Columbia River: Puget Island & Cathlemet Area

Circumnavigate one of the largest islands in the lower Columbia River from Westport, Jones Beach, or Cathlamet by sea kayak. Explore the sandy beaches, quiet sloughs and open water of this unique island. From Cathlamet explore some of the other, larger islands—Little Island, Hunting Islands, Lark Island, Tenasillahe Island, Ryan Island, Coffee Pot Island and Welch Islands.

Launch Points

  • Westport Boat Ramp (Oregon): A county boat ramp with docks and a kayak launch. It is just off of US-30 and close to the Wahkiakum County Ferry dock. Paved parking and a pit toilet are available. There is no charge for launching at this location.
  • Jones Beach (Oregon): This is an undeveloped sandy beach with no amenities. No overnight parking is allowed. There is a fairly long haul to get to the water from parking, so wheels are recommended. It may be crowded with kiteboarders and windsurfers. It is about two and a half miles off of US-30. Turn to the north off of US-30 onto Schroeder Road, then right onto Marshland Road, right onto Midland District Rd Spur, left onto Midland District Rd, left onto River Front Rd, and right into the park after about 1.3 miles.
  • Cathlamet (Washington): This launch is in the Elochoman Slough Marina. The ramp has a fee for parking. Facilities are available. From US-4, turn south onto Main St, right onto Chester St, left on 2nd St, and follow it to the marina.

On the Water

Puget Island

16 nm circumnavigation, Difficulty: Sea Kayak III

Circumnavigate Puget Island form any of the launch points and in either direction. Along the southwestern shore of Puget Island, explore Coffee Pot Island and the Wauna Paper Mill. Along the northeastern shore paddle either inside Little Island along a narrow slough or in the Columbia River proper. The north and south ends of the island have good sandy beaches worth a stop.

Cathlamet Area

up to 15 nm, Difficulty: Sea Kayak II/II

A number of different trips can be paddled from this launch. To the south lies Puget Island, Ryan Island and Coffee Pot Island, all of which can be done in a long day. Good primitive camping spots can also be found on Coffee Pot Island and the south end of Puget Island. Directly to the north lies the Hunting Islands, Price Island and Skamokawa. This area lies almost all within the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White Tail Deer. Quiet sloughs and undeveloped shorelines highlight this area. To the west lie Tenasillahe and Welch Islands, also within the Refuge. Lots of quiet sloughs highlight this area along with some sand beaches and camp spots at the south end of Tenasillahe Island.


  • The main shipping channel is south of Puget Island and is active much of the time.
  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak III
  • Length: 16.0 nm
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Columbia River: Puget Island
  • Circumnavigate Puget Island
  • Puget Island from Westport
  • Puget Island from Jones Beach
  • Puget Island from Cathlamet
  • Columbia River: Cathlamet Area
  • Columbia River: Hunting & Price Islands
  • Columbia River: Tenasillahe & Welch Islands

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