We’ve got whitewater rafting in Washington and it is some of the best of the Northwest. I get the question all the time “would whitewater rafting be something that I could do”? The answer is yes almost 100% of the time, but the next question has to be, “which whitewater rafting trip is APPROPRIATE for you”. As a river guide my job is to put you into a rafting trip that hits the sweet spot for your adventure level.

Washington whitewater rafting
Kids are having a great time rafting in Washington

One of the amazing attributes of the White Salmon river is its consistency and variety of adventure levels and its consistent water flow. Visitors have the opportunity to choose family friendly rafting or high adventure paddling. Its important that we do a good job of describing each choice so you get the adventure you are looking for.

 In describing our rafting adventures on our website we use terms that we believe people can relate to for their decision making. As an example you’ll see “great for strong teens and adventuresome adults” as a descriptor for our Upper Gorge whitewater trip which is our most aggressive commercial rafting on the White Salmon River. We also always use the phrase “optional” when it comes to the 14-foot Husum Falls. We don’t want people to avoid having a great time rafting with us because they think that its mandatory to go over that big waterfall. Something that is a bit tough on describing whitewater is using the classification system. People with past experience have varying ideas of what a class IV rapid could be and truthfully, most river guide over exaggerate the classification. I remember one day running some big whitewater with our guests and I asked, “what do you think of it”? One of the ladies in the raft said “this is way bigger than anything I hoped for our wanted”. I felt bad for her because she had signed up for way more than she desired and when I said “well, isn’t this exactly what I described on the phone”? She stated back, “yes, but I’ve never had a river guide tell me the truth before”. Well, there you have it. 

Washington whitewater rafting Husum falls on the white salmon river
Were you looking to go big? If so, Husum Falls is the drop for you.

Even with the descriptors we have on our website which act as great filters in your decision making process it is never a bad idea to give the office a call and chat it up with us to make sure you are getting exactly what you are looking for. If you want to paddle aggressive and go big, I’m going to set you up exactly for that. If you are looking for big splash without the technical aspect of rafting, no problem because we’ve got just the trip for you!

Whitewater rafting washington lower
Its satisfying to come through that frothy fun.

Lastly I need to share what a privilege it is to guide rafts for the past 38 season on the White Salmon River. In my opinion and the opinion of multitudes is that the whitewater rafting in Washington on the White Salmon is the best and maybe most ideal commercial rafting river in all of Oregon and Washington. It sports multiple sections of whitewater so that guests can choose the adventure level that is best for them. You can raft a short section of river or go all day with a nice lunch along the way. The canyon is an old lava tube which provides amazing narrow walls to zig zag through. The vegetation is spectacular coming off those walls not to mention a few waterfalls pour off of them into the river. Yes, it is a very special place and it’s a privilege to guide here and to be the son of the first whitewater outfitter on the White Salmon a Wild and Scenic River.

Oregon Whitewater Guide
Mark Zoller has been guiding whitewater rafting trips on the White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers since 1985. He lives in and loves the Columbia River Gorge