101 N 1st St, Hood River, OR 97031
Open Daily 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Don’t let those white caps and kitesurfers intimidate you. The Gorge also is ideal for stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. So if you’re looking for lessons, rentals, or to buy your own boards and kayaks, look no further than Gorge Paddling Center. There are several water sport stores and instructors in the Gorge, but this center focuses strictly on kayaks and stand-up paddleboards.
The paddling center offers kayaking tours perfect for paddlers of any experience level. You’ll become better acquainted with the river and the Gorge landscape, have a relaxing experience among new friends, and brush up on your kayaking skills or perhaps learn the sport from the ground up.
We particularly love that the center offers sunset kayak tours. Bring your family, coworkers or friends and paddle into the sunset during this kayak tour along the Washington riverfront. To top it all off, every trip comes with a complimentary glass of wine. These tours begin at 5 p.m.
The center also offers daytime recreational kayak tours, which are a good fit for beginners or those who are looking for a relaxing, slower-paced kayaking experience. These small group tours offer a few hours of stress-free paddling. The daytime tours begin at 10 a.m.
Tours take place either on the river or on one of the river’s wind-protected inlets.
Kayak rental (hourly): $20 for the 1st hour + $10 for each additional hour
Kayak rental (all day): $60
Kayaking tours: $65 per person
If you’ve never paddled on a stand-up paddleboard, you should take a paddleboarding lesson at the Paddling Center. It’s a world of fun, and it’s actually a lot easier than many other water sports. The learning curve isn’t very high, which makes it a great option for a family activity. The Gorge is a great place for this water sport with its relatively calm waters and its scenic surroundings, and the instructors at the paddling center offer expert, competent advice for newcomers. You’ll end the day feeling like you’ve become a paddleboard expert yourself.
The center provides the more specialized gear for your tours and lessons, like your paddles, life jackets, and kayaks. All you need to bring is some drinking water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a set of clothes so that you can enjoy the rest of your day afterwards dry and warm. There is no experience necessary to take your first paddleboarding lesson.
Paddleboard rental (hourly): $20 for the 1st hour + $10 for each additional hour
Paddleboard rental (all day): $60
Paddleboarding lessons: $65 per person
When you’re all tired out from the exciting day of sports, you can hang out at Hood River Waterfront Park since it’s right next door to the Gorge Paddling Center. The wildflowers here combined with the serene waters and the surrounding mountains will have you at peak relaxation in no time. And then, after your day on the water, you’ll be all geared up to enjoy some of the other fun attractions in the area, like Mount Hood Railroad. Take an unforgettable train ride through the picturesque valleys of the Columbia River Gorge with the majestic Mt. Hood as your travel companion. This is one of the best ways to experience the stunning geography surrounding Hood River, and it’s a memory that the whole family will treasure forever.
Food & Drink
Start the day off right by stopping in for a coffee at STOKED Roasters + Coffeehouse on your way to the Gorge Paddling Center in the morning, “the official coffee of the outdoors.” Kayaking and paddleboarding definitely work up an appetite, too! So after you’re done and you’re ready for a late afternoon bite to eat, you’ll be delighted to find a plethora of options available to you in the immediate area. Check out our page on Full Sail Brewery, one of our favorite places to eat here in Hood River. Celilo Restaurant & Bar is another great choice, where they’re known for their chic modern vibe and the delicious, locally sourced ingredients they use. If you want to branch out and try something new, head over to Broder Øst, which serves the best Scandinavian food for miles around with a side of a beautiful river view for you to enjoy while you eat.
Other Fun Things To Do In Hood River
There are so many ways to enjoy the natural beauty and splendor of the Columbia Gorge, but we always recommend our guests do it at least one activity on the water. We love how up close and personal paddling is. And besides, it’s one of the most relaxing experiences you can have while you’re in the Gorge. So don’t delay this ultimate vacation. Call or visit our website today and book your next getaway and find out the fun things to do in Hood River!