WHITE SALMON RIVER RAFTING

Adrenaline Spiked Adventure!

DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Continuous paddling. Optional waterfall

BEST TIME TO GO

April-October

TRIPS AVAILABLE

River Trip List

Half-Day or Full-Day
[ VIEW TRIPS ]

MEETING POINT

Husum, WA
[ MAP ]

DRIVE TIME

Portland = 1 hr 20 mins
Bend = 2 hr 50 mins
Seattle = 3 hr 40 mins

Rafting the White Salmon River is one of the best-kept recreation secrets of the Pacific Northwest!

You may have seen photos or video of Husum Falls, the 14-foot commercially-run waterfall, or heard stories of incredible adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting and we could not agree more. The White Salmon River is located only 90 minutes from the Portland/Vancouver area so that you can experience some of the most thrilling and sporty III-IV rapids in the area.

The glaciers of Mt. Adams combined with the immense aquifers in the area, keep the White Salmon bubbling all summer long. The river cuts its way through one of the most beautiful, constricted, and heavily forested gorges in the area. The water is gin-clear, the weather is fabulous and rapids are big and numerous; making the White Salmon River one of the most exciting half-day or full-day river rafting trips in the west!

As the Summer days run long and the snow begins to recede, the water levels become lower and the trip becomes more playful. It’s at this point (mid-Summer and Fall, when many Northwest rivers are reduced to a trickle) that we shift our trip dynamics a bit. We launch 2 miles upstream (beyond) the normal commercial launch to begin our trip deep in the canyon (thanks to some wonderful private property owners).

By launching upstream, we add 2 more miles of class IV water (including rapids like S-turn, Top-Drop, The Flume, Bombers’ Drop and more)! We also portage around BZ Falls, which is one of the most beautiful and picturesque sections of the river. We are extremely privileged and fortunate to offer this, not only for the extra rapids (and to give you more rapids per trip than anyone else) but we truly get to enjoy a canyon untouched by man.

When water levels are low enough to safely offer Husum Falls, an exciting grand finale will conclude the run. Husum Falls is completely optional and you must meet certain age guidelines to paddle this drop. Many people walk around and sometimes the entire boat will portage this rapid. In short, this trip is all fun and offers the most rapids!

*Keep in mind that every trip is different, as the weather, water flow and group dynamics all influence the trip pace.

Half day trips are each 3.5 hours and run April through October.

Morning Half Day Trip 9:30am to 1:00pm

    • 9:00am Arrive at the River Drifters outpost in Husum, Washington. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit, PFD and neoprene booties (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc.
    • 9:30am Shuttle to the river put-in (two miles north of BZ corner) and unload gear.
    • 9:45am Your guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
    • 12:45pm Arrive at take-out and board shuttle back to Husum.
    • 1:00pm Arrive at River Drifters outpost in Husum. You’ll return your River Drifters gear before changing, checking out the trip photos and heading home.

Afternoon Half Day Trip 2:30pm to 6:00pm

    • 2:00pm Arrive at the River Drifters Office in Husum, Washington. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit, PFD and neoprene booties (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc.
    • 2:30am Shuttle to the river put-in (two miles north of BZ corner) and unload gear.
    • 2:45am Your guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
    • 5:45pm Arrive at take-out and board shuttle back to Husum.
    • 6:00pm Arrive at River Drifters outpost in Husum. You’ll return your River Drifters gear before changing, checking out the trip photos and heading home.

Full Day Trips are 6 hours April through October.

  • 9:30am– Arrive at the River Drifters Office in Husum, Washington. Change into river clothes, get outfitted with a wetsuit, PFD and neoprene booties (River Drifters to provide), use the restroom, etc
  • 10:00am– Shuttle to the river put-in (two miles north of BZ corner) and unload gear.
  • 10:15am– Unload gear. Guides will give a safety talk and provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes you will need for a safe and fun trip. Then, the group will put-in and start rafting!
  • 1:15pm-Stop mid-way for lunch. Then, head back onto the river for a gorgeous day along the Lower-Lower White Salmon.
  • 4:00pm– Arrive at River Drifters office in Husum. You’ll return your River Drifters gear before changing, checking out the trip photos and heading home.
The age minimum for this trip is 10 years old. The physical and mental criteria for eligibility to participate on any River Drifters river trip can be found on our Eligibility Criteria page.
The White Salmon River offers spectacular world-class whitewater rafting and kayaking, breathtaking scenery, and dramatic basalt cliffs and waterfalls, making it one of the most beautiful and adventurous river day trips in the West.

Located just 70 miles from the Portland/Vancouver area in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, it’s accessible to locals and visitors alike. Nature lovers will appreciate the clear blue waters of this designated Wild and Scenic River fed by the glaciers of Mt Adams. Salmon are returning to the White Salmon River after the 100-year-old Condit Dam was removed in 2011, the largest dam removed in the U.S. at the time.

Thrill-seekers will love running the big and numerous rapids and (water-level depending) 10-foot-high Husum Falls, the tallest commercially floatable waterfall in the U.S. Even beginners will embrace this rafting experience, as our knowledgeable guides teach the basic skills and paddle strokes needed to have a fun and memorable trip.

Thanks to a partnership with a local landowner, most of our trips start – water-level depending – about two miles upstream of BZ Corner (the normal commercial put-in) in a deep, craggy canyon. Triple Drop is the first rapid (Class IV) that you’ll brave before heading downstream through 10 additional heart-pumping Class III-IV rapids. Water level depending, your trip will culminate with an electrifying drop (optional) down 10-foot-high Husum Falls, an experience you’re likely to remember.

For those that choose a full-day trip, you’ll get an up close look at a spectacular, narrow canyon below what used to be Northwestern Lake’s Condit Dam. The section of the river from the removed dam to the Columbia River – known as the Lower-Lower White Salmon – is constantly changing, offering boaters a rare look into the restoration of a once-dammed river.

Our guides are accomplished in outdoor skills, trained in first aid, CPR and river rescue, and knowledgeable about the natural and cultural history of the area. They are fun, interesting people who have a passion for rivers and guiding. If you have questions about rafting or the unique features of the White Salmon River, ask and they will be happy to share what they know.

During the summertime, the weather in the Columbia River Gorge is very warm and mostly dry. However, you must be prepared for rain and wind in every season. It’s also important to note that the temperature of the glacially fed White Salmon rarely rises above 45°F. Below is a chart of average temperatures and rainfall in the Husum, WA area during the rafting season.

Prior to packing for your trip, we recommend that you check the forecast.

View the trip itinerary for a chart of average temperatures and rainfall in the Husum, WA area during the rafting season.

Your safety and comfort is our top priority. River Drifters provides all necessary rafting and safety gear, and makes sure that you have professional, experienced and well-trained guides.

River Drifters Provides:

  • Rafting gear
  • 2-3 mil “farmer John”-style wetsuits and splash jackets
  • Neoprene booties
  • Helmets required for each person
  • PFD (Portable Floatation Device) required for each person
  • Shuttle to and from the river put-in and take-out.
  • Professional, well-trained guides.
  • A pair of quick-drying shorts and t-shirt (wool or synthetic are best. Do NOT wear cotton), or a bathing suit to wear under a wetsuit.
  • Long-sleeved synthetic shirt or fleece (NO cotton) for extra warmth when outdoor temperatures are colder than 80°F.
  • Waterproof sunscreen and chapstick
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Old pair of tennis shoes, neoprene booties with soles or sandals (closed-toed, such as Keen, are recommended).
  • Sunglasses and/or prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Sunglass strap for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses (we sell these in our shop).
  • Change of clothes for drive home.
  • OPTIONAL Items
    • Bike gloves to protect hands while paddling.
    • Waterproof camera
    • Small daypack
    • Personal snacks
    • Personal medications
    • Personal water bottle

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our guides work very hard throughout the season to ensure that guests have an enjoyable trip. As such, tips are very much appreciated by our guides. Tips normally range from 10% of the trip cost. How much you tip should depend on your satisfaction with your trip and your financial means. Most people tip the lead guide, who will split the money equally among the crew.
The White Salmon trips are appropriate for kids age 10 and older. A child’s maturity level and weight would be a greater factor than their age. Please call us to discuss your situation.

We recommend the following local Maupin lodging and camping:

Lodging:

Camping:

  • Peterson Prairie Campground: 800-280-2267
  • Memaloose State Park: 800-452-5687
  • Home Valley Campground: 509-427-3980
  • Viento State Park: 800-551-6949

We highly recommend the following lunch and dinner spots, all of which are family-friendly:

Check out Mt. Adams and Hood River Chamber of Commerce for more ideas.

Please feel free to contact our office at 1-800-972-0430. Once on the river, our experienced and knowledgeable guides will be happy to answer any questions you have. We welcome suggestions about how we can make your next experience on the river an even better one!

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

‘One of the best half-day river trips in the Pacific Northwest!’ for those craving adrenaline spiking adventures!

Action-packed, invigorating, and continuous whitewater paddling featuring 14-foot-high Husum Falls, the tallest commercially runnable waterfall in the U.S.

A group activity that combines easily with local wine tasting, breweries, ‘The Fruit Loop’, hiking, biking, wind sports, etc.

Close to Mt Hood and Mt Adams in the heart of Wild and Scenic Columbia River Gorge.

Proximity to Portland, OR with an easy 75-minute drive from downtown.

White Salmon River Rafting Trips ….

White Salmon River Half-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: Half Day
Length: 8 miles
Price: $55-70
Rapids: III-IV (Optional waterfall)
Skill Level: Continuous paddling
Age Minimum: 10
Download Trip Itinerary

White Salmon River Full-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: One Day
Length: 15 miles
Price: $120-130
Rapids: III-IV (Optional waterfall)
Skill Level: Continuous paddling
Age Minimum: 10
Download Trip Itinerary

Are you ready for your rafting adventure on the White Salmon River?

BOOK NOW!