Best Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing in Washington

This list represents the most popular whitewater kayaking & canoeing in Washington. Use this list to plan your next Washington whitewater kayaking & canoeing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Little White Salmon River, Washington: Above Willard to Drano Lake


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.…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
White Salmon, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Klickitat River, Washington: Yakima Indian Reservation to Old Icehouse


South-central Washington's Klickitat River boasts dramatic scenery. Steep columnar basalt cliffs line the upper river in many places, and chunks of basalt have fallen into the river form the walls.…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Glenwood, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 60 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Lewis River, East Fork, Washington: Green Fork to Paradise Point


The East Fork Lewis River has developed a nasty reputation over the years- several good paddlers and a few anglers have drowned in its treacherous waters. Resistant basalt rock has formed ledges and w…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Vancouver, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 33 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Kalama River, Washington: Upper Kalama Falls to Columbia River


The Kalama River provides Portland-area boaters with good intermediate and advanced water with lots of good play waves, pool-drop rapids, isolated scenery, and some challenging Class IV drops. Padd…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Kalama, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 36 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Washougal River, Washington: Timber Creek to Camas Slough


Fed by rain, the Washougal River rises and falls quickly. The varying levels bring new dimensions to the run, making each trip different from the last. At most levels boaters find frequent play spots.…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Washougal, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 26 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Canyon Creek - Washington: Seal-Launch above Fly Creek to Lake Merwin


Canyon Creek combines challenging whitewater with beautiful scenery despite heinous logging along the drainage. This run has it all: boulder gardens, tight gorges, and waterfalls. At low to medium…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Kelso, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 11 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. White Salmon River, Washington: Above Trout Lake to Northwestern Day Use Area


The White Salmon is one of the region's most popular rivers, set in a beautiful, deep gorge that separates boaters from populated lands. Although roads are not far from the river in any section, acces…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
White Salmon, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 18 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Little Klickitat River, Washington: Olson Road to Klickitat River


The Little Klickitat River is a tiny, brushy stream that winds across a broad valley past open pastures. The river quickly starts to descend, however, dropping through small Class II to III stairstep…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Klickitat, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Wind River, Washington: Above Trout Creek to Columbia River


The Wind River is a classic stream with plenty of action. It flows freely down the southern flanks of Mount Adams to the Columbia River near Carson Hot Springs. The springs make a wonderful end to a d…
From the guidebook "Paddling Oregon"
Trout Creek, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 18 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Grays River: South Fork to Highway 4


The Grays River is located in the far southwest corner of Washington, and for this reason advanced boaters often overlook it. First-time boaters on the Grays will be pleasantly surprised to find big,…
From the guidebook "Soggy Sneakers: A Paddler's Guide to Oregon's Rivers"
Grays River, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 5 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#11. Methow River - Calrton to McFarland Creek


The Methow (pronounced MET-how) originates high in the North Cascades and runs with melting snow into the lake formed on the Columbia by Wells Dam near Pateros. The Indian name for the river means “sa…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Carlton, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 10 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#12. Cispus River


The Cispus provides a pretty but little-known trip through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It has enjoyable Class 2 rapids at moderate water levels and a fairly long season. The Cispus gathers…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Randle, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#13. Cowlitz River


The beauty in the first mile and a half of this trip captivates boaters as they pass between towering rock walls and under the branches of virgin evergreens that overhang the channel. The crystallin…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Packwood, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 8 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#14. Naches River


The Naches derives its name from an Indian word meaning “plenty of water.” While this is dry country, there is usually plenty of water in the Naches during the May and June boating season. The upper…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Naches, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 26 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#15. Upper Middle Fork Snoqualmie River


The Upper Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie provides a wilderness-like trip within an hour’s drive of the Seattle metropolitan area. With stunning mountain views and only one difficult rapid (which can…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
North Bend, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#16. Skagit River


The Skagit River area is full of wonders. Paddle the river in early fall, and you’ll see salmon spawning. Paddle it during the winter months, and you’ll often be treated to the sight of bald eagles fe…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Newhalem, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#17. Lower Soleduck River


The Soleduck is named after the Sol Duc Hot Springs near its headwaters in Olympic National Park. The Indian spelling, Sol Duc, means “sparkling water.” Indians believed that the water had medicinal p…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Forks , WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#18. Elwha River


The Elwha River provides summer boating in a pristine Olympic river valley with fine views of the surrounding mountains. It is easily reached just off US 101 a little west of Port Angeles. Elwha m…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Port Angeles, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 4 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#19. Wenatchee River (Whitewater)


The Wenatchee is a snow-fed river running off the east side of the North Cascades. It is probably the most popular and frequently run river in Washington. After the winter snowpack has melted and po…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Peshastin, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 9 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books

#20. Upper Soleduck River


The Upper Soleduck is a step up in difficulty from the lower river, providing interesting rapids on a rain-forest odyssey. The rapids are not difficult at the moderate water levels found in spring and…
From the guidebook "Paddling Washington: Routes in Washington State & the Inland Northwest"
Port Angeles, WA - Whitewater Kayaking & Canoeing - 7 miles
Published by The Mountaineers Books