Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island

Portland Metro Area, Oregon

Start Exploring
Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island

Share:

Advertisement
  • The launch from the dock at Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Osprey nest on the Columbia River.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • A view of Hayden Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Enjoying the the open water of the Columbia River.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • A beach break on the way to Lemon Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • A picturesque view of traffic on the Columbia River.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • A welcome landing on Lemon Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Our chosen spot to camp for the night.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • The flood plain between Lemon Island and Government Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • - Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • The I-205 bridge.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Settling in for the evening on Lemon Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Sunset over Portland and the Columbia River from Lemon Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Looking east and upstream toward the I-205 bridge from Lemon Island.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Camping on Lemon Island with Portland International Airport in the distance.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • The downstream return paddle.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
  • Whimsical signage at a riverside store.- Columbia River: Hayden Island to Lemon Island
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Short distance from downtown Portland.
Cons: 
Paddling upstream is strenuous and may take longer than you expect.
Advertisement
Region:
Portland Metro Area, OR
Congestion: 
High
Site characteristics: Water: 
River
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Total Distance: 
12.75 mi (20.52 km)
Water difficulty: 
Moderate / Class B
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Sponsored Contributor

An overnight paddling adventure awaits just a short drive or bike ride from downtown Portland. The paddle to Lemon Island from nearby Hayden Island on the Columbia River is a scenic route on open water. From the launch at Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe, the route takes you along Marine Drive, past the houseboats, moorages, and Portland International Airport. For those who do not have access to a kayak, Alder Creek will happily rent one. Watch ospreys, cormorants, blue herons, and their noisy mechanical counterparts take flight overhead as you paddle.

Lemon Island is the westernmost extent of the Government Island complex and the closest destination from Hayden Island. Open year round, the island is only accessible by boat. The island is owned by the Port of Portland and leased to and maintained by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department as a Sate Recreation Area. Camping is allowed on the island below the vegetation line, and vault toilets and picnic tables are scattered around the islands.

The center of Lemon Island is densely vegetated and hard to navigate, and staying along the shorelines is recommended. The western tip of the island and the floodplain between Lemon Island and Government Island are open and easy to explore, and consequently they become crowded, especially in the summer.

The best time for paddling in the summer is in the morning before 1 p.m. due to afternoon winds. Be sure to check the predicted tidal flows, as this section of the Columbia River rises and falls with the tides. The river actually flows backwards twice a day, which may be helpful if you are paddling upstream.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(134 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
48 Members
Who's Done It
30 Members
Submission by
Sponsored Contributor
97 Adventures Explored
56 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info