Kayaking – The Pursuit of Happiness

A kayak is a slender craft that you can take to places amazing to behold. But the journey is only part of the appeal: paddling a kayak is incredibly fun and Otter Bar specializes in bringing your skills to the level you want.

From first time beginners to advanced river runners and play boaters, we customize our program to fit your needs.

Our instructors are well known experts and leaders in the sport. The equipment we use is the newest and best available. Our lodge features private beaches, crystal clear swimming holes, instructional ponds, deluxe accommodations, and a pristine free-flowing river.


Your Time Here Will Be Memorable

Your Time Here Will Be Memorable.

We’re open from the first of May to the end of August (see our schedule).

We lead our early season kayak courses on the wild and scenic Salmon River, just outside our front door. When water levels drop to low summer flows (usually in late June), we head to the nearby Klamath River. With dam-controlled flows, the Klamath has plenty of water all the way through summer’s dry and sunny days. Both rivers are part of the National Wild & Scenic River System.


We offer the following whitewater kayak courses:

The Beginner knows little or nothing of kayaking and needs only the desire to learn.

The Basic Intermediate class is for those who have formerly attended a beginning school here or elsewhere or have had some river experience and are ready to go on to the next level.

We invite you to come paddle with the best and see what it does for your technique.

The Intermediate/Advanced boater kayaks fairly regularly, has a good river roll and wants to learn more advanced skills. These courses accommodate people with varying degrees of ability and we have a wide array of quality whitewater to tailor the program accordingly.

We also offer these special programs:

Not Quite Grown-Ups Kids Kayaking Camps for kids age 10-14. These are operated concurrently, but separately, as our adult/lodge program, the last week in July each year.


Special Programs

A Typical Day At Otter Bar

Every day at Otter Bar is filled with fun times, wonderful food, and good company.

Each day begins with a wholesome breakfast, organic coffee or tea, and juice in the lodge.

After breakfast, a short theory session in the living room covers technique and skills appropriate to your paddling.

Then we head for the river, breaking into groups of 3 or 4 students per instructor and start paddling. Your instruction will be personalized to your needs and desires.

Lunch is a riverside affair featuring sandwiches, fruit, and freshly baked goods.

We’re back on the river after lunch to enjoy more stunning scenery and to build and use the skills we’ve already learned. At day’s end we return to the lodge (or paddle back to it as the case may be) where après-kayak options include hors d’oeuvres, a soak in our spacious hot tub, a wood-fired sauna, or a massage by our skilled masseuse.

Kayaking is an unusual sport. Exacting. Demanding. Exciting. You will play on the river like an otter.

You may also choose to take a walk on our trails, swim in the river, ride one of our mountain bikes, or do whatever you like. The ring of the gong signals the serving of our lodge’s famed gourmet dinners.

By dinner’s end, the sky is filled with a show of stars, completely undiminished by city lights. Rest for the night on a soft bed, awake to a fire in the living room, and start again.

On Wednesdays, we encourage everyone to take a break after 3 days of paddling to ‘re-group’ and give your body a break from kayaking. So, in the morning we will do something short in the ponds or river, depending on which you would like to do. After a fabulous ‘in-house’ lunch, we suggest you spend your afternoon either: Getting a massage; doing a yoga class; riding a bike; going for a hike; napping; taking over the hammock; in summer months you may want to go to one of our amazing swimming holes or go free diving with Peter to see the Salmon migrating up the river.



The BEGINNER knows little or nothing of kayaking and needs only the desire to learn. Or sometimes you just want to go over the basics again with professional instruction and learn the proper techniques of the sport. Beginning

Basic Intermediate

Basic Intermediate

Is designed for those who have had some whitewater river experience and perhaps have taken a course in the past and want to move on. Basic Intermediate



These two classes, like the Basic Intermediate class, accommodate a range of skills. You should have a river roll to join these weeks and be a comfortable Class III boater for INTERMEIDATE CLASS and III plus/IV minus for the advanced boater. Advanced/Intermediate

Not Quite Grown Ups (NOGU-Kids)

Not Quite Grown Ups (NOGU-Kids)

Otter Bar offers a youth kayaking program for kids age 10-14. Located at our remote Salmon River property, this is a unique opportunity for kids to learn to paddle at North America's premier whitewater kayak school and enjoy a week in a wondrous natural setting. Not Quite Grown Ups (NOGU-Kids)