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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

River Mouth Open: Stay 300 ft back from  Deadly River Mouth Currents.

 

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

Feeding and Disturbing Wildlife Prohibited

  

Estuary Forecast: 05/27/24:

A Calm Memorial Weekend: Possible AM overcast clears.

Calm with occasional Windy afternoons and days.

Forecasts can and do change: Revisit for updates.

Rentals with Lesson, dry bag and thin outerwear use.

 

Mon: Mostly Calm. Mostly Sunny. Start 9 AM-4PM

Tue-Wed:  Very Early Extreme Spring Wind: Closed

Thur-Fri: Calm Heat: Clears to full sun. Start 10AM -2PM.

Sat: Calm and Sunny. Wind starts 2-3PM: Start 9 AM-Noon.

Sun-Wed: Extreme Spring Wind Event. Possibly Closed.

(Forecast change likely: Check back for updates)

Popular weekends and  school breaks.

Reservations Required: No act of nature cancellation fees.

 

Ocean Tides: Goat Rock Beach 

Ocean Temps: Bodega Bay  49F

 

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

  

See our Rates and Weather Update

Listed Below the "Required Notifications"

for our "Marine Protected Area"

 

Popular weekends and  school breaks.

Reservations Required: No act of nature cancellation fees.

Wildlife Interpretive Safety Review:

Where and How to View / Mini Kayak Lesson

Free Outfitting: Including use of dry bag and water resistant Outerwear

 All participants must have swimming skills.

 

"Your Tourism Activities Fund

Education, Research and Paid Internships"

Thank you for your support!

 

Reserve Early: Call Us

 

Estuary Forecast: 05/27/24:

A Calm Memorial Day:

Mon: Mostly Calm. Mostly Sunny. Start 9 AM-4PM

Tue-Wed:  Very Early Extreme Spring Wind: Closed

Thur-Fri: Calm Heat: Clears to full sun. Start 10AM -2PM.

Sat: Calm and Sunny. Wind starts 2-3PM: Start 9 AM-Noon.

Sun-Wed: Extreme Spring Wind Event. Possibly Closed.

(Forecast change likely: Check back for updates)

Guided Tours are also available Memorial Weekend and Day at 10AM.

Spring: River and Coast Conditions

A Mix: Wide tidal estuary:  Expect calm lake like conditions with little noticeable currents, except in the restricted river mouth zone that is easy to avoid. Coastal mornings are generally mild, warmer and clearer than inland. But, morning mist can happen and it usually clears by mid-morning.  Spring forecasts can change often. Periods of "Extreme Spring Winds" happen that can close activities for the afternoon time periods or occasionally for all day. We update our forecasts almost daily in the Spring for the current week to 10 days.

 

Train to Hire: Certify for Lifeguard / Kayak Safety / Guide:

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

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.

See periodic weather and water limitations that can cause closures.

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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: In areas 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
Sunset
Full Moon
and
Night Bioluminescent
Tours

 
Friday through Monday
and Special Events


Hiring:
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.

 

Estuary Forecast: 05/27/24:

A Calm Memorial Day:

Mon: Mostly Calm. Mostly Sunny. Start 9 AM-4PM

Tue-Wed:  Very Early Extreme Spring Wind: Closed

Thur-Fri: Calm Heat: Clears to full sun. Start 10AM -2PM.

Sat: Calm and Sunny. Wind starts 2-3PM: Start 9 AM-Noon.

Sun-Wed: Extreme Spring Wind Event. Possibly Closed

(Forecast change likely: Check back for updates)

Guided Tours are also available Memorial Weekend and Day at 10AM.

Weekends and Holidays: Start 9AM to 4PM. Last kayak off the water by 6:30 PM

Spring Winds are transitions from cooler to hotter weather.

We expect some periods of extreme Spring Winds with plenty of calm days in between.

Start at least 2 hours prior to Spring Wind picking up. Wind below 10MPH is ideal.

We do our best to track the forecasts but they can and do change. Check back for updates.

Reservations Required

Walk Up reservations may experience wait times

No "Acts of Nature" Cancellation Fees : We call you in advance to cancel.

Reserve Early: Each kayak is personally prepped for you. We are popular weekends and holidays and have limited rental seating during large tour events.

Jenner: Very Limited Internet and Cell Service

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

 

Call: 9 AM - 6 PM Daily

707-865-2249

You may need to leave a message during peak hours.

Summer: Rental Start Times

Days and Hours can be affected by weather: See our forecast updates.

Monday through Thursday: 10 AM - 2 PM

Friday through Sunday: 9 AM - 4 PM

 

Hours and days can change per weather.

Please see our forecasts.

 

Summer 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

Children 3 to 5: One per adult: Free
Dogs: Must be wildlife friendly + $10

Dogs are not allowed on Goat Rock or Driftwood Beaches per vital wildlife nursery habitat and the estuary island, seasonally, per bird nesting. Do not bring pets that would bark at or chase wildlife.

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.

Summer Rates: Are Per Person: See Single Rates.

Rates are the same whether you are taking a double or two singles. Families with smaller children must use Double Kayaks or one of our two Canoes.

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

          Midweek:
             
Single:   $50

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

          Weekends and Holidays:*

              Single:   $60

             Double: $120 (2 Adults. Ask for child discount.)

Total Time:     4.5 Hrs

       Water Time:    4   Hrs 

      ​            Midweek:

                      Single:   $70

                     Double: $140

           Weekends and Holidays:*

              Single:   $80

             Double: $160

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

(Not recommended for longer routes without a shuttle do to chances of afternoon wind on a twisting river.  Shuttles must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance.  We are not shuttling when short staffed.)

      

       Water Time:   5-8 Hrs

Midweek:      

                      Single: $100

                     Double: $200

          Weekends and Holidays*

               Single: $110

              Double: $220

Useful Items To Bring:

sunscreen

sunglasses

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

GPS (Handy for Geocaching)

 

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

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

Avoid Full Price Cancellation Fees: Please Call Immediately.

Cancel Within: Rentals 24 hours / Discount Tours 72 hours / Private Tours 1 Week

(Missed the deadline? We can bank it as a prepayment to reserve again for a later date or you may provide proof of illness or emergency situation that resulted in your not being able to cancel in time.)

Be Nice To Our Equipment: Return all gear and equipment as Received

Damage & Loss Fees: At our cost to replace (Wholesale + Shipping: No Digging with Paddles

Excess Cleaning Fee: No Trash, Tobacco, Food Waste, or Excess Mud: Per boat $20

If we had an hourly rate it would be...

$30 an hour midweek

$35 on Summer weekends and holidays.

We can't cut the "Island Loop" in half so we don't suggest a one hour activity.

Repeat Paddler "Saver Pass": 10 Hours: $175

$17.50 / per hour / per person : Never expires

Can be used for up to 4 people at once

A Locals Favorite! Reservations Required

​​​​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. 

           Single:            
         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)

           Single:          
        Double:      
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. 

Single:                        

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.

Accommodations:
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.
Included:

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

Or
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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