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Click here for a listing of guides and outfitters rafting the Skykomish River.
Just an hour from Seattle, the Skykomish River is considered the most challenging commercially run river in Washington State. The "Sky" as it's called by those that frequent this river, provides plenty of heart-pumping action for even the most seasoned rafting pro. While most of this river is class 3 to 3+, the highlight of the trip and the draw for adrenaline-seekers Boulder Drop, a class 4+ rapid. This rapid contains house-sized boulders and requires intricate and precise maneuvering to navigate this rapid and make it through successfully. While there are many other rivers in the state where rafters wear helmets for safety, this is the only one that the State of Washington steps in and requires helmets by law.
main rafting season for the Skykomish River is April through July. Most commercial trips start in the little town of Index and cover 7 to 10 miles. Class 3 rapids scattered throughout the first half of the trip such as Bridge Rapids and Anderson Hole lead up to Boulder Drop. Rafters pull over on the right side of the river to scout this rapid and prepare for the challenge. Once through Boulder Drop, a stretch of almost continuous class 3+ rapids keep the adrenaline pumping with The Ledge, Marbleshoot, Lunch Hole, and Aquagasm. The remainder of the trip is filled with class 2 and three rapids. This slightly calmer section gives rafters a chance to notice in the awesome scenery, with Mt. Index and Mt. Persis in the distance and aqua green colored waters all around. Most trips end in a conveniently calm area of the river called Big Eddie.
*The river description above courtesy of Blue Sky Outfitters.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Paddling Washington: 100 Flatwater and Whitewater Routes in Washington State and the Inland Northwest by Rich Landers, Dan Hensen, Vern Huser and Doug North. Find detailed maps, safety instructions and a route comparison chart to select the right trip level. Water routes in Washington, BC, North Idaho and Montana are all included. Order now...
Foghorn Outdoors: Washington Boating and Water Sports by Terry Rudnick. The premier access guide to Washington state's breathtaking waterways suggests hundreds of destinations for swimming, windsurfing, rafting, jet skiing, and more. It also has updated information on travel directions, access fees, facilities, boat rentals, and trip outfitters. Order now...
Paddling Pacific Northwest Whitewater by Falcon Guides. This book has over 240 detailed run descriptions from local paddlers to some of the best rivers for rafting and kayaking in Washington and Oregon. Find detailed maps. scouting advice and colorful photographs. Order now...
Washington River Maps & Fishing Guide by Doug Rose. Detailed maps covering over 1200 miles of river. Included for each river are the best seasons, species, available illustrated fishing methods, best flies and best gear for individual rivers and species, fly hatches, knots, launches, parks, number of hookups per year, size of runs, parks, services, guides. Order now...
Great Places: Washington: A Recreational Guide to Washington's Public Lands and Historic Places for Birding, Hiking, Photography, Fishing, Hunting and Camping by John Kruse. The geology, animal and plant life, and history of Washington's most-storied and scenic locales, including the best local lodging and amenities are explained in this full color guide. Order now...
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Frommer's Washington State, 7th Edition by Karl Samson. This expert author tells you where to find great places to stay in every price range, the best outdoor recreation and much more. Utilize the planning tools to maximize your next adventure in the Evergreen State. Order now...
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