Who is Columbia River Kayaking?
a short history...
Columbia River Kayaking was originally founded in 2003 by Ginni Callahan, as a one-woman company, leading kayaking trips and teaching skills in the Columbia River estuary and various places along the Oregon Coast.
By 2007, the business had grown to the point where it was no longer possible for just one person to do it all, and over the course of that summer a series of meetings were held that culminated in the reorganization of the company into a member-owned LLC. This new entity incorporated all the local kayak guides in Wahkiakum County who had, up until that point, been working as independent contractors for Skamokawa Center.
In 2009, after a couple of years of uncertainty under a new owner, Skamokawa Center closed its doors. Columbia River Kayaking rented the paddle center and equipment, and assumed control of the kayaking portion of the business and kept it going, including the well-regarded Elderhostel program that the guides had been leading for Skamokawa Center since 2000.
In the spring of 2013, Columbia River Kayaking relocated from the Skamokawa Center to the historical Skamokawa Landing building, just a few hundred yards away from the old location. Columbia River Kayaking continues to run tours, coaching and instruction for all skill levels, as well as the programs for Elderhostel- now called Road Scholar.
Columbia River Kayaking, LLC is now owned by five local kayak guides, with a combined 56 years of experience leading tours and teaching kayaking skills. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of safety and professionalism. All of our members are required to maintain a minimum of a Wilderness First Responder certificate for emergency medical skills, a standard that is higher than many other shops and outfitters. Our coaches are certified by the UKCC, the international gold standard of sea kayak coaching.
Columbia River Kayaking specializes in taking groups out on the water on the lower Columbia River, and we would be happy to put together a custom kayaking trip for your group. We can tailor your experience to emphasize education, whether you're looking to learn about the Chinookan people who lived along the Columbia River for thousands of years; the Lewis and Clark expedition, who first explored this area by land for the United States; natural history, including plants, birds, salmon, forests and geology; kayaking skills, from boat handling to navigation to rolling a kayak, or we can just set you up for good old fun and games on the water.
We have had groups here in the past that include various Boy Scout troops from as far away as Wisconsin, Lewis and Clark College's Masters in Education program, ecumenical and church groups, schools from Washington, Oregon and Idaho and families of all sizes. Even the 3/2 Stryker brigade of US Army has come kayaking with us. We offer generous discounts to groups larger than ten, and to organizations of all kinds.
If your tastes run more towards "textured" water, ocean swell and strong currents, we can do that, too! Ginni and Mark teach classes and lead trips on the Oregon Coast and at the mouth of the Columbia River, including an introduction to the surf zone for sea kayakers, rock gardening, rescues and towing, and other skills necessary to making a safe and successful journey in more exposed and exciting conditions.