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White Salmon River Rafting & Kayaking
From Trout Lake to Northwestern Lake, the White Salmon River runs wild and free through a generally inaccessible, deep, basalt-walled gorge, across Class III-V rapids and over two major waterfalls. The river is a local mecca for whitewater kayakers of all stripes, and several river outfitters are licensed to take the less accomplished but equally adventurous on raft trips through it's wild and scenic river beauty, with four of those outfitters actually located on the river. The license agreements tightly control the river traffic to ensure that every trip is a private and personal experience for everyone, and ensure a limited impact on the river environment. The standards also ensure a safe experience for everyone.
Raft trips generally are generally offered between early May and early October. Higher flow rates and colder temperatures into mid-July make for more intense trips, while rockier rapids and an optional plunge over Husum Falls (the highest waterfall that outfitters anywhere are licensed to run) ensure the quality and excitement of the post-July trips are just as adventurous and exciting. The rapids and falls are as challenging as their names (Corkscrew, Granny Snatcher, Rattlesnake, Dead Man's Curve) imply, but the professional equipment teamed with the skill and preparation of the river guides make a safe and exciting trip for every guest.
A highway trestle bridge over Husum Falls is probably the most accessible vantage point to watch the action on the river, and you'll often see tourists lining the rail to watch the rafts and kayaks plunge over the falls. The forest service put-in at BZ Corner is a short hike on a well prepared trail into the White Salmon Gorge, and a great place to watch rafts and kayaks take off immediately into Class IV-V rapids. There's even a 1/4 mile stunningly beautiful side trail beside the roaring torrent that leads north to an inspiring viewpoint just below BZ Falls.
Whether you come to ride the river, or just watch from the banks, the river is a unique experience in and area known for it's outstanding adventure and beauty. And when you're feeling jaded with your experiences on the river you can sign up with the same outfitters for memorable trips on other Washingtion, Oregon and Idaho wild rivers.