Facebook   Twitter   Road Scholar Network   Pinterest   YouTube  
Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.

Online Chat Offline
Call (800) 454-5768

New extended hours!
Now open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET

Create an account                             Forgot your password?

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.


Kayaking the Lower Columbia River: Exploration and Discovery

Select a Date



and receive your



E-Photo Book:

Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:




Water Sports

Price Range

$700 - $1000

Start Date

End Date

More Options

Road Scholar
Program #2288RJ

Enroll Here
Add to Your Wishlist
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Jul 14 — Jul 19, 2013

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, July 14 - Check-in, Dinner at Lucky Mud, Evening Program on...
Arrive To: Arrive as early as 3 p.m. at your B&B and relax or explore on-site before dinner. At 5:30 p.m., participants staying at Crippen Creek will be driven to The Inn at Lucky Mud for the Opening Dinner. Dinner will alternate between the two B&Bs.

Dinner: The dinner buffet at The Inn at Lucky Mud includes fresh salad from local ingredients, vegetables, a meat or vegetarian entree and homemade dessert.

Evening: Enjoy a slide presentation on the history of Skamokawa by Andrew Emlen, who teaches a course on the Lower Columbia River as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis & Clark College.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Dinner
Day Two: Monday, July 15 - Introduction to Kayaking on Protected Deep River....
Introduction to Kayaking on Protected Deep River. Paddle into Historic, Wildlife-Rich Gray's Bay on the Lewis & Clark Water Trail

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast each morning at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs. Breakfast is usually at 8 a.m. At about 8:45, you will be transported to the kayak put-in or to a field-trip destination.

Morning: We will have an introduction to kayaking on protected Deep River, offering an opportunity to work on strokes before paddling out the river to Gray's Bay. Gray's Bay of the Columbia River is one of the premier wildlife areas in the region. Wildlife seen on this adventure include river otters, harbor seals, Roosevelt elk and nesting Bald Eagles. Here the Columbia is eight miles wide, offering impressive views of the estuary, yet our path along the forested hills along the shore is protected from prevailing winds.

Lunch: Each day we will prepare pack lunches that may include a deli sandwich, chips, fruit or homemade cookie that will be eaten in the field. Our lunch site the first day is a small golden sand beach tucked among sandstone bluffs, with a view across the broad Columbia to Astoria. Here we will share some of the most exciting journal entries of the Lewis & Clark expedition at the location where they experienced it. Our beach also offers the possibility of finding Miocene marine fossils.

Afternoon: After lunch our tide will have turned to aid our return to our put-in. After driving back to Skamokawa, our experts will present a demonstration of all the commonly used kayak rolls and rescues. Participants can don a wetsuit and practice these maneuvers. Enjoy about an hour and a half of free time before dinner.

Dinner: At The Inn at Crippen Creek, enjoy a buffet including fresh salad from locally grown ingredients, vegetables, a meat (often local, grass-fed beef) or vegetarian entree and homemade dessert.

Evening: Historian Irene Martin has won a Governor's Heritage Award for her work documenting the cultures of the Lower Columbia. Author of six books on the history of the region, she is also a gillnetter and an Episcopal priest. Her wide-ranging interests and intellect make for a fascinating presentation.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Three: Tuesday, July 16 - Kayak Through the Sitka Spruce Swamp Sloughs of t...
Kayak Through the Sitka Spruce Swamp Sloughs of the Hansen National Wildlife Refuge

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs.

Morning: We will follow Lewis & Clark's route through Elochoman (ee-LO-ko-man) Slough, a narrow waterway where the Corps of Discovery followed two canoes of Wahkiakum (wa-KIE-a-kum) Indians to their village site to trade (fish hooks for dogs and wapato tubers). We will follow the slough all the way to lunch through the Sitka spruce swamps of the Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge, which feature trees up to 350 years old.

Lunch: At the end of the slough, we will emerge on a sand beach on the main channel of the Columbia, where we will eat our pack lunch.

Afternoon: We will continue paddling downriver with the outgoing tide. For less than a mile we will be on the main channel before continuing to Skamokawa (ska-MOCK-away) via Steamboat Slough, also part of the Hansen Wildlife Refuge. After returning to Skamokawa we will walk across the road to the 1894 schoolhouse that has been lovingly restored as the River Life Interpretive Center.

Dinner: At The Inn at Lucky Mud, enjoy a meal featuring fresh local ingredients.

Evening: The six-member folk band Willapa Hills will perform music by and about the people of the Lower Columbia River. Willapa Hills are known for creative arrangements using various combinations of voice, guitar, autoharp, cello, banjo, mandolin, mandocello, fiddle, piano and percussion. They are currently collecting local stories from long-time residents and turning them into songs.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Four: Wednesday, July 17 - Field Trip to Cape Disappointment State Park
Breakfast: A hearty breakfast will be served each morning at your B&B, including a variety of the following: cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread, farm fresh eggs.

Morning: We take a break from kayaking to drive out to Cape Disappointment State Park, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we will stop at Dismal Nitch, named (as spelled) by Captain William Clark, the small cove where the Corps was forced by bad weather to camp for days on giant logs that floated and pitched about at every high tide. When we arrive at the park, we will hike a two-mile trail inside the cape where the Corps of Discovery also was proceeding on foot. Here we'll explore a section of ancient temperate rainforest with trees up to nine feet in diameter and see landmarks described in the expedition journals.

Lunch: We will eat our pack lunches in a picnic area of the park near our trailhead.

Afternoon: We will visit the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Perched on top of Cape Disappointment with a spectacular view of the river bar and ocean, this particularly well-done center was rebuilt for the Lewis & Clark bicentennial. Afterward we may take the half-mile hike down to Little Waikiki Beach on the outside of the cape or visit the Columbia Pacific Heritage Center in Ilwaco before driving back to The Inn at Crippen Creek for dinner. We usually return by 5 p.m.

Dinner: Wednesday night is always pizza night at The Inn at Crippen Creek. The Speranzas know how to make real Italian pizza, of different varieties including meat and vegetarian options, along with salad, and, for dessert, a delicious panna cotta.

Evening: Guide Mark Whitaker will share his considerable expertise on salmon, the icon and lifeblood of the Columbia River region.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five: Thursday, July 18 - Kayak Along the 90-Foot Cliffs and Waterfalls of ...
Kayak Along the 90-Foot Cliffs and Waterfalls of the Lower Gorge During Wildflower Season.

Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs.

Morning: Our final paddle will take us along the profoundly beautiful cliffs of the Lower Gorge. An extension of the Columbia basalt flows, the second-largest basalt flows on earth, these lavas filled the Columbia River valley 17-15 million years ago. Today waterfalls plunge into the Columbia from the 90-foot cliffs. Wildflowers, including rare endemics, bloom in all colors and are fed upon by Rufous Hummingbirds. You may view the mold of a tree engulfed by the lava, leaving the imprint of the bark texture clearly visible millions of years later.

Lunch: We will eat our pack lunch on a small pebble beach next to the cliffs and a waterfall. Our beach is partly made up of Missoula flood deposits, rounded pebbles of quartzite and many other minerals carried all the way from Montana during the last ice age.

Afternoon: Depending on the tides, we may either return along the cliffs the way we came, loop through the homes and farms of Birnie Slough back to Cathlamet, or take the Columbia main channel down to Skamokawa.

Dinner: Our final dinner at The Inn at Lucky Mud showcases Columbia River salmon along with other fresh local foods.

Evening: Our final evening program features the musical duo of Emlen & Reynolds performing "Corelli to Cruzatte: Music of the Lewis & Clark Era," in period costume. The first half of the program features classical music from Thomas Jefferson's library, and the second half features fiddle tunes and folk songs likely to have been played on the Lewis & Clark trail. Emlen & Reynolds have performed for many state and national Lewis & Clark bicentennial events and historical society events, and have been videotaped for the National Park Service archives.

Lodging: The Inn at Crippen Creek Farm or The Inn at Lucky Mud

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, July 19 - Departure Day
Breakfast: Enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast at your B&B, including a variety of cereal, sausage, fresh fruit, juices, homemade bread and farm-fresh eggs.

Morning: Our program ends after the 8 a.m. breakfast at your lodging. No program is scheduled, but you are welcome to continue sharing remembrances of the week. Check-out time is 10 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities

Skamokawa, WA
Collupy GlassCollupy Glass is a small glass-blowing company in Skamokawa. Treasure and Michelle Collupy are a husband and wife living their American dream. They are partners in life as well as in business. Treasure's creative shapes and techniques combined with Michelle's brilliant colors make for a unique piece of glass. You may call ahead during the week to watch the glass-blowing process in action.
For additional information, visit: www.collupyglass.com/
Disc Golf CourseThe Inn at Lucky Mud proudly presents an 18-hole championship disc golf course designed by Adam Fletcher with assistance from nine-time Washington State champion Lowell Shields. Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc, or Frisbee®
For additional information, visit: www.luckymud.com/onsite/golf.htm
Julia Butler Hansen White-tailed Deer National Wildlife RefugeDeer and elk may be observed and photographed from the road which passes through the mainland portion of the refuge; evenings and mornings are the best times. The refuge is also a home or migratory stopover for 200 species of birds. You are welcome to walk, bicycle or drive along the serene country road. A wildlife observation site and interpretive exhibits are along State Highway 4 and at the refuge headquarters on Steamboat Slough Road.
For additional information, visit: .www.fws.gov/pacific/refuges/field/WA_julia.htm
Skyline Golf CourseEveryone is welcome at Skyline Golf! A great atmosphere for beginners, youth, women, senior citizens, high handicappers, non-players, tag-a-longs, and the just plain curious. Learn and participate in a fun, comfortable environment. Compared to other nine-hole golf facilities, there aren’t many with the full amenities offered here. It makes us unique!
For additional information, visit: www.skylinegolf.net/

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
3 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
2 Performances


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2016
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768