Trip Details

TRIP DETAILS

2022

Join us for five, sun-ripened days dreaming your way down the magnificent upper Willamette River. It's here that you’ll experience the river in a markedly different way, with spectacular meals, entertainment, lots of laughs, a legendary wine and beer selection, and more memories than a mere five days really deserve to make.

Read below for details on these topics:
ITINERARY
CAMPING AND BAGGAGE SHUTTLE
FOOD AND DRINK
SKILL AND BOAT REQUIREMENTS
CANOE AND KAYAK RENTALS
PADDLING SAFETY AND PODS
TRANSPORTATION, SHUTTLE AND PARKING OPTIONS
PRICE AND REGISTRATION
CANCELLATION POLICY
COVID POLICY

ITINERARY

August 15 - 19, 2022

This year’s trip will wind along 85 miles of river, beginning at Marshall Island Access in Junction City, OR and ending at Keizer Rapids Park. Follow our route on the Willamette River Water Trail maps in the links below. All participants will receive A water-proof and tear-proof Willamette Water Trail map the morning we launch.

Monday, August 15: 14 miles
Put-in at Marshall Island Access in Junction City
Camp at a scenic private river bend property in Harrisburg

Tuesday, August 16:  22.5 miles
Crystal Lake Park in Corvallis

Wednesday, August 17: 14.5 miles
Camp at Kenagy Family Farm in Albany (NEW!)

Thursday, August 18: 19 miles
Camp at Wigrich Farm in Independence

Friday, August 19: 18 miles
Take out at Keizer Rapids Park
*NOTE: Each pod will arrive at the take-out at their own pace, generally sometime between 2:30pm and 4pm

CAMPING

Paddle Oregon arranges all camping and amenities for participants.

All of our campsites will offer flat, grassy fields, on private property or a city park. Sleeping pads are highly recommended. Amenities at each campground include port-a-potties, hand-washing stations, trash/recycling receptacles, communal tables and chairs, and perhaps the occasional free-range chicken.

We will have a shower trailer, with private shower units, in camp when water is available (at least one night). Of course, you can always enjoy a bath in the river at any time, however, in that case, please do not use any soaps or shampoos - even biodegradable soaps cause pollution and can have a detrimental impact on aquatic life.

BAGGAGE SHUTTLE

Thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers, your camping baggage will be loaded onto a truck when you arrive, then shuttled and unloaded from campsite to campsite each day. Shuttled baggage needs to be well labeled, and no more than two reasonably sized duffel bags, each weighing 40 pounds or less. You should pack a separate waterproof bag to take with you on the river to hold extra clothes, jackets, sunscreen, etc. For ideas on what to pack see the Equipment Checklist.

FOOD AND DRINK

On Paddle Oregon, the food is as spectacular as the river views. A catered breakfast, lunch, evening appetizers and dinner will be provided for you, starting with breakfast at the put-in on Monday and ending with lunch on Friday.

This year’s Paddle will highlight cuisine from a variety of Willamette Valley based small businesses - each meal will feature an amazing menu from a local caterer to nourish your tired body and feed your soul!

Participants will have a selection of sandwiches and other lunch items to choose from each day after breakfast so they can pack their lunch for the river. Breakfast and dinner are served buffet-style, with a variety of delicious items to choose from. There will be both meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Our event caterers are happy to work with you if you have food allergies or other restrictions/preferences.

Beer, cider and/or wine will be available each evening for an additional charge.

SKILL AND BOAT REQUIREMENTS

You will be paddling with two experienced pod leaders who will help facilitate the safety of your group. In addition, we have roving safety paddlers, a certified medic and first aid attendant. Nevertheless, you are responsible for your own safety at all times!

Although the Willamette River is primarily calm this time of year due to lower water levels, sections of the river have considerable current that require paddlers to have the skill to maneuver their boats in moving water and dynamic currents. These skills include familiarity and experience with basic strokes and maneuvers such as forward and reverse paddling, turning in current, navigating river bends, paddling upstream, and ferrying. Paddlers also need to have an understanding of river features such as reading the flow (where is the main current moving? where is it too shallow to pass?), eddy lines (how they work, how to move across them safely), and recognizing hazards like obstructions or strainers (such as woody debris). At times the river is braided, or is split by an island. You and your pod may need to "eddy out" from the main current, or paddle to the side, to get out and scout which channel option is most appropriate.

In addition to basic skills, we recommend practicing rescue techniques prior to the trip, and encourage that participants have recent experience paddling 10 to 20 miles per day to assure stamina is adequate to enjoy your vacation! Your pod will take regular breaks as needed. The upper river has slightly more gradient, resulting in a decent current that will assist us as we paddle down river (although there is always the possibility of a headwind).

Interested in brushing up on your safety and paddling skills? Sign up for a class through Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe! Use code WRK2022 to save 20% on the class fee.

All participants are required to meet two of the following:

  • Paddling experience on moving water (strong river currents, eddies, etc.) within the last two years.
  • Moving water paddling instruction within the last four years.
  • Previous participation in Paddle Oregon.

Additional Requirements for Participants 17 and Under

  • All minors need to have had wet exit and rescue training/experience or will be required to paddle with an adult.
  • All minors need to know how to swim.

Most participants paddle touring-style sea kayaks and canoes (solo or tandem) that are 15 - 19 feet in length. Longer boats have more glide and cover distance more efficiently. We strongly recommend that your boat be at least 14 feet long to make it easier for you to paddle the long distances that some days require. You will be paddling with an assigned pod, and it's helpful when everyone has an appropriate boat. Our goal is to set you up for success on your vacation - we don't want you working too hard just to keep up!

We also recommend that you invest the time in practicing proper paddling technique, including day trips and classes that will help you learn to paddle efficiently and with less effort (which is key to paddling longer distances!). Condition yourself as needed in advance of the trip, you will thank yourself for it come August!

If you have questions about these requirements, email or call Amanda, 503-223-6418 Ext. 1 or amanda@willametteriverkeeper.org. We will be happy to talk to you about whether or not your experience is adequate or if a class is appropriate.

CANOE AND KAYAK RENTALS

Need a boat? Canoes and kayaks can be rented for an additional fee through various local paddling shops. You are responsible for making these arrangements on your own.

When renting a boat, we strongly suggest that you test paddle your rental boat prior to committing to paddling it for five days. We also recommend that you invest the time in training yourself in proper paddling technique by taking classes from professionals, and that you condition yourself for full days of physical activity. If a renter claims "my boat is slow" what we hear is "I have not properly prepared for this trip," and unfortunately that can effect your river experience as well as the experience of your assigned pod.

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe offers a special rental package and service for Paddle Oregon participants: $225 for a solo boat or $275 for a tandem kayak. Price includes life jackets, paddles, and transportation of the boat. An Alder Creek representative will deliver your boat to the put-in, help orient you to your gear, and will pick up your rental gear at the take-out. Give them a call at: 503-285-0464

Interested in a canoe? Tandem canoes are available to rent from Willamette Riverkeeper for $275. Rental comes with paddles, life jackets and transportation of the boat. Canoes can be rented directly through your registration form. Quantity is limited!

PADDLING SAFETY AND PODS

In order to ensure safety and foster camaraderie on the river, paddlers will be grouped into “pods.” Paddlers choose pods based on paddling pace, daily departure times, and special interests. Your choice simply helps us to place you in a group. If you are interested in more than one option you are welcome to change pods during the trip. Each pod will have ten to twelve boats and a minimum of two Pod Leader volunteers.

Pod Leader volunteers are experienced paddlers, and not necessarily professionally trained guides/rescue technicians. They are present to help make decisions on the water, keep the pod together, and assist with rescues when necessary. Therefore, your safety is equally your responsibility.

Meeting the necessary skill requirements, listening to directions, and being aware of what’s ahead downstream are essential to having a safe trip.

TRANSPORTATION, SHUTTLE AND PARKING OPTIONS

Here are your transportation options:

1) You are welcome to arrange for your own transportation to be dropped off at the put-in, Marshall Island Access in Junction City, on Monday morning by 8:00 am, and picked up at Keizer Rapids Park on Friday afternoon between approximately 2:30pm and 4:00 pm*.
*NOTE: Each pod will arrive at the take-out at their own pace.

2) For an additional $35, you can join Willamette Riverkeeper's one-way-shuttle to transport you, your gear, and your boat from Keizer Rapids Park, to the put-in in Junction City. With this service, you also have the option of parking your car at Keizer Rapids Park for the week. This shuttle service will depart from Keizer Rapids Park at 6:30 am.

3) Get dropped off at the put-in, Marshall Island Access, on Sunday evening, before the trip officially begins Monday morning, and camping for the night. There is no additional fee to do so, note that  there would be no amenities provided other than a pit toilet. Also, please note that there is no overnight parking at the put-in.

Come Register for Paddle Oregon!

How our shuttle works:

  • If you choose to use our shuttle service and...

    You need to transport your personal kayak or canoe: Meet Willamette Riverkeeper with your boat and gear at Keizer Rapids Park at 5:40 am on Monday morning. Your boat will be loaded and secured onto a large trailer by volunteers, and your camping gear will be loaded onto the UHaul.

    You do not need to transport a boat because you are renting:  then you need only to report to Keizer Rapids Park on Monday morning between 6 and 6:15 am to load yourself and your camping gear onto our shuttle buses.

    (Coffee will be waiting for you at the put-in, which is about hour and thirty minute drive away)

  • Parking for shuttle users...

    Willamette Riverkeeper cannot guarantee the security of your vehicle for the week. You will be parked in a busy public space. Do not leave any valuables in your car. Please note, there is no overnight parking available at the put-in, and no shuttle back to the put-in at the end of the trip.

--->You will select your Shuttle preferences in your on-line registration form.

PRICE AND REGISTRATION

Register for Paddle Oregon TODAY!: 
Save $50 on your registration through April 30th, using promo code "EARLYBIRD"!  Beginning May 1st, registration is $999 per adult guest and $849 for minors.

Registration includes: 5 days paddling on a National Scenic Water Trail and 4 amazing nights camping under the stars, delicious catered meals throughout the event, daily baggage shuttle, nightly entertainment, education opportunities, a 20th Annual Paddle Oregon t-shirt, safety paddlers, ACA event insurance coverage, logistical support and water trail maps.

When you fill out the on-line registration form, you may pay your registration fee securely online or opt to mail in a check. To save on credit card fees, Willamette Riverkeeper prefers check payments.

Additional Options

  • Shuttle: $35/per person (includes parking option)
  • Paddle Oregon lunch bag: $10
  • Massage: $20 for 15 minutes (available nightly, cash preferred)
  • Beer, Cider and Wine: Available nightly for an additional charge (cash or card)
  • Macrame Workshop: $35 includes all materials and instruction to make your own macrame plant hanger. Two nights only, limited availability
  • Canoe rental (limited availability)

CANCELLATION POLICY

Refunds may be requested, however through May 31st requests are subject to a $250 fee. Through July 10th, requests are subject to a $350 fee. Beginning July 11th, no refunds will be issued*.
*Individuals with a positive Covid test result will be considered for a partial refund.

COVID POLICY

BY REGISTERING FOR PADDLE OREGON, YOU AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING: 

  • You agree to be fully vaccinated and boosted by August 2, 2022.
  • You agree to providing proof of vaccination upon check-in or emailing a photo to Amanda Gallegos in advance, at amanda@willametteriverkeeper.org.
  • Local and state guidelines will be followed at Paddle Oregon.