It's hard to believe that Portland ever lacked a dearth of quality paddle outfitters, considering the many evergreen-lined rivers and nearby coastline. But back in 1986, the founders of Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe felt there were too few options serving the area, so they launched their own garage shop. Their passion for the outdoors and paddle sports steadily built the company, and today, a staff of equipment experts advises guests on kayaking, canoeing, standup-paddleboarding, and rafting supplies. Beyond selling gear from vessels to apparel, staffers lead on-the-water classes and organize group trips. The shop also outfits customers for independent exploration with a fleet of rentals.
Beginner kayakers and nature lovers alike will both enjoy this scenic tour of the island and Willamette River. Experienced guides will lead paddlers past the Oaks Bottom wildlife refuge in the hopes of spotting the bald eagles and blue heron that reside there, though breathtaking views of the downtown Portland skyline are guaranteed.
With Imperial River Company, active relaxation isn't an oxymoron. That's because the company lives by its motto: "Actively relaxing on the banks of the Deschutes River." It does this by harnessing the area's rolling hills and serpentine river for a wealth of outdoor getaways. Whitewater rafting acquaints guests with the Deschutes River's undulating waters during guided rafting trips that launch from a private dock and return to the same area for picnics and beach volleyball. Additionally, fishing expeditions help guests reel in wild redside trout and summer steelhead while taking in the postcard views of the locale, and cycling services rent out single and tandem bikes for calming jaunts along winding roads and around canyons.
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