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Russian River Estuary
Marine Protected Area
Ocean and River Nursery

The Most Wildlife Rich Habitat

on the Russian River

Seal, Otter, Birds, Whale

Sharing the best ways

to view since 1987


Protected Wildlife Habitat
"Stay back at least 150 feet" from resting or feeding birds and wildlife by land and water.

Feeding and Disturbing Wildlife Prohibited

River Otter, Harbor Seals and Pups, Many Birds

Used Kayak and Gear Sale! Call Us!


Estuary Forecast: 02/17/24: Water Safety Closure

River Mouth Open:

Deadly Currents

Returning to shore safely may not be possible.

Safety / Rescue Training and Refresher Season.

Join a Class. Not safe for basic recreation at this time.

Currents upstream may remain hazardous into May.

Repeated bouts of rain keep river currents swift. Layer up with a day pack for trail and beach walks.

We expect to Re-open in March: Fully Outfitted

   Popular weekends and  school breaks.

Reservations Required:

No act of nature cancellation fees.


Winter: A mix: Nice in between rain or freeze events.

Ocean Moderates Coastal Temps. AMs start clearer and warmer than inland.  Tule fog starts inland.  Estuary currents need days to return to tidal calm after each heavy rain.

We re-open for temps above 55, dry weather, and without noticeable currents in the main estuary.  

(See river levels below 9' at Guerneville)


Ocean Tides: Goat Rock Beach    


See our safety page for  apps to track local conditions.

We use 4 apps. No single Forecast can correctly cover all aspects. Forecasts change. Therefore, nobody can be held responsible for full forecast accuracy.

Family Friendly Rentals

in our

Jenner Kayaks

Russian River Estuary

River and Ocean

Wildlife Nursery 

Sharing the Best Ways to Explore 

The  Marine Protected Area

Within the Tidal Estuary


Activities throughout the year...

Hours and days can change per weather

Please see our forecast in the water box

Temporary Cold and Swift River Current Closure

Our reservation line is open for future dates

We expect to reopen near 03/07/24 as rain and river currents reduce.

Wildlife Interpretive Safety Review: Where and How to View

Mini Kayak Lesson

Free Outfitting: Including Dry bag and Outerwear

 All participants must have swimming skills.

Fall into Winter: Rental Start Times:

10 AM - 1 PM: Open by reservation

Last off the water by 3:30 PM

Reserve a day or two in advance

No Cancellation Fees for Acts of Nature: We call you in advance

Call Us


Each kayak is personally prepped

Scheduled Meet and Safety Review Times

Most popular times can fill up fast

Reserve "Extra" Early for: Large Groups, School Breaks, and  Heat Waves

Winter: River and Coast Conditions

A Mix: Coast mornings are generally mild, warmer and clearer than inland.

Fall through Spring "Inland Tule Fog" affects coastlines much less.

Periods of rain and creek flooding happen. See our forecasts.

Heavy rain can cause periods of unsafe river currents.

Tidal Estuary Waters can slow shortly after storms allowing us to reopen.

So far, we do not expect any serious local flooding this year.


Our Rates are Listed Below

the "Required Notifications"

for our "Marine Protected Area"

"Your Tourism Activities Fund

Education, Research and Paid Internships"

Thank you for your support!


Train to Hire: Part-time, Certify for Lifeguard / Kayak Safety / Guide:

Best times to train and certify for full-time Summer work are Fall through Spring.

Great Pay for Great Attitude and Reliable Team Work

See periodic weather and water limitations that can cause closures.

Life Opens Up: Breathe Freely On The Water

Heavily Visited Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Area.

  Staff Shortages and Staff over the age of 60. Staff may use Masks During Viral Surges.

We want to stay open and to keep having fun with you.

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Wildlife Viewing and Safety

Russian River Estuary Marine Protected Area

"Know Before You Go"

Wildlife Nursery for...

The Most Biologically Dense and Diverse

Ocean Forest on our Planet.

State, Federal and United Nations

Protected Reserve Status.

(See "Safety Limitations Below". Compliance Mandatory )

All Activities Remain At Your Own Risk

  • Applies to all visitors including Ocean Beach and Island Hikes and Paddle or Motorized Watercraft of Any Type
  • “No Go Zone” Rescue & Ticketing Fees: Pay Attention To Safety Reviews: "Protected Harbor Seal and Sea Bird Resting Area". Do not enter "or approach" roped off areas.

  • Stay back 50 yards, (150 feet). State or Federal fines for disturbing resting seals and sea birds can be up to $10,000. None of us wants you to be charged extra fees. Private paddlers have also been gravely inured by entering river mouth or ocean currents at this location. Deadly results, or being banned from renting in the park, can happen if you enter this area. Join us in modeling respectful and ecologically sustainable behavior.

  • No Dogs: On beaches with direct wildlife access. 

  • Leave No Trace: Benefit rather than harm the areas we visit. This area is a protected wildlife nursery. No littering including toxic items like cigarette butts! Leave only foot prints and take only photos and memories.

  • Boating under the influence (BUI) = fines.  Being under the influence of mind altering substance is not allowed.  Participants showing up under the influence will be cancelled. Becoming under the influence on the water may be subject to ticketing and being banned from renting in the park.  Kayaking is great for working up an appetite, or thirst, for enjoying local cuisines, wine tasting or micro-brews "after your activity".

A State Park "Business Access by Permit Only" Location.

Additional insurance and operational fees.

All operational and lifeguard fees included in one low price.

Client Monitoring For “State Marine Recreation Management Area”


With 'Federal Wildlife Protection"


"We value your safety and enjoyment, as well as

the integrity of our education and research programs".


Please Respect the Recommendations of our Staff, 

Local Regulations, our Access Partners, and Our Other Participants..

Failure to do so can result in injury, death, fines, or loss of participation.

Be Nice and Have Fun!

All Boating Is Within The Protected River and Estuary Waters.


Excess Cleaning: + $20: Return as received: A little wet and sandy is fine.

No: Excess mud, Trash, or "Potentially infectious waste": Masks, tissues, etc.

  • Cost Of Damages or Replacement Fees: To avoid damages...

    • Pull by handles only, not by stowage cords.

    • Don't melt our kayaks with lighters or cigarette butts.

    • Avoid breaking paddles by using them as shovels or to shove off.

    • Step on foot areas only, not on hulls or seats.

    • Don't lose and return all kayak parts and gear.

  • Cancellation Fees: No Shows: Full Price.

  • To avoid last minute cancellation fees: Call us in time to allow others on a waiting list, to be contacted, to use your seats.

  • Rentals: Call at least 24 hours in advance.

  • Guided Tours and Large Groups: At least 72 hours in advance.

  • Or provide 'proof of illness' or emergency: We won't immediately charge. Instead we allow time for clients to provide a copy of a doctors note or other emergency.

  • No "Act of Nature" Cancel fees: High wind, rain, or public health closures. We call you. 

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Many of our wildlife photos are contributed by Bob Noble.

See Bob's Eyes...

Suki Waters captures most of the wildlife and scenic video.

See contributions also from

George Scott Zastrow Photography

We welcome contributions from our clients and friends.

Resuming Morning
Full Moon
Night Bioluminescent

Friday through Monday
and Special Events

CPR, First Aid, Water Rescue
Renew your certifications
to be part of a fun community education and recreational safety team.

Fees Covered with Seasonal or Annual Employment Agreement.
Competitive Pay
We Reward Your Experience!

Main Rules : Pay Attention, Be Nice and Have Fun!
  Wildlife Adventure

Kayak Rentals

Sharing the best ways to view wildlife since 1987

Your activity helps fund education, research and recreational safety.=

No cancellation fees for acts of nature closures.

We call you in advance.

Frequent rain closures expected Dec 27th - mid January

We are temporarily closed for activities

Our reservation line is open for dates after January 19th

Rental Start Times:

Reserve Early: We personally prep each kayak.

Hours and days can change per weather forecasts.

Please see our forecast in the "water box".


Fall into Winter:

Thursday-Monday: 10 AM - 1 PM: Last off water 3:30 PM

   Tues & Wed: Open by 2-3 day advance reservation, if we have available staff.


​Don't Show Up If You Feel Sick, Have A Cough, Or Have A Temperature.

Any of our staff becoming ill would result in cancelling "All Activities for Everyone"

To Avoid Cancellation Fees: Please Call Immediately.


Reservations Required

Jenner: Very Limited Internet and Cell Service

Rural Land Line: No Texts: Leave a voice message anytime.

Call: 9 AM - 5 PM (Thursday - Monday)


You may need to leave a message during peak hours.

Tourism Rates: No Shuttle Required

Multiple Hour and Midweek Discounts Shown in Prices

Add 30 minutes prior to your "water time" for all rentals:

This is your reserved check-in and safety review time.

All rentals Include: Kayak, Paddle, Life Vest, Drybag and Safety Review Lesson.

Thin Water Resistant Outerwear available during cooler months.

Liability Waivers Required

Children Under 12: Half Price
Dogs: + $10

(Dogs are not allowed on Goat Rock or Driftwood Beaches per vital wildlife habitat and the estuary island, seasonally, per bird nesting.)


Jenner By the Sea: Estuary Loop / Park & Paddle!
No Shuttle Required: 2-6 hours of paddling with wildlife, exploring the island and walking coastal beaches. Wildlife include seals and their pups along with a wealth of bird species including raptors. Sea birds are seen daily especially in their protected resting area. River Otter, are often present with occasional sightings of Fox, Bobcat, Mink and Muskrat. Seasonal trends and fish runs also bring Sea Lions, Whales, dolphins, pelagic birds and both Brown and American White Pelicans.

Adult Rates: Ask about discounts for families with children, seniors,

schools, youth groups, military, emergency service, and hospital staff.

Total Time:     2.5 Hrs

Water Time:    2    Hrs

Single:   $50 

             Double: $100 (2 Adults. Ask for child discount.)

          Weekends and Holidays:*

              Single:   $55 

             Double: $110 (2 Adults. Ask for child discount.)

Total Time:     4.5 Hrs

       Water Time:    4   Hrs 

      ​            Midweek:

                      Single:   $70

                     Double: $140

           Weekends and Holidays:*

              Single:   $75

             Double: $150

Total Time:  Full Day: "Not recommended Fall through Spring"      

(Not recommended without a shuttle.  Shuttles must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance.  We are not shuttling when short staffed.)

       Water Time:   5-8 Hrs


                      Single:   $90

                     Double: $180

          Weekends and Holidays*

               Single:   $95

              Double: $190

Useful Items To Bring:



wide brimmed hat or cap
layering and water friendly shoes
small waterproof day pack or use our drybags
water & snacks
waterproof camera

GPS (Handy for Geocaching)


​​​​Shuttled Routes: Group Shuttle Discount: 4+: Ask!

Not Available: Still Short Staffed Since March of 2020

We will update prices when we can resume shuttles.

Note: 90% of our activities are not shuttled.

48 hour advanced shuttle reservation required.

Willow Creek:  Route Reversible: 2-4 Miles:
Shuttle Times: 9 AM / 11 AM / 1PM

Just Upstream Of Jenner. Gentle paced exploratory route includes the island loop with good swimming near th
e Willow Creek Campground beach. Major Birding And Wildlife Area.        

                          4.5 Hrs     Full Day

On the water:      4             Return by last return time. 

         Double:       Ask for Shuttle Group Discount For Larger Groups In Doubles

Duncan Mills or Monte Rio: Route Reversible June through October: 7-10 Miles
Shuttle Times:
9 AM Only

For Duncan Mills Campers: Paddle through the heart of our main wildlife corridor into Sonoma Coast State Park.  Low impact aerobic 4 hour route " with not much time to explore estuary wildlife" or full day adventure. Monte Rio is a full day trip.
Duncan Mills:   5 Hrs  to  Full DayMonte Rio: Full Day Only

On the water:      4            Return by last return time for that day. (Ask when reserving)

Ask for Shuttle Group Discount For Larger Groups In Doubles  

Guerneville to Monte Rio or Duncan Mills: 3-8 Miles

Route does not require  lifeguard safety monitoring for the Marine Protected Area.

May require an extra Shuttle Vehicle and extra Guerneville Staff, which may not be available.

Or call Kings Sport in Guerneville. They cover this Summer route.

October through April: Shuttle Times: 9 AM / 11 AM
Includes access fees: Possible afternoon upstream winds. Summer Dams, Occasional River Currents: Route Not Reversible.
Reserve for GV Staff: Warmer and less occasional fog in early Summer.  Restrooms and good beach food available at Monte Rio beach during Summer months.


Duncan Mills:   4.5 Hrs  or  Full Day:  Monte Rio: Full Day Only

On the water:      4               Return by last return time. 


Double:              Ask for Shuttle Group Discount For Large Groups In Doubles

Multi Day Rentals: Discontinued due to Short Staffing.

Finishing In Jenner "Marine Protected Area": (Summer: Midweek Only)

Included: Map of Jenner: With wildlife and safety restrictions.

All river accommodations are "for fee" camping or units. All else is private property.

Guerneville to Jenner: Camp overnight at Duncans Mills: Casini Ranch Family Campground or Duncans Mills Camping Club : Requires advanced planning and reservations with your campground.

Start: Forestville or Healdsburg:      2 - 4 Day Custom Trips

Requires advanced planning and reservations with your accommodation providers.

Forestville: Camping
Guerneville: Camping or accommodations with river and hot tub access.
Duncans Mills: Camping
Jenner: State Park camping at Willow Creek or accommodations with hot tub or sauna access.


Multi Day Guided Instructional Tours: More details on our tour page. Discontinued due to Short Staffing.

Kayak outfitting and instruction.
Camping: With Breakfast and Dinner Camp Meals And Packed Lunches.

A Combination of Camping And Vacation Rentals: With Packed Lunches.
Breakfast And Dinner:
Can Be A Combination Of Camp Food And Meals At Vacation Rentals Or

Dining At Local Establishments (Within Walking Or Kay
aking Distance Or By Group Van Shuttle).

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