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Tilton River Canyon Kayak

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

A flatwater, beginner kayak or canoe day trip that offers stunning canyon paddling with a huge reward for the short, easy paddle.

With so many volcanoes surrounding us, it’s difficult to decide what of the 5 amazing rivers to kayak on any given day.

In March, before the Maples have leafed out, the forest can seem gloomy, moody, and spooky. But the Tilton River Canyon section is beautiful every single day of the year. This time of the year means you’ll likely have the place to yourself, and the lack of glacial flour means spotting salmon in the shallows is easy.

The Paddle

The Put-In & Take Out is easy, with ample parking and gentle entry at the Ike Kinswa State Park Swim Area. From here, you’re going to paddle north, up the Tilton river. Don't worry, this section is so calm that paddling upstream is easy.

After about ½ mile of paddling, you’ll enter the lower canyon. Soak up the moss and springs running down the walls, watch the licorice fern blow in the canyon breeze. Bald eagles are frequent partners of yours on this float, as well as osprey that snatch small salmon from around you.

Once you get to the end of the canyon, it’s as easy as turning around and riding the gentle current back to the swim area. This area is so beautiful, please do your part and practice leave no trace!


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