Columbia River Gorge kayaking: conquering untamed waters
Columbia River Gorge fully deserves its nickname “Oregon and Washington‘s ultimate playground”. This spectacular natural phenomena, created by Nature’s hand throughout millennia, creates a natural boundary between country’s two adventure-oriented states. As it is almost 4000 ft deep and about 80 miles long, it delivers a full package of adrenaline filled activities. Among them the most family- and beginner-friendly is kayaking. Why won’t we go today for a short Columbia Riber Gorge kayaking trip to meet the land&water wonders?
Endless paddling possibilities are the beginning
Columbia Rivers runs majestically between powerful Cascade Mountain Range and the sea. With marvelous views at cone-shaped Mt. Hood (11, 239 ft) and snow-capped Mt. Adams (12, 281 ft) this water route allows to meet untamed Western Nature at its best. Moreover, the abundance of water routes that join the main Columbia River Channel creates endless possibilities to enjoy kayaking for water maniacs in every age. Paddling slowly the narrow Salmon River, meandering through lush riparian woodlands and breathing the balsamic, resin infused air can be the best way to get rid off everyday sorrows.
Prince Island: in the land of sand, trees and water
One of the top places in the Gorge to enjoy one- and half-day water trips is the area surrounding Price Island. This narrow stretch of sand, almost entirely covered with dense forest, is a part of Julia Butler Hansen Wildlie Refuge – which means it is also a prefect destination for anyone into big- and small game watching. When paddling across Skamokawa Creek you are very likely to see osprey nests hanging at the top of Sitka Spruce trees and beavers and water otters playing cheerfully in their hidden playgrounds. Watch out carefully, especially in September: Chinook salmon is here as well! Once you take a break to enjoy a picnic at the beach, take a walk among majestic trees – local spruces remember times well before Lewis and Clark era, as they are over 400 years old!
If waters are reasonably calm and your stamina allows some more physical effort, you may try to paddle the other side of the island. The main chanel of Columbia River is the place to spot for birds – mainly cormorans and Bald Eagles. If you have even more time, take your paddle and head to the small, hidden pool where two waterfalls spill to create West Valley and Wilson Creek.
Regardless your age and level of paddling experience, you’ll be surprised how paddling around Price Island may be. Do not hesitate then, grab your paddle and run to the Columbia River Gorge to experience Oregon and Washington’s adventure at its best!
Article by: Antonina Małowiecka
Photos by: Bill Reynolds