Rental places in Oregon?

My husband and I are going to vacation in OR for 2 weeks. Though this is not a paddling trip per se, I can’t stand the thought of not paddling at all in that time. Am looking for places to rent from–real sea kayaks, not barges. We are flying to Portland and then renting a car, so we will need to rent all the gear to go with the kayaks, too. We may be exploring the entire coast into northern CA (Redwoods NP) and possibly southern WA, so anything along that line is possible. Transporting kayaks will not be an option, so I’m looking for places where we could either paddle right from the shop or pay for a tour that includes kayak transport.

Alder Creek
is close to the airport on Tomahawk Island. You can take Marine Drive and get there the back way. REI is downtown, in NW Portland. Both rent for that long. What you’ll do for a rack is another story. Let me know if you make it as far south as Monterey. Good luck and have a great time!

check out there calendar of events here:

Check out I came across this link on another message board.

Dave R

Your real problem will be that there is
too much to see and do. I would actually cross southern Washington coast off the list. We found the OR coast, and the northern (Olympic) Washington coast, more interesting.

If you cxn find kayak rental in places like Bend, there are a lot of wonderful lakes in the Cascades.

Paddling Oregon
There is a kayak rental company called “Adventure Kayak” in Bandon, Oregon. They are right on the water where the Coquille River meets the Pacific. Bandon is a cool little town. Also, there are numerous underutilized lakes and coastal rivers along the coast. Check out Tahkenitch Lake and Tenmile Lake in southern Oregon. There’s the Umpqua, a large river at the coast with lots of wildlife, the Elk, Sixes, Chetco rivers in s. Oregon. When will you be out here? Wind, especially in summer can be a major factor.

Suggest you talk to…
Ginny Callahan, lower Columbia River kayaking center, phone 1-360-849-4016.

I suspect that you are going to have a slightly more difficult time getting the trips and boats you really want than it seems right now. If you speak with her personally about your background, you might be able to get info on people with whom you could arrange rentals or whatever with more flexibility than what you’ll get by going straight at it. These guys are a BCU-affiliated center, I am sure relationships with the ACA as well, so you may be speaking a common language.

Good ideas
I’ve heard good things about Ginni from others and will check both her and Alder Creek’s offerings.

g2d, you are right in that already it seems there is too much we want to see and do along that coast! And I’ve even seen a little of it already, a few years ago. We had originally planned to drive out there, then realized that we’d use up almost a week just getting to and from the coast.

Bandon is indeed a cute town. When I was there they were playing what I guessed was some kind of tonal emergency broadcast by the shore–playing the “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” theme. Very nice state park nearby.

Thanks for the comments. I’ll do some net surfing and make some calls before we go.

2 more
Scapoose Bay Kayaks and Skamakawa Kayaking Center are 2 more options - both on the Columbia River. I have links to both at

Scapoose does multiple day trips down the lower Columbia which could be fun. That was one of the moe beautiful stretches of the river.

Adventure Kayak in business again?
The last time I was in Bandon, about a year ago, Adventrue Kayak was closed and was now a coffee and kite shop. The new owners were selling off some of the kayak related inventory. The owner had moved to Arizona.

That could be…they were there the last time I was in Bandon but it’s been a while. I guess the rains got to him and he headed for the other extreme.

We stayed here and here
among other places. Liked both places vbery much. WOuld go back to each. Had our own boats. Paddled day trips.



Don’t come to Bellingham without staying with us. We have plenty of rooms, plenty of boats, plenty of bikes, and plenty of nearby micro breweries, so you can pikaroom, pikaboat, pikabike, and pikapint.

We plan to mix up camping, yurting, and B&B’ing, so there will be some nights of what is, for us, luxury. Those places look fantastic, and I’ve added them to my list of things to get more info on.

I doubt we’ll make it up to Bellingham this time, but I am hoping to take a month-long trip next summer focused on kayak lessons from at least a couple of different instructors/schools. If I’m going to be near Bellingham, I’ll e-mail you. Sounds like you’ve got all the right stuff! :wink:

Me Too!
My son should be graduating next summer and I will be going up for a week, at least.

I haven’t deciding what will be doing, yet. Prehaps flyinginto Eugene and renting a car, or maybe a van

I prefer SOTs.

some resources
If you cannot transport kayaks, I am sure you have figured out that your options are limited for renting “real sea kayaks”.

Start with Alder Creek, since you will be arriving in Portland.

Check out the “links”. There is info on put ins close by, on the Willamette and Columbia. Give them a call, they may be willing to transport kayaks.They rent SKUK (nee NDK), Valley, Wildy, and Necky. The paddling from the Jantzen beach store is rather blah, but a short drive gets you to the Columbia River Gorge. Very scenic this time of year, and the high winds of summer are coming to an end. The downtown store has rather pleasant paddling in a mostly urban setting. Bird watching behind Ross Island is quite good.

Another place that rents very nice boats (CD, Seaward, and P&H) is Portland River Company, also right on the Willamette.

Keep in mind that, if your rental car has luggage racks, it may be possible to use soft foam cradles for transport.

Ginni Callahan’s Columbia River Kayaking school is definitely worth checking out. The area is underrated for exploring in sea boats, and is very pretty this time of year. She will also be very accomadating, and either transport boats or have a guide available. If your skill are up to it, she can take you to the “Graveyard of the Pacific”- the Columbia River Bar.

Check out the “links” and “resources”. Excellent info, from tides/currents, to Lewis and Clark sites.

The outer coast can be benign, or world class gnarly (ever seen 30 foot swells? They occur regularly in winter!). Unfortunately, there really isn’t much in the way of rental opportunity for the outer coast. The bays and estuaries are very nice- while there are a few rental sites here and there-

most will have plastic rec boats. Still may be worth checking out.

Two more websites to look over-

check out the “favorites” for more links for weather, rentals, etc;


some nice links as well, but mostly just eye candy.

It is a beautiful place, Oregon, but it does rain a lot, no one should reasonably be expected to live here :wink:


to follow up…
The kayak guides out of the Skamokowa Center have teamed up with Ginni at Columbia River Kayaking, and she or Mark will be able to take care of you. If I had one kayak trip to get in, I’d get them to take you out on the lower Columbia or out to Ilwaco at the mouth. Doing a private session with Ginni paddling around Sand Island was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had - and beautiful (as was paddling that area with Karl and others at the LoCo Roundup this summer). The nice thing is that you can get great day trips for almost any skill level and weather condition combination.

For next year, Chris Mitchell in Bellingham is an ACA and BCU instructor. But at that point I’d be sure to get out to the San Juan Islands for kayaking. Body, Boat, Blade on Orcas Island is always a good bet.

If you ignore Karl’s advice and do decide to move out, the Skamokawa Center is for sale. I’ll stick to the dry side of the Cascades myself, although I just got back from the sunny Olympic Peninsula rain forest to overcast and rain back in the shrub-steppe.

Wow, thanks

– Last Updated: Sep-22-08 6:50 PM EST –

Yeah, I realize that doing anything but driving our own vehicle with rack out there means no way to transport sea kayaks. But the drive is just so long and airfares are cheap now. This way, we use only 2 days' travel time to get there and back.

Looks like Ginni Callahan's outfit and Alder Creek are our best bets. This will provide me a chance to check out more about lessons next summer, too.

I would love to *watch* 30-ft swells, as in "from land." Have read about the winter stormwatching tourists, and I would definitely head out to watch if I were there at such a time. Paddle in them, nuh uh; hopefully someday I will be good enough to do some outer coast paddling, in smaller swells.

Don't worry--no plans for immediate moves anywhere. I can't guarantee anything about long-range moves, though ;-) I really liked B.C. when I was there...

Thank you, too
I’ll contact Chris Mitchell. Name sure sounds familiar but I don’t know why. A friend is also interested in doing an intense PNW lesson month next summer, so I’m sure this will be of interest to her.

BBB is already on my list, because I took their 5-day course and thought it was worth every penny, and more. The notion of a whole month up there to (mostly) take classes came from a fellow student who flew there from CA, rented a car, and proceeded to immerse himself in sea kayak lessons.

I envied him, then it occurred to me, “There’s no reason why I can’t do the same!” Yeehaw.

Couple more thoughts
The LoCo Roundup in August is a week-long BCU-oriented kayak event with many of the best west-coast coaches including BBB and Otterslide. If you are after training, then a class at Deception Pass would be a great idea. It’s on my list when I can arrange it. I have heard good things about Leon Somme’s trip around San Juan Island.

Maybe you can get Salty to take you out surfing or playing chicken with fishing boats… I think it would be a blast to paddle with him.