Kayak Northwest
Northwest Kayak Information Center

Lower Willamette River

Keizer to West Linn

Before you go be sure to check weather, tides and currents for the area you are paddling in!

See Help below for assistance with icons.

Launch Point Keizer Rapids Park
Max Difficulty: SKI
Paddle Length/Time 5 Days/52 miles
Tide/Current Station Not Applicable.  Do check the river flow levels, levels can drop rapidly after mid-June making some sections of the river to shallow to paddle.
Destination West Linn (Willamette River Park)

After paddling the Columbia River last year we decide to do the Willamette River and paddle from Keizer Rapids Park to West Linn. 

This was a 5 day paddle and required coordination with Oregon State Parks to camp and with the Willamette River Keepers, without whose help this trip would have been a non-starter.   The River Keepers do have a map available showing all the camping sites and contacts.  If you are thinking about doing this paddle the map is well worth the price.  To start planning your paddle go to Willamette River Trail web to access the map on-line and to order a hardcopy. Things to consider on this paddle is the water levels/flow, do it too late in the season and you'll not have enough water to make it in some sections.

Day 1.  We meet in West Linn and consolidate our vehicles, the plan is to leave a couple here to use as shuttles to go back and get the rest of the cars.  On arrival at Keizer Rapids Park we find a nice large ramp to launch from.  We are soon packed up ready to head out on our adventure.  The first day is an easy day with only an 8.9 mile paddle.  We are staying at the Arcane Winery Vineyard on the first night.  The Winery is paddle friendly and will permit camping... and tasting!  We have a great evening there.

Day 2.  Our hosts surprise use with a frittata in the morning!  What a great way to start day 2.  It is another clear and sunny day and we are soon packed, have said our goodbyes and are on our way downriver.  We have 10.4 mile paddle today, a nice leisurely pace.  Our distances were governed by camp site availability.  The river meanders through mid-Oregon farm lands on both sides.  Our view of the surrounding country is limited by the river banks.  We take our time and explore the river as we go.  Our destination is Five Island, a Willamette River Trails Site.  When we arrive we find the south end of the island occupied and opt to paddle further down the island.  We find a nice spot at the northern end of the island.   We find suitable tent sites and our camp is quickly established.  It is hot!  We decide to relax by siting in the river on our chairs and having a cold, or as cold as it gets, one before we cook our dinners! Another pleasant evening.

Day 3.  We rouse ourselves in the morning and have breakfast and coffee.  We pack and prepare for another day of paddling.  We have a long day today 16.1 miles.  It looks to be another hot day.  The further north we go the less current we are getting, we are in the Newberg Pool section of the river.  There is little current here and we are paddling harder.  The water is not as clean as it had been.  We enjoy the river and the scenery as we paddle, we are also encountering more power boaters on the river.  We take every opportunity to look into and around small river islands and streams.  It is mid-afternoon when we arrive at Champoeg State Park.  The parks sits above the river and here is a large dock for us to use to park and unpack our boats.  The camping area for boaters is about a 100 yards up from the dock.  The temperature feels like it is in the low 90’s and we are hot!  The park has running water and restrooms. There is hiking in the park and immediate area.

Day 4.  An easy day today 10.4 miles.  We pack our boats and get underway while it is still cool.  It looks like it will be another very warm day.  We paddle about 2 miles downriver and decide to stop in Butteville and visit the General Store…  great ice cream!  We are soon back underway, enroute to Molalla State Park.  In the afternoon, about 2 miles from our destination we paddle past Wilsonville and decide to have  late lunch, early dinner there.  We land our boats at the dock located in Memorial Park.  We hike about 2 miles up to the Red Robin and have a great RR lunch!  No home cooking tonight.  Hot food and cold drinks!  Great.  After the hike back we re-board our kayaks and continue on to Molalla.  Molalla does not camping but you can contact them for permission,  this is a Willamette River Trails site.  We have running water and restrooms and later in the evening we have the park all to ourselves.  It was a very warm day with temps in the mid-90’s and no breeze to help cools things down.

Day 5.  Our last day, we have a short 6.2 mile paddle to West Lynn.  We pack up and head out to finish our paddle.  This turns out to be the most scenic section of the river and we enjoy paddling around and through Rock Island.  Very nice.  A couple of hours later we are pulling into West Linn and the trip is over.  Time to unpack the kayaks and get our gear in the cars.  We need to do a shuttle to pick up the cars we left at Keizer Landing. 

This was a very relaxing and fun paddle,  we left this paddle ready to the rest of the Willamette River next year!

Google Map Help
Click on the zoom icon in the lower right corner of the map zoom in or out on the map, + to zoom in, - to zoom out.
Click on any marker to see additional information
  Click on the Full Screen icon at the top of the map to have the map expend to full screen. The full screen version will open in a new tab

Click on the Info button at the top of the map to get a trip description, once open click again to close the description.

   Click on the menu button at the top left corner of the map to get the list of markers and route descriptions.  Yu can click any item for a dialogue box with more info on the marker or line..Click on the triangle at the bottom of the list to close the list.
  Click on the share icon to share this map via Google +, e-mail, twitter, or facebook

To Contact the Webmaster: Click Here
Copyright © 2015 Chuck Hemphill. All Rights Reserved
Last Updated:  June 30, 2015