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Russian River Estuary
Marine Protected Area: Ocean and River Nursery

The Most Wildlife Rich Habitat on the Russian River

Adult and Young Wildlife, Seal, Otter, Birds, Whale

Sharing the best ways to view since 1987

"Know Before You Go" Interpretation

Perched River Mouth: Lake Like. Higher Low Tides.
River Mouth Currents Flush Into  Deadly Ocean Waves..

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

Reserve Early:  Call 1-2 days in advance.

Wait times possible for walk ups and same day reservations.

Ask for best start times per our forecasts.

Estuary Forecast: 06/06/23:

As temps drop inland the estuary calms.

Tue-Wed:The coolest days in this unseasonably low pressure event. Sprinkles Possible.

Thur-Fri: Dress in layers for morning starts. Shed layers by midday. Calm AM with gentle midday breezes that calm into late afternoon and evening sunsets. Great wildlife viewing during misty mornings and partly sunny days.

Sat-Sun: Temps increase. Warmest Days. Mostly Calm.

Next Week: Calm and pleasant. Wed is warmest midweek.


Ocean Tides: Goat Rock Beach

Jenner Weather:  Real Time Conditions 

Spring Mix: Ocean Moderates Coastal Temps. AM lows are generally warmer than inland. Heat waves are milder on the coast. Calm days with AM mist that clears to sun.  Others start sunny with PM and occasional early strong wind.

Start Early Most Days.

Check Back:

Forecasts can change.

See our safety page for  apps to track local conditions.

We use at least 4 apps as none correctly cover all.

We are not responsible for accuracy as forecasts can and do change. Therefore nobody can interpret with full accuracy.

A full list of our seasonal weather and river flow limitations, and what conditions cause periodic closures, can be found here.

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Reserve: Year Round!

Activities throughout the year...

(Weather and water permitting)

Spring into Summer

Please see our micro-climate forecast

in the water box on this page.

Our days and hours

are affected by the weather forecast.

We have plenty of calm sunny days, but some spring days become windy.


We can fully book for any

Weekend, School Break or Holiday!

Reserve Early for Holidays and Weekends!

Our most popular times can fill up fast.

Waiting Lists Available: Call Us

Reserve a Day or Two in Advance to Ensure

Midweek Staff and Weekend Seating

Reserve earlier for large groups.

Summer Start Times: 9AM - 2 PM Daily

To 4PM on calm weekends. Call to confirm.

Weather and Water Permitting


River and Coast Conditions: Calm mornings, with afternoon breeze that calms again into evening hours. Early morning overcast generally clears by mid morning to sun. Full sunny and calm days increase into mid Summer. Spring can have occasional strong wind days.

Family Friendly Estuary Rentals: During calm conditions

Calm Days: 9AM-2PM Start Times. Later times may be available.

Windy Afternoons: Reserve 8-11AM start times to avoid the wind.

"Full Day" Wind closures: Reservation calls available for future dates.

Strong Paddlers: May have more options: Call to find out.

(Short Staffed And Hiring!)

Join our team and help us "Fully" reopen 7 days each week.

Rates are Listed Below

Our "Required Notifications

"for the "Marine Protected Area"

"Your Tourism Activities Fund

Education, Research and Paid Internships"

Thank you for your support!

Life Opens Up: Breathe Freely On The Water

Our Staff May Use Masks During Viral Surges


Heavily Visited Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Area.


Client limits: On number of households and total clients, meeting at the same time, allows every household space to meet their comfort level and to have a great time.

We have staff who are over the age of 60 or who have family members who are at risk.

We want to keep working and having fun with you.

Reserve Early For

Scheduled Outfitting and Safety Review Times

Weekends and Holidays: Every Half Hour

Weekdays: Every Hour

"On Time Mandatory To Not Overlap"

If you're late, you may have to wait.


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

To Avoid Cancellation Fees: Please Call Immediately.

We'll give you a cell number to text a photo of verification.

Our landline reservation phone cannot accept texts.

Wildlife Viewing and Safety

Russian River Estuary And Marine Protected Area

"Know Before You Go"

(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 behavior.

  • No Dogs: On beaches with direct access to wildlife resting, rearing and feeding areas. 

  • Leave No Trace: Please, benefit rather than harm the areas we visit. This area is protected. No littering! 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, and

All outfitting and lifeguard fees included in one low price.

Client Monitoring For “State Marine Recreation Management Area”


With 'Federal Wildlife Protection"

Not Respecting the Recommendations of our Staff, or

Local Regulations, our Access Partners, and our Other Participants

Can result in injury, death, fines, or loss of participation.

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, "Potentially infectious waste" Litter and Trash: 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': We won't immediately charge. Instead we allow time for clients to provide a copy of a doctors note or positive viral test.

  • 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 Evening
Full Moon
Night Bioluminescent

As soon as we are again
fully staffed.

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!

Marine Protected Areas
Wildlife and Recreation

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

Kayak Rentals

(Protected River and Ocean Wildlife Nursery)

Sharing the best ways to view wildlife since 1987

Your activity helps fund education, research and recreational safety.


Popular and Short Staffed: Reserve Early.

Limitations on safety review capacity.

You may need to leave a message during peak hours.

Summer: Rental Start Times

Daily  9 AM - 2 PM

Extended hours may be available on calm hot days.

Our hours and days are affected by weather: Check our forecasts for updates.

We can start earlier on windy days.


Reservations Required


Jenner: Very Limited Internet and Cell Service

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

Call: 9 AM - 6 PM Daily


Reserve a day or two in advance to ensure

midweek staff or weekend seating.

Reserve earlier for large groups.


Be Timely: The next meet time may be fully booked.

Arrive Early To Find Parking

If you're late, you may have to wait 15 to 90 minutes for another safety review opening.

Note: Your boats may already be reserved by others after your scheduled return.

We cannot delay the start time for the next reserved clients.

Schools and Large Groups: Reservations available months in advance.

Call for Living Classroom Project: Education, Youth and Veteran Rehab Group Rates

Tourism Rates: Non-Shuttled

Shuttles are not needed for most activities.

Full Price List Below:

Multiple Hour and Midweek Discounts Shown in Prices.

*Holiday Rates included midweek holidays.

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

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

Rates are per each adult or child seating.

(See Single Prices For Adult Rates)

Full Outfitting Included

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

Thin Water Resistant Outerwear may be 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 wildlife birthing and rearing 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 (Adult. Ask for child discount.)

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

          Weekends and Holidays*

              Single:   $60 (Adult. Ask for child discount.)

             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 without a shuttleShuttles 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: $100

              Double: $200

Useful Items To Bring:



wide brimmed hat or cap
layering and water friendly shoes
small waterproof day pack or use our drybags
water & snacks
GPS (Handy for Geocaching)
waterproof camera


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

Not Available: Still Short Staffed Since May 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.

Shuttles and guided tours can resume once masking mandates are lifted, and we are fully staffed.


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 the Willow Creek Campground beach. Major Birding And Wildlife Area. 


                          4.5 Hrs     Full Day

On the water:      4             Return by last return time. 

           Single:      $85            $100         
         Double:     $170            $200
  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 rout
e " 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:    $ 90             $105       
        Double:     $180             $210 
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:               $75              $90           

Double:            $150            $180  Ask for Shuttle Group Discount For Large Groups In Doubles

Multi Day Rentals: We have discontinued all Multi-Day Rentals 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.
We have discontinued all Multi-Day Guided Tours 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 Kayaking Distance Or By Group Van Shuttle).

See Rental Routes For Rentals With Shuttle Included

Additional Personal  Kayaks: Join Family Or Friends Renting Our Equipment:

(Personal Kayaks Cannot Exceed Equal Number of Rentals: +  $15 per person)

Shuttle Only: With Your Own Equipment

Not Available: Still Short Staffed Since May of 2020

We will update prices when we can resume shuttles.

Full List

Must Reserve: At least 72 hours in advance. Meet time is 8 AM.

Full group cannot exceed van seating. Current Seating: 7 people.

Reserve a month in advance for larger options.

Logistics & Transport: Includes: 

Route Map, Weather Forecast, Ecological Interpretation, & Route Safety Suggestions. (Shuttle fee included in our rental rates.)
Be ready to load your equipment on our arrival.

Our staff have other clients waiting for their service on most days. Shuttle fees include our vehicle costs plus staff hours. (Delays may include extra staff time fees.)

                       Average Water Time      Driving Time     Route Fees           Groups
             Hours: Low Flow / High Flow     Minutes            Per Kayak        Per Van Trip
Healdsburg               5.5 / 3                         80         (Multi-day Route)         $180
Forestville                   5 / 2.5                       40                     $50                   $100   
Guerneville                 3 / 1.5                       30                     $45                   $ 90
Vacation Beach           4 / 2                          25                     $40                   $ 80 
Monte Rio                6.5 / 3                          20                     $30                   $ 60 
Duncans Mills          4-6 / 2                          25                      $30                  $ 60
Willow Creek          2-4 / NA                       10                      $20                   $ 40

Joining your friends or family renting from us for 1/2 or Full Day shuttled routes?

Shuttle your own kayaks or paddle boards and gear for an extra $15 per person.

Full group cannot exceed van seating of 7 persons.

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