WHITE SALMON FULL-DAY RAFTING TRIPS

Action-packed, invigorating, and continuous whitewater paddling!

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 western United States. Located just 80 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 & 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 10-foot-high Husum Falls, the tallest commercially run waterfall in the U.S. Even beginners will embrace this rafting experience, as our experienced guides teach the basic skills and paddle strokes needed to have a fun and memorable trip.

Thanks to a partnership with a local landowner, our trips start (water levels permitting) almost two miles upstream of BZ Corner, which is the normal commercial put-in for the trip, giving our customers an extra few miles of whitewater in a deep, craggy canyon. Triple Drop is the first rapid (Class IV) that you’ll brave before heading downstream through many additional heart-pumping class III-IV rapids. As the White Salmon River passes through the town of Husum, rafters run an electrifying drop (optional & water levels permitting) over Husum Falls, an experience you’re likely to remember.

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.

River Drifters non-discrimination statement.

River Drifters will provide all the necessary gear to make your trip enjoyable, relaxing and most importantly, hassle free! View our Equipment List on this page for a comprehensive personal gear list.

Please visit our cancellation policy page for full details on cancellations, trip/date changes, and refunds.

“This event was the HIGHLIGHT of my trip to Oregon!!”

– Javier Gomez

FULL-DAY TRIP DETAILS AND ITINERARY

There are a couple of spots along the route that require walking on sharp & slippery rocks- both at the river put-in & take-out, as well as during portage around BZ falls. Our guides will spot you while helping you navigate obstacles. Click HERE to view the mandatory portage around BZ Falls.

Meeting Location:

River Drifters White Salmon River Outpost
856 Highway 141, White Salmon, WA 98672

Meeting Time:

9:45 am the day of your trip

Return Time:

Around 4:00 pm

Getting Here:

Husum, WA is just 80 miles by car from the Portland/ Vancouver Area and about 120 miles from the Tri-Cities area in Eastern Washington. All our rafting trips start on time so please plan accordingly. Plan your travel ahead of time by checking estimated drive times, as well as Oregon Trip Check & WA DOT for current delays and road closures.

Check-In:

Please do not arrive more than 30 minutes before the trip start time. Once you have arrived, park in the guest parking lot and check in at our office, use the restroom, change into river clothes, etc. We ask that guests fill out the online registration and waivers prior to your trip to expedite the check-in process. Our guides will give a mandatory safety speech to the group at the outpost as well as issue out a PFD, helmet, wetsuit, neoprene booties, and splash jacket to each guest. Valuables and a change of clothes will be locked in your vehicle, and car keys are kept secured in our office during your trip. Once ready, the group will load into a River Drifters shuttle and drive to the put-in.

How to get there:
Driving Directions from the Portland/Vancouver Area:

Access I-84 E toward The Dalles. Take exit 64 for White Salmon & turn left at the light to cross the Hood River Toll Bridge ($4 cash). Once across the bridge turn left at the light and drive 1.2 miles on WA-14 W. Just before you cross the White Salmon River turn right onto Alt. WA-141 N.
At the stop sign turn left onto WA-141 N and travel 4 miles. Look for the River Drifters Outpost & big red barn on the right-hand side of the road. Note: if you cross the White Salmon River you’ve gone too far.

Driving Directions from Vancouver Area:

Take WA-14 E towards Camas. Once you cross the White Salmon River turn left onto Alt. WA-141 N. At the stop sign turn left onto WA-141 N and travel 4 miles. Look for the River Drifters Outpost & big red barn on the right-hand side of the road. Note: If you cross the White Salmon River you’ve gone too far.

Driving Directions from Seattle:

Travel south on I-5 toward Portland. Then follow the directions from the Portland/Vancouver Area.

Pre-trip Checklist
  • Complete online registration
  • Complete online waiver
  • Plan for the unexpected (travel insurance)
What we provide
  • Transportation
  • Riverside Lunch
  • PFDs, helmets, paddles, wetsuits, and splash tops
What you are responsible for
  • Getting to our location in Husum
  • Meals and lodging before and after your trip
  • Personal clothing and other miscellaneous items (see equipment list)
  • Guides gratuities (see below)
Professional Tips

Wetsuits and splash jackets Wetsuits and splash jackets are required for White Salmon river trips. The wetsuits are 2-3ml “Farmer John” style, which is combined with a splash jacket to provide full-body coverage. Wetsuits and splash jackets are provided by River Drifters and our guides will issue out this gear on cooler weather trips or upon request.

Fleece is a generic term for a spun, polyester fabric developed for outdoor use. It is thick and fluffy and does not absorb water, making it ideal insulation on a river trip. It is commonly called Polartec or Polar Fleece. Polypropylene is a thinner, stretchier, woven variation used predominantly for long underwear. Any polypropylene long underwear will work; heavyweight is the most versatile.

Layering your clothing is an effective way to adjust to the daily weather changes that you may encounter. A light polypropylene layer under a heavy fleece top under a rain shell will get you going on the chilliest of mornings and allow you to shed layers as the day warms up.

Lodging
  • Skamania Lodge, Stevenson, WA | 509-314-4177
  • Ruby June Inn, Husum, WA | 509-493-0517
  • Best Western Plus Hood River INN, Hood River, OR | 541-386-2200
  • There are many lodging options in Hood River, OR as well as White Salmon and Bingen, WA.
Camping
  • Peterson Prairie Campground Trout Lake, WA | Reservable sites through Recreation.gov
  • Memaloose State Park, Mosier, OR | Reservable sites online or by calling 800-452-5687
  • Home Valley Campground, Home Valley, WA | 509-427-3980 (first come, first served)
  • Viento State Park, Cascade Locks, OR | Reservable sites online or by calling 800-452-5687
  • There are many campgrounds in Columbia River Gorge & Mt. Hood & Gifford Pinchot National Forests

Check-In: Arrive at the River Drifters Outpost in Husum, WA. Check in at our office, change into river clothes, use the restroom, etc. Please be on time.

Introduction & Shuttle to Put-In: Our trips start with a mandatory river safety speech at our outpost. Then you will get outfitted with a wetsuit, booties, splash jacket, PFD, & helmet (all provided). Once dressed we will shuttle to the river put-in. At the put-in, your guides will give an additional safety talk & provide instructions for the basic paddle strokes that you will need for a fun trip. Then the group will go rafting!

Lunch: Stop along the river for lunch.

Take-out & Shuttle: Arrive at the take-out & shuttle back to River Drifters outpost in Husum. You’ll return your River Drifters gear & get changed into dry clothes. Then be sure to check out your trip photos in the office before heading home.

Please keep in mind that every trip is different, as weather, water flow, and group dynamics all influence trip pace

In the summertime the weather in the Columbia River Gorge is warm and mostly dry. However, you must be prepared for rain and wind in every season. Below is a chart of average temperatures and rainfall in the Columbia Gorge during the rafting season. Please check the weather forecast prior to your trip!

May June July August September
Avg Day 69°F 74°F 82°F 82°F 76°F
Avg Night 45°F 51°F 55°F 54°F 46°F
Rainfall 1.3″ 0.87″ 0.28″ 0.31″ 0.92″

Wetsuits and splash jackets are required for White Salmon river trips. The wetsuits are 2-3 ml “Farmer John” style, which is combined with a splash jacket to provide full-body coverage. Wetsuits and splash jackets are provided by River Drifters and our guides will issue you this gear prior to your trip.

We use paddle rafts that seat up to 6 people. Everyone should come expecting to be active participants in the trip regardless of which type of raft you end up in. If there are any physical limitations, please reach out to us so that we can make sure to accommodate any adjustments you will need.

Paddle Rafts

are 13 to 15 feet long and carry between 4 and 6 paddlers who actively paddle through the rapids and down the river. Everyone has a paddle, sits on the outer tube of the raft and follows the commands of the paddle guide who sits in the rear.

If you truly enjoy your trip, tipping is a great way to show your appreciation. Tipping is optional and personal, but since a lot of people ask, a customary amount is between 10 and 15 percent of the trip cost. Tips can be given to the Lead Guide who will share them with the entire crew, or to your own personal guide. The guide(s) will appreciate them and put them to good use. (And thank you.)

If you still have questions, please feel free to call us (800-972-0430) or e-mail us (office@riverdrifters.net). We love to talk about our trips!

EQUIPMENT LIST

Your comfort is our top priority. River Drifters provides all the necessary rafting gear for your trip. Wetsuits are required for all guests on all our White Salmon River rafting trips because the water temperature rarely rises above 45°F. Splash jackets and fleeces will be offered to guests and can be layered over the wetsuit. Guests should also bring personal non-cotton clothing, such as synthetic or polyester materials, Gore-Tex, wool, or neoprene, that can be layered under or on top of the wetsuit. If you have any questions about the gear list, please call our office at 800-972-0430.

EQUIPMENT PACKING LIST
  • A pair of quick-drying shorts/bathing suit and a non- cotton shirt (synthetic or polyester are best). When we issue the wetsuits and splash jackets these layers can be worn underneath.
  • Long-sleeved synthetic shirt or fleece (NO cotton) for extra warmth
  • Hat for sun protection.
  • Old pair of tennis shoes, neoprene booties with soles, or sandals (closed-toed, such as Keen, are recommended). We recommend shoes that stay on your feet and do not fall off easily. Shoes are required.
  • Sunglasses and/or prescription eyeglasses or contacts.
  • Sunglass strap for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses. (We have straps available at the outpost.)
  • Change of clothes for after the trip.
OPTIONAL ITEMS

Not absolutely necessary but you are welcome to bring them.

  • Refillable water bottle
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Personal snacks
  • Waterproof camera or GoPro
  • Small drybag

We will provide: a wetsuit, splash jacket, and booties for each guest which are required.

Please do not bring: Alcohol, valuable jewelry, bluetooth speakers, guns or irreplaceable items.

ON THE RIVER:

ON YOUR BODY you will want a thick, synthetic fleece top, (pullovers are best) and a sturdy, fully waterproof rain shell. You may also want fleece pants or polypropylene long underwear bottoms and rain pants. Don’t bring a cotton sweatshirt and a windbreaker; cotton is worthless when wet and won’t work for on-river insulation and you need something waterproof over your fleece.

ON YOUR FEET you will want shoes that stay on if you go for a swim and are comfortable for hiking. Sport sandals with heel straps (Tevas, Chacos, Keen, etc.) work well, (buckles are better than velcro). Old running shoes work well and are easy to find. Neoprene, wool or fleece socks will add a bit of insulation under shoes or sandals. Wetsuit booties work but can be a bit clammy after a full day.

Think layers. The key to being comfortable on the White Salmon is being dry and adaptable; a thin synthetic layer (polypro) next to your skin with a thick synthetic layer (fleece) over it with a waterproof layer (wetsuit and splash jacket or drysuit) over that seems to work the best. Feet and hands get cold easily and we suggest wetsuit booties or neoprene socks under sturdy shoes and neoprene gloves or fleece and dishwashing gloves. Cotton is worthless when wet and should not be used for on-river insulation.

Professional Dressing Tips

‘Fleece’ is a generic term for a spun, polyester fabric developed for outdoor use. It is thick and fluffy and does not absorb water, making it ideal insulation on a river trip. It is commonly called Polartec or Polar Fleece. Polypropylene is a thinner, stretchier, woven variation used predominantly for long underwear. Any polypropylene long underwear will work; heavyweight is the most versatile.

Layering your clothing is an effective way to adjust to the daily weather changes that you may encounter. A light polypropylene layer under a heavy fleece top under a rain shell will get you going on the chilliest of mornings and allow you to shed layers as the day warms up.

Where to find it:

Local outdoor or sporting goods stores should have everything you need and fleece garments are now available at most department and closeout stores. Great selections of river trip gear are also available on-line through:

  • Pacific River Supply (drysuit rentals)
  • Northwest River Supplies
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • REI
  • Patagonia
Professional Shopping Tip
  • Thrift Store
White Salmon River Full-Day Rafting Trips
White Salmon River Rafting

White Salmon River Full-Day

Season: April - October
Duration: One Day
Length: 15 miles
Price: $140-165 (not including 3% land use fee and taxes)
Rapids: III-IV (Optional waterfall)
Skill Level: Continuous paddling
Age Minimum: 10
Trip Itinerary

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