This is my first summer living, working, and paddling in the Pacific Northwest. I have been here for just over two months now and cannot believe how spectacular this area is. In my experience, the amount and quality of whitewater available slowly tapers off as the summer goes on. Rain ceases to fall, snowmelt dwindles and rivers dry up to a trickle.
However, the White Salmon River, doesn’t quite fit this characteristic.
We have had a great season on the White Salmon River so far, and I am excited to say that it just got even better in my opinion. When the river drops to 2.75 feet we started running the infamous Husum falls. Now that the level is down to 2.25 feet on the Husum gauge, Wet Planet is extending our river trip 2 miles upstream, adding several incredible class IV rapids, awesome scenery, and the unforgettable (optional) cliff jump.
At Wet Planet our private put-in on the White Salmon River allows us to launch further upstream than any other company. This provides our guests with a very unique high adventure trip, paddling a stretch of river that many people don’t ever get to see. The upper stretch of the White Salmon River is truly spectacular. When paddling downstream, it is easy to forget where you are and mistake this lush basalt gorge for a remote river in Costa Rica or New Zealand.
The White Salmon River has so much to offer. In its journey from the base of Mt. Adams to the Columbia River it contains 19 action-packed miles of whitewater. With everything ranging from class I beginner level water good for learning how to brace and surf a kayak to hair-raising class V waterfalls and constricted canyon walls with long complex rapids.
The upper two miles of our commercial trip in my opinion encompasses a little bit of everything the White Salmon has to offer. There are fun, constricted, multiple tiered rapids, lush walled in gorges, a big waterfall and an intimate remote feel. This section offers a true adventure. From the zip line to get the rafts to the river, to the portage around BZ Falls, and the optional cliff jump back to the river, this trip is a very unique adventure. This is not the typical get in the raft, go down a few rapids, get out and go home type of rafting trip. This is a real adventure, giving every guest a sense of accomplishment.
Curt Joyce – Wet Planet Guide