4 Spots for River Paddling in the Pacific Northwest

In General, SUP Activity Recommendations, SUP Location Recommendations by Perfect Paddles

Stand up paddling has been, and will continue to be, widely enjoyed on our oceans and bays by millions of people every year.

The scene and sounds of these bodies of water produce a feeling on contentment and excitement for visitors and residents alike.

However, as more people began to invest time into stand-up paddling, adventurers around the globe sought to find new and interesting bodies of water to experience the sport.

And what they found, is the plentiful rivers lining the shores, offered a new and exciting challenge for paddlers to conquer, shooting downstream on the white-water rapids.

Once more paddlers began to take notice, the sport of river paddling, and white-water rapid river paddling, took shape.

One of the best places to experience this small sector of the sport is on the beautiful shores of the Pacific Northwest.

If you are interested in expanding your SUP repertoire, finding new adventures to set sail on, then consider these 5 Shops in the Pacific Northwest for River Paddling, and get on out there!

Wild Water River Guides (Seattle, WA)

First up is a place called Wild Water River Guides in Seattle, Washington.

Just as their names implies, this outfitter is focused on paddling sports in the river setting.

That means, fresh water, moving currents, close outlets to nature, and a whole lot of fun!

They are currently offering two tours for participants- one on Icicle Creek and the other on the Lower Wenatchee. Both tours are great for beginners, but for those who are brand new to the sport of SUP, Icicle Creek is where you want to start.

The two- and half-hour tour, will take groups down the semi-calm waters of the creek, where they will be able to see a wonderful view of the Enchantments (a basin area of beautiful mountains and glaciers).

But for those adventure seekers, looking to push their boundaries a little farther, the Lower Wenatchee trip will have you paddling through class I-II rapids. But don’t freak out! Your guide will tell you the tips and tricks to make it through the water unfazed.

Feel the power of the river during this trip as you make your way down the scenic view of the river. Plus, there’s less paddling when you are with the current. So that’s a little incentive to get out there and experience the trip of a lifetime!

Clackamas River Outfitters (Estacada, OR)

Next up is a place called Clackamas River Outfitters located in Estacada, Oregon.

CRO offers paddlers a few choices regarding getting yourself and your SUP on the river.

Their Feldhiemer Park to Barton Park tour is in their words, “A wonderful first-time trip with fun class I-II rapids. This mild river canyon feels relatively secluded as it winds its way down stream. Along the way view birds of prey, deer, and native fish.”

Class I-II rapids are quick moving, but relatively easy to navigate for novices, making this tour perfect for anyone wanting to feel the power of the river without putting themselves in any immediate danger.

The next step up is there McIver Park to Barton Park tour where groups will be faced with navigating the whitewater rapids in the state park, followed by an easier stretch to Barton County Park on the scenic Clachamas River.

Think power and adventure for this tour! So be prepared!

CRO is a great place for anyone wanting to feel what it is like to navigate down on a river on a SUP and feel safe doing it!

Oregon Paddle Sports (Eugene, OR)

Up next is a shop called Oregon Paddle Sports in Eugene, Oregon.

A fully stocked shop with everything you need to be a successful paddler, OPS, also offers a few guided events for groups looking to get a lesson and adventure on the water.

One such event is being held on May 23rd to the 24th located in Norwood Island, Oregon.

Of the course of the two days, groups will be led down the local river, paddling with the swift current, and camping on the shores overnight. Experience the peaceful atmosphere with your fellow paddlers, as you huddle around the campfire at night, sharing food and stories.

This is a can’t miss event for anyone wanting to spend time in nature, along the beautiful shores of an Oregon river.

Norm Hann Expeditions (British Columbia)

Our last outfitter on the list is certainly not the least. Norm Hann Expeditions has been a Perfect Paddles list staple since we started doing these lists!

And there are plenty of reasons for that.

But for this list we will target their river tours and let you be the judge as to why they should always be included.

The main tour is called the Skeena River Expedition. Unlike previous outfitters, Norm Hann takes the idea of a tour and expands on it. Instead of one or two days, paddlers will be on the water for 5 days, and camping out in the wilderness for 4 nights.

At the same time during this trip, groups will be immersed the immense wildlife surrounding the water basins and get to know the cultural relevance of the Norther British Columbia area, familiarizing themselves with the native people and their traditions.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well it is!

Expect an unprecedented adventure that will fill you with memories for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

River paddling adds a whole new element to experiencing SUP on the water.

Instead of the tumultuous ocean or the serene bay, the river provides a little bit of both, with choppy sections and calm waters in between.

This can lead to all kinds of exciting paddling and new landscapes to ingest while standing under the sun on the water.

And with these shops, you are guaranteed to experience the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

From the abundant wildlife, to the clear river water, you are guaranteed to be left feeling a sense of awe as you step off your board after your adventure is over.

So, what are you waiting for?!

Get out there and experience the river waters of the Pacific Northwest in a way you never thought imaginable.