Directions: The put-in for this kayak trip is Timber Park in Estacada. It’s right off Highway 224 just before you get into the main town area of Estacada. It’s located next to the ranger station.
This kayak is from the River Mill Dam to the Faraday Dam.
Once you are in Timber Park pass by the disc golf course and follow the signs to the non-motorized boat launch site. It’s down by the River Mill Dam.
Once you put in head left out on the lake. Estacada Lake is a dammed portion of the Clackamas River so it’s very calm with no rapids. The lake is pretty narrow with tall cliffs on both sides. There are a few waterfalls along the way. The first one you will see has a small beach area where you can get out of your kayak and get a better look if you want. The second one is much taller but you can’t get out.
Around the halfway point you will go under a bridge and come to some very scenic cliffs covered in lime green lichen. The lake is a popular fishing area and you will see plenty of people fishing off the tall rocks along the way.
As you get closer to the Faraday Dam you will notice the current picking up a little bit. When you see the rocky island in the middle of the lake you are almost there. This area is a bit more swift and takes quite a bit of paddling to get through. We saw a few people struggle and give up but we made it through fine, just paddle hard going into it. You will now see the pump house for the Faraday Dam. This is the end point for this kayak trip. We got out and had lunch on the rocks before turning around and heading back the way we came in.
Estacada Lake can be very busy. We got here early and it was nice and quiet. But, about the last mile on the way back we started notice a lot more motorized boats and just people in general. It’s a popular swimming area in the summer as well. If crowds or motorized boats aren’t your thing get here right when the park opens (8 am).
Distance: 5 miles
Difficulty: Mostly flat/calm water until you get to the dam.
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Bathrooms: Yes near the disc golf course
Parking Fee: None
Overall: We’ll definitely be back. This would be a great fall kayak!