Beware ye land-lubbers! Set sail on the high seas, ...er, high river, ...er, wear your high-waters for this one! You WILL probably need a boat to get to Government Island. I-205 has no pedestrian or vehicle access. We suggest you launch from Chinook Landing boat ramp, about a mile upstream (South East) on the Oregon side. Chinook Landing is located along Marine Drive, near Blue Lake park. "Bring your annual pass for admission to the marine park or pay $5 per vehicle. Ramp is open from legal sunrise to legal sunset."
If you use a kayak like we did, you will want to save a lot of energy for the upstream return trip! The Columbia in this area can be swift enough to make it interesting for those of us with paddles. Otherwise, if you use a boat with a motor, you should have no problems. You'll have to navigate around various land-based and human-made obstructions, large and small. For example, when you are approaching the island from the East, you will notice a significant gap in the row of posts in the water. We passed safely though, but you should be aware that there is a submerged post next to the last visible post nearest to the island. Approach cautiously if you wish to go through this gap. We saw a smallish fishing boat pass through this gap, so we know it is at least somewhat safe for light boats. Also, there is a small sand bar very near the island, but with the rise and fall of the river, that sand bar will disappear.
Near the row of posts and the small sand bar, we landed our kayak on the nice sandy beach cove of the South East corner of the island. Once you're on the island, don't assume the interior route is the easiest. The island's interior is dense with blackberries, so look for a better way. Note the picture as a clue.
Note: On our most recent visit (June 21st, 2003) I took a new GPS reading. The cache coordinates have been updated to reflect this new information.
Note: Government Duck turned two years old on the 11th of March, 2003. We haven't had a ton of visitors, but I like to think that they've all enjoyed the adventure.