The Pacific Northwest is an absolutely crazy awesome corner of the country, it’s loaded with countless out of this world Adventures. In the heart of it, is the great state of Washington. The terrain of the area with its lush green forest and cascading mountains provides an atmosphere unlike any other part of the country. Naturally, a state like this is going to pump out some incredible rivers and other water activities. With that in mind, here are seven that you need fill your adventure schedule with!
Skykomish River – Map
At just an hour a way from Seattle, a quick drive from the area brings you upon one of the most incredible rivers of the entire state. The Skykomish, also referred to some as “Sky River”, offers classes of rapids ranging from III – IV, the river offers a range of skill levels. The water is a rejuvenating turquoise color, and leaves you with mind blowing views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains that it drains from, and deeply rich forest.
Big season for the Skykomish includes the months of April through early August. Give Alpine Adventures a look for your guide services. They operate 7 days a week during peak season and their location can not be beat if you live in or near Seattle. They are the closest whitewater guides to the city. Their rafting rates for the Skyomish whitewater trips start at $84 for a small group and go down from there depending on your group size.
Methow River- Map
The Methow River rocks some consistent rapids and some of the biggest rapids in the state can be found in the area. Peak season is from May to July with June having the highest water. Experience a heart pounding adrenaline as you approach the sounds of the Freight Train sounding Black Canyon, followed by the passing of Rolling Thunder and the Staircase.
The surrounding scenery will include massive basalt cliffs and Ponderosa forest, leaving you in awe. The river is a Class III – IV, and packed with excitement. You can grab a full day river guide for $72 at Action Rafting Co. Their route down the Methow is about 20 miles which will sit you on the river for anywhere from 2 – 4 hours depending on the water levels.
Spokane River – Map
When you find yourself closer to the city of Spokane, the Spokane River will give you an experience you wouldn’t believe. A trip down the lower stretch of the river is literally within a mile of downtown, and you wouldn’t even known it. The rapids of the river range from Class II on the upper section of the river, which makes for a much calmer family a friends float, to the Class III’s of the lower.
The image above is of a rapid known as Devil’s Toenail near Riverside State Park. Between the rapids you will find slow moving water that allows for swimming or relaxing, making it the perfect mix of excitement an relaxation. Flow Adventures is a good outfitter if you are looking to float the Spokane. Not only do they have rafting rentals, but they also have inflatable kayaks and tubes available. Their tubes are $20 and a rafting rental will cost you $80 which is an amazing deal when you split the cost with friends! Guided trips start at $68 a person.
Wenatchee River – Map
The Wenatchee is the most popular and heavily trafficked river in the state of Washington, and for good reason. A Class III river, it quickly gained its popularity due to the unbeatable beauty of the surrounding area, as well as its ability to accommodate all ages and physical conditions. Your typical season of the Wenatchee includes the months of April through early August.
The most intense waters will be from late May to early June. As the season progresses, the water chills out and becomes a much more relaxing float. You can grab a half day guide for just $52 if you go to Action Rafting Co. Their president has been guiding trips for the past 20 years and has logged over 35,000 miles in the area, so they have the experience for a sweet trip!
San Juan Islands – Map
The San Juan Islands are a truly uniqu adventure and starts a ferry ride just to reach them. Being a coastal water adventure, this area offers a certain uniqueness that can’t be found in the rivers of the state. From the months of May to October kayak out a short ways and you might catch one of the three Orca whales that roam the Haro Strait the feed on the migrating salmon. Or you can time a predawn sunrise float or at night to check out the bio-luminescence.
Being located in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, enjoy much better whether compared to their Seattle neighbor. This area catches only half the rain. If you need a guide for the coast of the San Juan Islands look into Outdoor Odyssey’s Kayak Tours. They have half day, one, two, three, and even four day overnight trips that can show you literally all the area has to offer. The trip costs start at $89 for the half days working up from there, Mid-May to October being the best months to visit.
Tieton River – Map
The Tieton River is an amazing river for the late season floaters with its prime time being in September. The flow comes from the waters of the Rimrock dam that sends its water down 12 miles of steep Class III+ technical rapids. The gradient is the steepest in the state of Washington, but make sure you hit it at the right time, as for almost 11 months of the year its just a trickle of a river.
Experience the Basalt cliffs as you make your way down the narrow channel of peak flow. Having such a small window of float-ability, the states limit their permits and very few outfitters have them. Osprey Rafting has you covered if your want to experience this beautifully swollen creek. For $79 you can not only experience the river, but also get a BBQ meal included and free camping.
Sauk River – Map
The Sauk River is a majestic North Cascades float for those wanting to ease into the rafting life. With Class II – III “coaster waves”, the waters stay relatively calm but offer strokes of excitement as you make your way down. The scenery is what really sells this particular trip, as the forest are deep and green, along with the emerald hued waters and fascinating mountain ridge lines.
August is the month to check this river our and Orion should be your go to. They have been doing it for closing in on 30 years, being founded back in 1978. You can grab an experience down the river for just $70 each. Their mantra is, and always has been “People, Purpose, Pleasure and, then Profits” and you will be able to experience that passion on your adventure.
There you have it, seven incredible potential water activities that you can fill your summer with. Take advantage of all the rain the Pacific Northwest bestows onto its lands my riding down it. Start a group text and gather some friends together. Most of the rafting rentals are cheaper the bigger group you can get together and bigger groups are always fun.
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