What Is Otter Bar?

Otter Bar

Otter Bar Lodge will be open for private bookings starting in the spring of 2021. We will operate much like a VRBO. Included will be the use of the entire facility (7 bedroom and 7 bathrooms) and grounds (60 acres with 1 mile of river frontage). There are three spring fed ponds on the property, as well as three swimming holes on the river. We hope to have former clients, as well as new clients bring their friends and families to share in this extraordinary setting. Renting our property is the ideal fit for kayaking groups, family reunions, road bikers, hikers, etc. This is a magical area with a lot to offer beyond just being a world class kayaking destination. Summertime is swimming time in the river for both kids and adults, and we can also help point you in the right direction towards other activities in the area. Or, if you just want to enjoy a piece of paradise during the pandemic, this is a great spot to do it. Please note, we are no longer a kayak school and are only providing lodging as well as our property. Click here to see our new rates for private bookings. For further information, here is an open letter to our clients:

Letter from Peter and Kristy Sturges

Dear Friends of Otter Bar,

After almost 40 years of running Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School, we have decided to make a huge life change. This decision was not an easy one. We weighed the pros and cons. We consulted with friends and business people. We were not sure which direction to go. We were heartbroken at times, as well as pragmatic. We built our business from scratch starting in 1981, and it’s been a long road to get here. A world without Otter Bar Lodge Kayak School seems unfathomable to us. However, it is here and we would probably keep on going if it weren’t for the tragedy of Covid 19. The truth is that 2021 was shaping up to be an incredible year for business, with the outdoor industry on a boom. This said, Otter Bar would be a difficult place to socially distance with van rides, meals together, and guides working closely with students. With so much uncertainty in the world, as well as the fact that we are both 71 years old, we have decided that transitioning Otter Bar to a destination retreat is the best option for us.

We would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt thanks to all our clients who made this possible for us. To date, we take great pride in the fact that over 50% of our clientele is repeat. Without this support and love, we wouldn’t have been able to make this a reality. In light of this, if you are an Otter Bar alumni, we will be offering a 20% discount on your booking. For those of you who have left their 2021 deposits or full payments we will refund all your money ASAP.

If you’d like to book a week for next year or have any other questions, please give us a call or an email.


Peter and Kristy Sturges

April through July each year

Where is Otter Bar


Forks of Salmon, CA. Situated on the shores of the California’s Salmon River deep in the Klamath National Forest. Located between the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountain Wilderness area in Northern California, Otter Bar is on a mile of unobstructed river front in an extremely remote area. Hidden half way between San Francisco and Portland OR, we are 2.5 hours east of Eureka/Arcata CA on the coast, and 2 hrs. west from Yreka on I-5. There are no close large towns or cities.


Deluxe accommodations for 14 guests

Single, Double & Triple occupancy rooms appointed with such amenities as: hardwood floors; French doors leading to private decks; comfortable bedding; cozy living areas with Wi-Fi Internet.

Features Thousands of acres dotted with crystal clear swimming holes; kayak runs to keep anyone happy and miles of forest trails to hike in one of the most remote areas in this country. Not to mention, some of the best Road Biking you will ever find. So, bring your road bike or mountain bike.

Outdoor hot tub & wood-fired sauna;


We can rent out the lodge for Weddings, large private bookings, retreats, or any other group gathering. For this type of booking please give us a call or drop us a line to discuss.