Hood River Sailpark

"The first site" There was a time when the HR Sailpark was the place to go. Everyone was there - it was like a giant party. It was the first place that received the official sanction and backing by a government agency - the Port of Hood River. It was and remains today a true "sailpark". It is still an ideal place for families, beginning sailors working on waterstarts and jibing, and anyone who just wants to watch. The Sailpark includes areas for kite flying, a circuit course for workouts, nice rest room facilities and of course, the Hood River Marina. Always crowded on the inside near the launch with those just learning, always keep your eyes peeled for those unable to help themselves. If you are just beginning remeber that if you find yourself drifting down river, just put your feet down. You'll probably be able to catch the sandbar that is formed by the Hood River entering the Columbia.

The Hood River Sailpark's sister site, the Event Site, is just west of the sailpark accessed just over the bridge on Second Street out of Hood River. Grassy rigging areas, plenty of paved parking and facilities, make this a great spot to sail.

RIG & LAUNCH You can rig in the large grass rigging areas within the Hood River Sailpark, on the beach next to the parking, or in the gravel parking area. Launching takes place out of the shallow cove that is protected by jetties at either end.

WIND Typically 50 to 60 slalom conditions with stronger winds outside. With no steep walls forcing the wind along the river, the wind tends to dissipate and will be lighter on the inside. Best in the mornings all summer long.

WATER Generally slalom sailing with 1 3 foot, oddly formed swells and chop in the middle. The water is very smooth for the first 150 yards from the beach. The Hood River current has a tendency to force downed sailors to the Washington side for an involuntary visit to Bozo Beach. Nasty biz.

GETTING THERE Located at the Hood River Marina in Hood River, of course. Take exit #64 from I-84 and turn west on W. Marina Road. From Washington, it's the first right after the HR Bridge toll booth. There are several large parking areas, but go early or be prepared for a short hike.