Middle White Salmon River

BZ Corner to Husum

Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington

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Middle White Salmon River


  • A kayaker goes for big air during the local Big Air Bonanza at Top Drop.- Middle White Salmon River
  • Rafters charge through the first rapid on the run with no time for warm-up.- Middle White Salmon River
  • Cold water!- Middle White Salmon River
  • - Middle White Salmon River
  • Kayakers paddle this stretch year-round, using it to build skills and train for the steeper runs in the area.- Middle White Salmon River
  • Kayakers paddle into Grasshopper rapid at low flows.- Middle White Salmon River
  • Susan can often be found kayaking this stretch before heading to work to guide a raft of guests down it again.- Middle White Salmon River
  • A kayaker emerges after going deep at Waterspout.- Middle White Salmon River
  • A cave on river left beckons every river runner.  Loggers used to divert flow into these tunnels to power a saw mill downstream.- Middle White Salmon River
  • The lush valley feels equally verdant no matter what season on the White Salmon.- Middle White Salmon River
  • A raft trip exits out the bottom of Stairstep rapid.- Middle White Salmon River
  • A smooth line over Husum Falls...not bad for Graham's first run over the drop.- Middle White Salmon River
  • Rafters use a unique method to get down and hold on during runs over Husum Falls.  - Middle White Salmon River
Overview + Weather
Easy access. Year-round flows.
Summer crowds. Cold water.
Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, WA
Average Gradient: 
45.00 ft/mi (8.52 m/km)
Route Characteristics: Character:
Continuous, Wooded (Forested), Park-and-Huck
Gauge URL:
Overall difficulty: 
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Put-in location (lat, long coordinates): 
BZ Corner, WA
Suitable for:
Kayaks, Rafts, Commercial Outfitters
Take-out location (lat, long coordinates): 
Husum, WA
Total Distance: 
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Current Local Weather:

Notable Hazards + River Information

Adventure Description

Adventure Description


With its national notoriety, whitewater rafters and kayakers seek out the Middle White Salmon River for its quality rapids all year long.  Flowing from Mount Adams, the river cuts through a rich, volcanic landscape like a crack in the earth.  Blue glacial water, fresh springs, and a lush landscape make the run an oasis during the hot summer days and a jungle during dreary winter months.  And when no other rivers are flowing at the end of summer, the White Salmon just keeps on giving.

Not just a whitewater attraction, anglers and hikers now visit the river to catch spawning salmon moving upstream.  The 2012 removal of Condit Dam rejuvenated the run after blocking these endangered fish from their ancestral spawning grounds for the last century.  Spend even a few moments gazing at the river during spawning season and you're sure to catch one of these beautiful creatures jumping the falls.

Commercial white water rafting trips began exploring this section when the sport first came to the Northwest, quickly establishing the river as one of the highest quality and easily accessed runs in the region.  The whitewater starts out strong in BZ Corner with continuous Class III-IV rapids.  Walk just upstream (turn left at the last bend in the rails at the launch) to drop over Maytag, a meaty hydraulic at the start of the first rapid.  Alternately, put in below Top-Drop, the first rapid.  Enjoy the action for the first half as most of the rapids are stacked in this section. From there, the river calms down before dropping over 12-foot Husum Falls.  At higher flows (above 3.5 feet), most avoid this falls by portaging on the right or left.  At medium and lower flows newbies can huck themselves for their first waterfall run here. Kayakers boof the flake and rafters hold on tight, both hoping not to swim in the powerful hole at the base of the curtain. Take out is either above or below Husum Falls, or continue downstream for another 2 miles to Northwestern Park on the lower section.  

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + River Map

Field Guide + River Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(84 within a 30 mile radius)

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