People often inquire about my favorite stretch of river, which is a question that I have trouble answering. Every river that I’ve interacted with has a special place in my heart. Some are treasured because of the serenity, opportunities for good conversation, and ability to connect with nature. Others for their rapids, for the grandness of them, for the incredible scenery, or for the relationship that I’ve formed with them. The Farmlands section of the White Salmon River holds a place of its own though.
As a guide, the Farmlands is a run that constantly inspires me to be the best I can be. It is a goal run, something to be working towards, so that I can spend more time on it and introduce others to the same experience that I treasure so much.
The 2017 Farmlands guide crew are the creme de le crop. You’ll find Dave Seal, Todd, John Abercrombie, Giani, Tyler, Seamus, Nicole, and Ethan leading the charge out there, awing you with their whitewater finesse and geology lessons simultaneously.
The best way that I can describe The Farmlands is as subterranean. A line of pine trees weaving through open fields of grain is the only evidence of what lays below. The land suddenly drops away to reveal a deep, lush canyon, once carved by lava but now finds itself ushering snow melt in its hurried journey to the Columbia River. Looking up from the boats, the existence of bustling farm life seems foreign, as the canyon is adorned with ferns draping over the water, purple harebells clinging to the dark rock, and icy springs cascading out of fissures in the walls.
The awe of this narrow gorge is heightened as you navigate the water rushing downstream. The rapids are tight and technical, littered with boulders pillowing the crisp water, river wide ledges, crashing waves, and crystalline waterfalls to hike around. Rafting the class V Farmlands stretch of the White Salmon River introduces adventure seekers to an incredible section of river rarely seen by whitewater enthusiasts.
Wet Planet started exploring the possibilities of running rafting trips in the Farmlands canyon in 2003. A group of Wet Planet’s experienced kayakers and guides began tackling the canyon’s rapids and working out the logistics of managing the risks for handling rafts in the heart of the gorge. With a combination of skill and creativity, Wet Planet successfully developed one of the nation’s premiere class IV-V rafting trips. The trip became a reality when an exclusive arrangement was made with SDS Lumber to use their land for the raft take-out. Wet Planet is now the only outfitter offering rafting trips through this incredible canyon. With challenging class IV-V whitewater charging between the vertical canyon walls, this trip is one of the most committing and spectacular rafting trips run anywhere.
We’ll be wrapping up our 2017 Farmlands season this week, and spots are still available on our July 16th and 17th trips. With limited space available, reserve your spot now, or call 1-800-306-1673 to make sure you don’t miss out on this amazing adventure next season!