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Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe

Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish, Seattle

Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, Washington

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Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe

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  • A kayaker prepares to launch from Rhododendron Park along the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A kayaker paddles the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Ducks line the banks during the winter months.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The river passes through trailer parks, golf courses, and upscale neighborhoods.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A kayaker paddles the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A kayaker paddles the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A wagon wheel along the banks of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A kayaker paddles the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • A kayaker paddles the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • One of the many large houses that line the banks of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The river passes under numerous bridges and overpasses.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The river passes under numerous bridges and overpasses.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Canada geese swim in the calm waters of the river.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The calm waters of the river allow kayakers to paddle upstream fairly easily.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Paddling in the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Ducks line the banks during the winter months.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Ducks line the banks during the winter months.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Boats line the banks of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The river passes through trailer parks, golf courses, and upscale neighborhoods.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Ducks walk along a dock on the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • The river passes under numerous bridges and overpasses.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • Paddling in the calm waters of the Sammamish River.- Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
  • - Sammamish River Kayak/Canoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Seattle. Bird watching. Variable length.
Cons: 
Traffic noise. Possible shuttle required.
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Region:
Seattle + Tacoma Metro Area, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
River
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
13.80 mi (22.21 km)
Water difficulty: 
Easy / Class A
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

The Sammamish River connects Lake Washington to Lake Sammamish and offers kayakers numerous ways to explore the waterway. From Lake Washington, kayakers can paddle upstream fairly easily, exploring the tight waterway as it makes its way to Lake Sammamish​. From Rhododendron Park just north of Lake Washington, paddle upstream through golf courses, trailer parks, upscale neighborhoods, and lush wooded sections toward Woodinville. Since the currents are fairly weak, kayakers should be able to easily paddle most sections of the river before catching the current back to Rhododendron Park. This scenic and diverse waterway offers paddlers a fun trip close to the city. During winter months, numerous types of ducks, geese, and other birds can be seen along the banks of this winding waterway. On days when the weather is questionable, exploring this winding river is a great alternative to the open waters of the Puget Sound.

Alternatively, paddlers who wish to run a shuttle can paddle the entire waterway as it makes its way from Lake Sammamish to Lake Washington.  

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