Average Gradient
45.00 ft/mi (8.52 m/km)
Days
<1
Most difficult rapid
?
Distance
5.00 mi (8.05 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.  

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Easy access. Year-round flows.

Cons

Summer crowds. Cold water.

Put-in location (lat, long coordinates)

BZ Corner, WA

Take-out location (lat, long coordinates)

Husum, WA

Features

Waterfalls
Wildlife

Overall difficulty

III+
III
IV
V

Route Characteristics: Character

Continuous
Park-and-Huck

Suitable for

Kayaks
Rafts

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.