White Salmon River Rafting: Enjoy The Whitewater Today

White Salmon River Rafting

See White Salmon River's whitewater rafting options in our destination review feature.

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Where is White Salmon River?

Is this a popular destination for white water rafting?

When does the season begin and end for White Salmon River rafting?

White Salmon River is located in the Pacific Northwest, in Washington State about 90 minutes from Portland, Oregon. It is a secluded river that’s protected and therefore surrounded by untouched wilderness.

This river provides an excellent opportunity for locals and tourists alike to see Washington’s nature and beauty up close. The river is a popular getaway spot year-round, although the season usually stays steady from March to November.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to help you decide whether or not this river is a good fit for your rafting needs. Check out the basics we’ve put together and learn a little bit more about what you might encounter when you plan to raft on the White Salmon River.

With a little preparing and planning, you’ll be sure to choose the perfect rafting trip. Read on to find out more!

White Salmon River Rafting Basics

Before you begin planning your trip to the White Salmon River, it’s important to brush up a little bit on what to expect when you get there. This river is a fun and sometimes challenging rafting experience that’s sure to please everyone coming along with you, but you can ensure the White Salmon River whitewater raft trip is even better by making the right plans and decisions ahead of time.

Check out the whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River information we’ve gathered below to help you figure out the best way to enjoy your time on the White Salmon River. You’re sure to have a blast with this exciting river!

Option #1

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate with some options for Experts as well

  • The White Salmon River is a great Intermediate level river with Class III and Class IV rapids along the way. The river provides a challenge for those who are new or haven’t rafted much, but it can sometimes be tricky even for experts, depending on recent weather and rainfall. However, for the most part, this is a family-friendly whitewater rafting experience that is sure to provide lots of fun and enjoyment without scaring or intimidating newcomers to the hobby.

Option #2

Location and how to get there

  • The White Salmon River is located in the southern part of Washington State, on the border between Washington and northern Oregon. This river is a little bit off the beaten path and may take some driving to reach from any of the larger nearby cities.
  • From Olympia, Washington, take Interstate 5 South toward Vancouver, Washington. At Vancouver, take Interstate 84 East along the Washington-Oregon border until you reach the town of White Salmon. Get off the Interstate and head to Highway 141, going north, through the small town of Husum. Shortly past Husum, you will reach the White Salmon River.
  • Depending on where you’re coming from, of course, these directions may differ. They may also differ if you’re trying to find a specific tour company in the White Salmon River whitewater rafting area. If so, be sure to check the tour company’s web site for more information about how to find their exact location. The White Salmon River isn’t very large, but it is still big enough that you may not find what you’re looking for without a little planning ahead of time.

Option #3

Duration of the White Salmon River whitewater raft trip

  • There are a few options available for those looking to raft on the White Salmon River. The most popular of these is the half-day trip, which is available from March to October every year. This eight-mile trip is best for intermediate rafters; the first half of the White Salmon River whitewater raft trip includes constant rapids, while the second half is easier and provides more scenic opportunities.
  • You may also choose to go with a full-day trip instead. This trip is available from June to November, and it includes a few more challenging rapids along the way. This offer is a 15-mile round-trip excursion that takes the whole day to complete. This choice provides chances to experience intense thrills while also getting lots of scenery and relaxation during some of the slower portions of the river, too.
  • There are not any short “sprints” on the White Salmon River at this time.
  • The White Salmon River provides many different rafting experiences and adventures for rafters of any skill level. This river is clear and fresh, and it runs year-round, so there’s no real off-season for the river itself. Along the way, you can spot volcanic canyons, bright and sunny valleys, and pristine orchards, among other natural scenes. This river is protected and is, therefore, home to a great deal of untouched wildlife that you may be able to catch a glimpse of while you’re rafting as well. If you want to get up close and personal with the flora and fauna of Oregon and Washington State, this river is the perfect way to make it happen.

Pros

  • This river is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a lot of chances for rafters to see wildlife they might not have ordinarily seen easily anywhere else in the area.
  • The river is a good place to test your skill at rafting, but if you don’t want to go alone, there are some guided tours available to help you and your group as well.
  • This river is very off the beaten path, and it’s not frequented by tourists very often outside of some of the busier months of the year. It’s ideal for those looking to go where the locals go.

Cons

  • Because this river is so secluded, it’s further away from any large cities than some other options out there, and may be inconvenient for travel purposes depending on where you live and where you’re coming from.
  • There may be times of the year when the water levels do not allow visitors to safely raft over Husum Falls, which can be a detriment for those who are specifically looking to raft over these famous falls.
  • A full day on the river is more challenging than it may seem, and can be too daunting for kids or inexperienced members of your party.

Experience Whitewater Rafting On The White Salmon River And Enjoy

Here are a few good reasons to try White Salmon River for white water rafting, at least once:

  • It is possible to include Husum Falls in your rafting experience, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the United States available for rafting. This extreme add-on is perfect for those who want to experience something more intense in their rafting trip.
  • Along the river, there are plenty of camping opportunities available. Those who want to have a more involved outdoor experience can enjoy camping and rafting all within the same location. Some campgrounds offer cabins and RV hookups as well.
  • The river is a nice way to challenge intermediate rafters, thrill beginners, and provide experts with a new and fun experience at the same time.
  • This option is a great family-friendly river when you choose a half-day excursion or when your kids have some experience with rafting.

Whatever your reason might be, if you choose to raft on the White Salmon River, you’re sure to enjoy yourself and make lasting memories at the same time.

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