Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Location:  Portland, OR, US

Our Private / Corporate groups love this option since we meet right in town at Sellwood Park! 

Go paddling in Portland's backyard... Enjoy unique views of downtown Portland and paddle under some of it's most iconic bridges including the new Tillikum Crossing.  We will leave from beautiful Sellwood Park and explore the backwaters of the Willamette River between Ross Island and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.  Go from big city views to quiet backwater bliss and back again!   Get out and stretch your legs with a walk on the island looking for Blackberries and wildlife such as deer, heron, eagles, and more! 

Please contact us if you have special requests.  We would be happy to custom tailor a paddling experince for you and your group.  We provide group tour options for weddings, corporate groups, families, conferences, and school groups.  



Outline:  Ross Island Tour

  • Journey the 3 nautical miles around Ross Island...if conditions permit
  • Introduction to basic equipment
  • Launching and landing from a dock or beach
  • Maneuvering the boat
  • Scenice views of the city to start
  • Enjoy the quiet backwater wake free Holgate Channel

Things To Bring

On the water, You may need:

- Tennis shoes or river sandals with wool socks or any water shoe.  (No cotton)  - Sunglasses with retention strap attached (i.e. Croakies, Chums, etc) - Water resistent sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), lip balm (SPF 15) - Sun hat, rain hat, and/or fleece hat - Synthetic or wool top and bottom (thermal underwear, heavier wt. for cooler weather) - Rain coat and rain pants - Nylon shorts and/or swimsuit - Water bottle (1 quart) - Towel and change of clothes for ride home - snacks

Optional Gear: - Camera with batteries and dry storage *Be sure to bring a way to keep any electronics dry.  We do not supply drybags for the tour.  They are available for purchase at the Boathouse.



Basic/essential kayak or canoe gear and a trained and knowledgeable guide


Gratuity:  It's NEVER expected but always appreciated.  If you feel your coaches / guides have done an exceptional job and made your experience a memorable one, then you can certainly show your appreciation by giving a tip. The amount is totally up to you. Many people believe that anyone in a service type of job (like restaurant and hotel employees, hair dressers and dog groomers, etc.) should get between 10-20% of the total cost of the service. That is not to say that’s what we suggest, but that’s what most people tip when they do tip. So, for instance, if your trip was $200.00, and your guide made your experience a memorable one, a $20-$40 tip would be generous and greatly appreciated!

If your coach / guide was so exceptional that you want him or her to be your guide on all future trips, simply request them at the time you make your reservation.  While we cannot promise he/she will be available, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your request.

We do not supply Wetsuits or drysuits or any other clothing or shoes. No Food provided.

Cancellation Policy

The Pacific Northwest is a dynamic and often unpredictable environment. All activities are run/fun rain or shine. All programs are conditions dependent and may change at any time at our discretion. In order to keep our programs affordable a minimum number of participants may be required. If we are unable to fill a program to a minimum requirement level we reserve the right to cancel the program. A full refund will be provided in the event of a cancelled or re-scheduled activity upon request. Please allow 48 hour notice for any cancellations or changes in your reservation. Give us a call at 503-285-0464. Cancellations within 48 hours of the program are NOT refundable.  To re-schedule a class you have cancelled within the restricted 48 hour period we will gladly credit you 50% towards the rescheduled class.  Thank you for signing up!  Please let us know if you have questions about this or any other policy here at Alder Creek. 


We will meet you at Sellwood Riverfront Park.


We will be returning to the same location.

Additional Locations

Booking for [Private Group Tour] on January 01, 1970
Duration: 3 hours Availability: Sorry, there is no availability left for this option

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Go paddling in your backyard, Portland has awesome urban wilderness that you can experience on the Ross Island Tour. You can even ride your bike to our launch location to make it a no driving recreational day!  The Ross Island Tour leaves from the Boat House dock along the Eastside Esplanade near SE Water and Clay and explores the backwaters of the Willamette River between Ross Island and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.

  • Journey up to 3 nautical miles around Ross Island
  • Introduction to basic equipment
  • City Views
  • Wildlife Viewing
We provide:
-PFD’s, Life Jacket
-Our great guides!

This tour meets at our Portland Boathouse location, just north of OMSI, right next to the Hawthorne Bridge.

1515 SE Water Ave

Portland, OR  97214


Customers have the option to use their own gear with approval.  (Boats need to have secure buoyancy in the stern and be long enough to keep up with the group)

If you are un-able to bring the items listed below please let us know as we can provide them if needed.  We DO NOT typically provide immersion wear for this tour.

What to Bring on your Ross Island Tour:

Sunglasses with retention device (i.e. Croakies, Chums, etc)
Sunscreen (SPF 30), lip balm (SPF 15)
  • Water & Snack bar
  • Rain jacket
  • River footwear or booties
  • Nylon shorts and/or swimsuit
  • Synthetic top and bottom layers
  • Insulating socks (not cotton)
  • Towel and change of clothes for ride home

Optional Items you could bring include:

  • Binoculars
  • Water proof camera
  • Sun hat, rain hat, and/or fleece hat