Best rivers for whitewater kayaking in Washington state ranges from Class I to V.  Besides, Washington State has rich and aesthetically diverse rivers for whitewater kayaking. With so much to see, discover, and experience, a Kayak trip to the state has all the element that you look for in a kayaking vacation circuit.

Besides Kayaking, the state is speckled with pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and exploratory ranches. With the country’s best pubs and resorts, you are spoiled of choices when the nights comes calling. If you are a kayaker considering going for kayaking vacation or a trip in Washington DC, your list of the best natural rivers that the state has to offer should include the following.

Best Rivers to Kayak in Washington

Best Rivers for Whitewater Kayaking and Rafting In Washington are


This is one of Washington’s Best Rafting Rivers. The river is full of exciting watersport adventures with splendid scenic in areas near Leavenworth. The river gets it water from Lake Wenatchee, a glacier fed lake offering an opportunity for kayakers to voyage in the glacier waters.  Its provide one of the greatest kayaking spot in Washington. Moreover, paddlers are welcomed by snow-capped mountains during winter seasons while autumn season is endowed with fiery fall foliage and natural beauty surrounding Leavenworth.

More than a Kayaking paradise.

For lovers of paddle boarding, Wenatchee River is the place to be for a stand up paddling retreat. Just be careful not to go paddling without a guide to save you time figuring out where to start. Other activities includes but not limited to hiking along the icicle ridge trail, Golf, and more.

Best season to go kayaking are during the month of April to August. The river’s waves comprises of a Class III and III+ for white water kayaking. When kayaking from the source to its mouth, you will traverse various towns namely, Plain, Leavenworth, Peshastin, Dryden, Cashmere, Monitor, and Wenatchee.

Facts about Kayaking Wenatchee River

The river is located in the United States in the state of Washington Chelan County. It drains it waters in the Columbia River. The river measurers 53mi (85km) in length. Besides, it has basin size measuring 1,333 sq. mi (3,450 km2) that provides valuable ecosystem services to the adjacent communities.

Water Discharge

  • Average: 3,231 cu ft/s (91.5 m3/s)[2]
  • Minimum: 221 cu ft/s (6.3 m3/s)
  • Maximum: 45,200 cu ft/s (1,280 m3/s)


White Water Rafting Washington Class II and III

This is the place to Kayak during the months of March to September to enjoy the Class II and III rapids. Moreover, the river is a popular destination for whitewater kayaking and fly fishing. The river start in the Cascade Mountains in British Columbia, after which it flows southwest empting its waters into Puget Sound located 50 miles North of Seattle. To Kayak full length of the river, a paddler will have to prepare for a 150 mile journey, thus traversing 130 miles in the United States. Skagit River width between the banks is wide enough to allow paddlers to perform various rowing techniques. With 350 feet wide, you can easily do backstroke, forward stroke and more.

The drainage area measures approximately 3,084 square miles with a tidal of 17 miles above its mouth. The cities and towns along the rivers are Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro-Woolley, Lyman, Hamilton, Concrete, Rockport, and Newhalem. Other tributaries to Kayak in Canada includes Skaist River, Sumallo River, and Klesilkwa River while in US you can traverse the following tributaries Cascade River, Sauk River, and Baker River

Facts about Kayaking Skagit River

The Skagit River traverse two countries, namely, Canada and the United States. It basin covers 2,656 sq. mi (6,880 km2) long. In the United States, it is found in the region of British Columbia and Washington.

Skagit River originates at Allison Pass, with an elevation of 4,480 ft. (1,370 m) and drains it waters in the Skagit forks near Puget Sound with an elevation of 10 ft. (3.0 m). It discharge it waters in Mount Vernon, WA, river mile 1 (rkm 1.6) with an average speed of average: 16,530 cu ft. /s (468 m3/s).

During low volume season the water discharge is estimated at 3,050 cu ft. /s (86 m3/s), while on a high volume season it discharges does increase to about 180,000 cu ft./s (5,100 m3/s).



White Water Rafting Washington Class I and II

This is the best place to start your paddling carrier, and it is recommended for training novice paddlers learning the basic kayaking techniques. Besides, the glacier-gray Class I and II rapids offers an opportunity for families and kids to enjoy boating and other watersport activities.

There are other recreational activities besides kayaking, namely the Oil City Trail, which start at north part of the mouth of river Hoh and ends at the Pacific coast, the Hoh Lake Trail running from Olympus Ranger Station towards Hoh Lake and Bogachiel Peak and finally crossing the High Divide into River valley of Sol Duc, and Hoh River Trail for mountain climbers lover to reach the Mount Olympus.

Kayak fishing at Hoh River

The river hosts array of salmonid fish, namely, spring and fall chinook, coho salmon, winter and summer steelhead, and sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. All you need is your boat and kayakfishing rod floats enjoy sport fish.

Facts about Hoh River

Country: United States

State: Washington

Counties: Clallam, Jefferson

Source: Hoh Glacier

Mouth: Pacific Ocean

Length: 56 mi (90 km)

Basin size: 299 sq. mi (770 km2)


  • Average: 2,538 cu ft/s (71.9 m3/s)
  • Minimum: 252 cu ft/s (7.1 m3/s)

Maximum: 40,000 cu ft/s (1,100 m3/s)

Kayaking season: Best time to kayak are February to September


Class III and IV rapids Kayaking in Washington.

The best place in Washington State for more experienced kayakers who wants to enjoy Class III and IV rapids. However, for novice paddlers with an urge to try high rapids waters, Methow River offers the best starting spot.

The outstanding season for Kayaking and rafting are in the months of May to July. During winter you can enjoy ice rink, cross country ski trail, sledding hill, ice skating, and more.

Besides kayaking, summers present great opportunities for kayak fishing, floating the rivers and paddling, wildlife watching, bicycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, horseback riding, balloon rides, and many more.

Methow river tributaries includes theLost River, Chewuch River, Early Winters Creek, and Twisp River.

Facts about Kayaking and Rafting River Methow

The river lies within the United State in the state of Washington in the Okanogan County, and traverse three cities, namely, Winthrop, Twisp, and Pateros. It draws it waters from Cascade Range in the Methow Pass with an elevation of 5,677 ft. (1,730 m).

The river discharge in the Columbia River in Pateros with an elevation of 784 ft. (239 m). The average discharge at Pateros stand at 1,522 cu ft. /s (43.1 m3/s) with the lowest recording 150 cu ft. /s (4.2 m3/s) while the highest discharge stand at 27,200 cu ft. /s (770 m3/s).

It has a basin size of 1,825 sq. mi (4,730 km2) with a length covering a distance of 80 mi (130 km)


Not for faint hearted Kayakers. Tieton River have the longest stretch of a class III+ for whitewater kayaking and only accessible during the month of September.

This river ranks high as the fastest moving and fastest Dropping River in Washington with the largest and most breathtaking natural 14 miles falls. September is the most convenient month to paddler at the river, because the water release from the Rim Rock Lake turns the river into a big wave, class III+ roller coaster.

With steep gradient and guaranteed water, the river offers the perfect destination to enjoy a non-stop whitewater kayaking from start to finish. In addition, the river offers a Grey rock Trail which attracts many hiking trail lovers.

Facts about Tieton River

Country: United States

State: Washington

Region: Yakima County

Source: North Fork Tieton River

  • Location: Cascade Range, McCall Glacier, Goat Rocks Wilderness
  • Elevation: 6,246 ft (1,904 m)

Mouth: Naches River

  • Elevation: 1,601 ft (488 m)

Length: 33 mi (53 km)


White Salmon River provides an excellent ‘season’s finale during the months of April to October. You are certain to encounter clear water, rising and falling and tumbling Class III and IV rapids that roars from start to finish.

To kayak, paddlers are advised to use the public put-in based at the unincorporated community of BZ Corner.

Facts about White Salmon River

The primary source of White Salmon is Mount Adams Wilderness located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Klickitat County, Cascade Range, which has an elevation of 5,381 ft. (1,640 m).

It is one of the rivers that drains into Columbia River at Columbia River Gorge near Underwood, Skamania County with an elevation of 79 ft. (24 m). It has a total length of 44.3 mi (71.3 km) with a basin size of 400 sq. mi (1,000 km2). Last but not least, the river is found in the United States in Washington in the County: Klickitat, Skamania


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