The Alexander Valley Trip

Healdsburg, California

Quick Details

Hour Glass Duration: 4-6 hours

Bus Shuttle Times: Saturday & Sunday – 8:30 a.m.

Users Ages: Not for beginners or young children

The True Essence of the Russian River Valley!

Basic river reading and self-rescue skills required. No exceptions!

Feeling adventurous? The Alex Trip is 11 or 16 miles with four to six hours of paddle time. This is a self-guided trip, rated as a Class I–II flow that winds through unspoiled wilderness. This River’s Edge canoe/kayak trip starts 16 miles north of Healdsburg in the beautiful Alexander Valley, which is not easily accessible to the general public and considered a more wild section of the river. With abundant wildlife and little evidence of human traffic, you get to experience the true essence of the Russian River Valley.

Expect to navigate and negotiate in current through tight turns and overhanging trees. With your basic river reading and self-rescue skills, this trip can be amazing. The Alexander Valley Trip is not for beginners, young children or the physically challenged.

How it Works

Arrive at River’s Edge headquarters where our friendly staff is waiting to assist you with the check-in process and help to get you outfitted. Shortly after, we drive you 16 miles up the river, (15 minutes), where our accomplished beach staff prepare you with a safety talk, then help you pack your boat, and assist you with your launch. Then, you’re on your own to make your way down the river with an option to take out at 11 miles or continue all the way down to headquarters where your car is.

What to Expect on the River

As this trip requires some experience, we advise you to view the gallery before booking this trip. The upper Russian River, where we operate, is recognized for clarity and consistent flow, as well as wildlife such as herons, egrets, turtles, osprey, various waterfowl, deer, and an occasional eagle or otter. The Russian River is a low flow, gravel bar river during the summer period. The average depth is knee to waist deep with shallow gravel bars and swimming holes deeper than 10 feet. You will encounter tight turns, strainers, and obstacles such as boat eating log jams. The river is lake fed and very comfortable for swimming. There are deep pools, shallow riffles, and occasional gravel bars that may cause you to briefly get out of your boat to pass through. Capsizing or wedging your boat is a possibility regardless, you will get wet!


  • Chevron down What We Provide
  • Included in your paddling package, you will receive at no extra charge: gallon size zip locks, net garbage bags, and bags for wet clothes.
    We have a limited amount of dry bags and coolers available to loan. Limited supply, first come, first served.
    We have a store with giant zip locks, dry pouches, water guns, hats, sunglass straps, and more.

  • Chevron down What to Wear
  • Dress in layers – swim suit, light clothing, a warm shirt, and dry clothes for after your trip. Wear water shoes, tennis shoes, or sandals with straps. Flip flops are not recommended!

  • Chevron down What to Bring
  • Think in terms of packing with everything attached to you or your boat.
    Tie downs for your ice chest and gear – bungee, rope, or straps.
    Bring hat, sunglasses with strap, and sunscreen.
    Plenty of water and food/snacks – tupperware & zip locks for lunches.

  • Chevron down What Not to Bring
  • No hard alcohol!
    Money, jewelry, electronics, or valuables
    Negative or rude behavior

  • Chevron down Cancellation Policy
  • **Cancellations occurring less than 72 hours from the day of your trip are eligible for partial credit of your deposit towards a future River’s Edge Trip. However, taxes and fees are non-refundable. Cancellations occurring on the day of your trip are not eligible for any trip credit. Most reservations may be transferred to a qualified person substituted by you for your space. There are no refunds. No credit will be given to no-shows. Most reservations may be transferred to a qualified person substituted by you for your space. There are no refunds.**

    Self-Guided Trips: If your party or any individual in your party cancels at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled trip date you will be issued full credit towards a future River’s Edge Trip. However, taxes and fees are non-refundable.