The weather is finally starting to turn towards summer, and that has us thinking about hitting the water (in stylish lifejackets, of course!), so we checked in with some of our favorite guides and outfitters to find out some of the best ways to cool off in our lakes and rivers this year. Of course, they did not disappoint us!
Thanks to some of our helpful and delicious tourism partners, such as Corner 14 in Oregon City, we discovered the Paddle + Pint guided tour with Basecamp SUP — Paddle Boarding Adventures. This Tuesday evening experience begins with a paddle from Oregon City to Willamette Falls and ends with your choice of food and drinks at Corner 14. They have these nifty devices on hand, so everyone can wheel their boards from the river to the food cart pod, just a short walk away. Other popular guided experiences in the area are their Paddle Strong classes, which include a paddle lesson and meditative yoga, as well as SUP Pup lessons specifically geared towards fur babies and their parents.
Speaking of Oregon City, eNRG Kayaking, headquartered in said city, started offering tube rental and a shuttle service last year for a stretch of the Clackamas River in Gladstone, from Cross Park to Dahl Beach City Park. The one mile float takes about an hour, but we suggest you at least take the entire two hour minimum time allotted to stop, perhaps go for a swim, and enjoy yourself along the way. Need a ride back? Shuttles run every 30 minutes and are only $5. They also offer their popular Willamette Falls tours, giving you a chance to see the mighty cascade up close — but still from a safe and legal distance.
Further out is Clackamas River Outfitters in Estacada. You might need to sit down for this one if you love tubing the Lower Clackamas; they now offer a shuttle (a totally legit old school bus) between Milo McIver State Park and Barton Park, which you can reserve online for a Float & Ride! They also have tube rentals available you can book after reserving the shuttle.
Mt. Hood Outfitters now offers watercraft rentals from Timothy Lake's Pine Point boat launch on a first come, first served basis every Saturday seasonally. Pro tip: This summer, it’s also the only lake they rent from where canoes are available. They are also dog friendly.
Looking for a more adventurous time on the water? Rafting on the Upper Clackamas River is open again after being closed due to the fires of 2020. Your options for guides here are many. What is certain is an epic time that you will be bragging about for a long time.
Looking for more guides and outfitters to help chill out this summer? Check out our curated roundup of kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and rafting guides. And for a complete list of our talented local guides and outfitters, visit our Guides page.