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Russian River
Russian River

Russian River

California

The Basics

The entire Russian River runs more than 110 miles (177 kilometers) from its source in Mendocino County southward to the Pacific Ocean. Wine country towns like Healdsburg, Cloverdale, Santa Rosa, Geyserville, Sebastopol, Jenner, and Bodega Bay are all draws for outdoor recreation, fine dining, and winery visits. From spring through fall, the river itself is a popular place to cool off—whether you want to float down the river via inner tube or paddle in a canoe or kayak. In the surrounding redwood forests travelers can go horseback riding, hiking, or camping.

Wine-tasting tours are a popular Russian River Valley draw, and round-trip transportation from San Francisco or Sonoma means you don't have to worry about drinking and driving. Group tours via bicycle, kayak, and canoe are great ways to explore the river itself, and often involve a picnic lunch. It’s also possible to combine a float down the river with a wine tour of local vineyards.

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Russian River Kayak Tour at the Beautiful Sonoma Coast
Russian River Kayak Tour at the Beautiful Sonoma Coast
$125.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Awesome experience
Eric was a wonderful guide! Definitely coming back with more friends. He knew history about the town and it was just a great experience.
Jennifer_P, Sep 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Napa & Sonoma

star-5
Awesome kayaking trip!
steve_c, Aug 2021
Russian River Kayak Tour at the Beautiful Sonoma Coast
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this Kayaking tour. Erik is very personable and I agree with my wife's words, "It was like kayaking with an old friend." Erik let us go at our own pace and his knowledge of the area and of the wildlife greatly enhanced our experience. The scenery was beautiful and it was just a gorgeous day to be on the water. I highly recommend this to young and old alike, experienced or first time kayaker. Thanks Erik for an awesome time!
star-5
Amazing views and gentle (but good) exercise
Bradley_S, Jul 2021
Russian River Kayak Tour at the Beautiful Sonoma Coast
Erik (our guide) was engaging and charming. He made sure the trip was safe and enjoyable. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it.
star-5
A beautiful time on the Russian...
mcasarez, May 2017
Guided Kayak Tour on Russian River
A beautiful time on the Russian River. This tour is the perfect day out, our guide took care of EVERYTHING for us, we just had to show up and start paddling. Jillian took outstanding care of us and was super knowledgeable and fun. Highly recommended.
star-5
Russian River Kayak Tour
Tim S, Jun 2019
Guided Kayak Tour on Russian River
Great experience and great guide in Dustin Dalli. Very serene and plenty of wildlife. The lunch at the end is worth the wait.
star-5
Best Kayaking Company Ever!
Susannah_T, Jul 2021
Russian River Kayak Tour at the Beautiful Sonoma Coast
We had the BEST EXPERIENCE kayaking with Erik, who is the sweetest California dude with a matching easy-going, no worries attitude. My 8 (almost 9 year old daughter), my 60-something cousin and I went out with Erik on a lovely, slow paced journey. Erik has a wealth of very interesting information about the Russian River, and Jenner, and beyond. The water was so calm. There was lots of wildlife to see, and of course, Erik was fully versed in all the creatures on land and in the water. Our 3 hour adventure was so beautiful, peaceful and so much fun. I highly recommend booking a trip with this company. Whether you're a seasoned kayaker or you've never sat in a kayak, this is the trip for you. Wear water shoes and have a windbreaker if you tend to get chilly easily, like me!
star-5
We loved this trip! It was our first...
Bettye L N, Oct 2017
Guided Kayak Tour on Russian River
We loved this trip! It was our first time on the Russian River and found it very mellow with enough variety to keep us interested such as a few small currents. We are calm water kayakers so this was perfect for us. The lunch was delicious and we highly recommend Jillian!
star-5
We had a private tour on the Jenner...
Michael K, Jul 2016
Guided Kayak Tour on Russian River
We had a private tour on the Jenner Coast with Craig. He was friendly and knowledgeable. The trip was absolutely beautiful and the lunch was magnificent. We saw hundreds of harbor seals swimming and sunning on the beach. It was a great workout but luckily the winds were quite calm. Would highly recommend and would certainly do it again!
star-5
The tour was great! Our tour guide was...
Christopher S, Jul 2012
Guided Kayak Tour on Russian River
The tour was great! Our tour guide was awsome and very informative. We really enjoyed it!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Russian River is a must-see for nature, wine, and food lovers.

  • Travelers embarking on kayak or canoe trips should come prepared with sun protection, swimsuits, towels, and water shoes.

  • Most kayaking, canoeing, and wine tours are not suitable for small children.

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How to Get There

The river runs from Mendocino to its terminus at Goat Rock Beach on the Sonoma Coast, so there are many places to access the water. Be prepared to drive on backcountry roads through forests and farmland. Major highways such as Route 1 and Highway 101 lead to the Russian River from the Bay Area.

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Trip ideas

Top Wineries in Sonoma

Top Wineries in Sonoma

How to Spend 2 Days in Napa and Sonoma

How to Spend 2 Days in Napa and Sonoma

Top Wineries in Napa

Top Wineries in Napa


When to Get There

The Russian River Valley wine region is popular for wine tours year-round, but during winter months the river is too fast-flowing for boating or swimming. Summer is the most popular time for kayak and canoe tours, when the weather is typically warm and sunny.

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Food and Wine in the Russian River Valley

The Russian River Valley is famous for its chardonnay, pinot noir, and zinfandel, as well as its bounty of farm-to-table food. Restaurants and wineries in towns along the valley such as Forestville, Healdsburg, and Geyserville typically utilize produce and livestock from the surrounding farmland and are frequently managed by celebrity chefs.

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