Little White Salmon River, Washington Above Willard to Drano Lake

White Salmon, Washington

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
5 out of 5
The Little White Salmon River flows through a basalt gorge that combines crystal-clear water with a riotous mix of steep boulder gardens, ledges, and waterfalls. The spring-fed water is always cold. For expert paddlers only, this river has few peers in the Pacific Northwest. The run is a continuous experience of boat-and bank-scouting along the river's entire length. Be prepared for long scouts your first time down and always be on the lookout for logs. The bridge over the river below the Willard Fish Hatchery divides the river into two sections. Paddlers reasonably run the upper section (Section 1) at a much narrower range of water levels than they do the lower, primary section (Section 2). A stream gage is located on the right bank of the river down steps near the Willard Fish Hatchery. Run the upper section at readings of 3 to 3.6 feet (1,000 to 1,500 cubic feet per second); run the lower section between 1.8 and 3.6 feet. Levels above 3.3 feet are intense, requiring paddlers to have prior knowledge of the lines through the rapids. Below 2.5 feet on the gage, the river is bony and full of rocks. Levels between 2.6 to 3 feet are ideal for a first-time experience on the lower river.
Paddling Oregon

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Paddling Oregon

by Robb Keller (Falcon Guides)

The Little White Salmon River flows through a basalt gorge that combines crystal-clear water with a riotous mix of steep boulder gardens, ledges, and waterfalls. The spring-fed water is always cold. For expert paddlers only, this river has few peers in the Pacific Northwest. The run is a continuous experience of boat-and bank-scouting along the river's entire length. Be prepared for long scouts your first time down and always be on the lookout for logs.

The bridge over the river below the Willard Fish Hatchery divides the river into two sections. Paddlers reasonably run the upper section (Section 1) at a much narrower range of water levels than they do the lower, primary section (Section 2). A stream gage is located on the right bank of the river down steps near the Willard Fish Hatchery. Run the upper section at readings of 3 to 3.6 feet (1,000 to 1,500 cubic feet per second); run the lower section between 1.8 and 3.6 feet. Levels above 3.3 feet are intense, requiring paddlers to have prior knowledge of the lines through the rapids. Below 2.5 feet on the gage, the river is bony and full of rocks. Levels between 2.6 to 3 feet are ideal for a first-time experience on the lower river.

©  Robb Keller/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: White Salmon
Distance: 10
Elevation Loss: 1,000 feet
Skill Level: Difficult
Class: Class V
Driving Directions: Directions to Little White Salmon River, Washington: Above Willard to Drano Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

1/10/2007
0

If you have only one day to paddle in the NW, paddle the LWS. This is quite possibly the best bang for your buck of any run in the states. No other run offers the combination of easy access, quality drops, clean water and long season anywhere. I prefer levels above 3.3' (which usually means the period between December to April), many run the LWS throughout the summer to levels of about 2'.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

Apr 2018