakum Indians who brought the Corps to their village to trade in 1805. The route has some of the same individual trees that were standing at the time, as the spruce swamps here have trees over 300 years old. The most obvious residents now are Bald Eagles and Osprey, which we can watch as they patrol the sloughs for fish.

We will emerge from the sloughs onto a sand beach along the main channel of the Columbia for lunch before taking historic Steamboat Slough down to Skamokawa. This is a leisurely trip, with time for bird-watching, photography and working on paddling strokes.

Sometimes the tides dictate that this tour be run in the opposite direction, starting in Skamokawa and going upstream or an out and back from our shop in Skamokawa. Total distance is a little over six miles for all of this tour's routes.

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

Arrive at CRK shop in Skamokawa

Gather gear and kayaks

Safety review

Shuttle to Marina (Depending on Tides) or Launch from shop dock

Paddle Through the Refuge

Return to shop

957 Steamboat Slough Rd, Ste 1

Skamokawa, WA

957 Steamboat Slough Rd, Ste 1

Skamokawa, WA

One quart plastic water bottle (full)
Lunch, snacks
Sunscreen and lip protection
Sunglasses with strap
Hat for rain and sun
Non-cotton shirts (2) for layering (wool, pile, polypro, other synthetic)
Non-cotton pants (nylon, wool, spandex, fleece)
Eyeglass strap
Sandals with heel strap or neoprene booties, or any shoes that can get wet
Swimsuit (optional, but makes a quick-drying under-layer)
Change of clothes for the trip home
Gloves for blister protection (optional)
Camera, film, binoculars

The Other Months:
Drysuit if you have one*
More and warmer non-cotton layers
Shatterproof thermos with hot drink
Warm paddling gloves or pogies*
Paddling jacket or rain jacket*
Wetsuit if you have one*
Wool or fleece socks

* CRK has these items available and are included in the price of your class or tour.

Guide, Kayak, Paddle, PFD, Dry Bags, Spray Jacket, Pogies, Wetsuit

Lunch, Snacks, Sun Protection (though we do have things in lost and found you can borrow if you forget yours)

Please arrive 15 minutes to half an hour before your lesson or tour, and allow that it may run over by up to an hour.

LEVEL I: Generally 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) during the one-mile open river segment. Capsize and wet exit experience are strongly recommended.

Total program fee due at time of registration. Full 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 full refund minus 10% processing fee. Rescheduling is encouraged.

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