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Click here for a listing of guides and outfitters rafting the Wenatchee River.
If staying in Leavenworth, you won't have to go far to find Washington State's most popular river for whitewater rafting. It runs right through town. It is the Wenatchee River.
People from all over the state and elsewhere come to the Wenatchee each season from April through July for spills, chills and thrills. Considered to be a low hazard river, the Wenatchee offers sections of water to suit just about every paddling or rowing skill.
The 20-mile section from the Lake Wenatchee outlet down to Tumwater Falls Campground on Highway 2 is a fairly gentle stretch of Class I water with a couple of Class II rapids. The section offers enjoyable floating for most of the year and, like most rivers, has the highest flow of water in the Spring.
The next section, the seven miles through Tumwater Canyon from Tumwater Falls Campground to Leavenworth, is the most challenging and is pretty much a Class V run during the high flows of Spring. If you want excitement, this is the section for you.
The most popular section is the 19-mile run from Leavenworth to Monitor. Terry Rudnick, in his book Washington Boating and Water Sports, says this about the section:
"Some of this Class III section is very impressive in the spring, with a dozen places where you stand a good chance of getting wet and perhaps half that many spots where you can get separated from your boat in less time than it takes to describe it. Folks have a short distance to get warmed up on this run before the whitewater gets serious. It isn't long before they start the 250-yard-long series of waves called Rock and Roll, with the infamous hole called Devil's Eyeball near its upper end."
The fun continues as you race through rapids named Drunkard's Drop and Snowblind with the highlight of the trip being the huge hole and curler called "Suffocator".
Though individuals and private parties often float the river on their own, the majority of people go with a commercial outfitter. We have compiled a list of these commercial outfitters to help you plan your raft trip. Click on Wenatchee Rafting Outfitters to visit their web sites and learn more about the kind of trips they run and plan to join in on the river fun during your next visit to Leavenworth.
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 and Doug North. Detailed locator maps and instructions on safety are included, as well as appendices on equipment, map sources, and a useful route comparison chart. Paddling Washington covers water routes in western and eastern Washington, British Columbia, North Idaho, and Montana. 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...
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...
Moon Washington, 10th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Matthew Lombardi. This travel writer and Seattle resident gives an insider's view of everything the Evergreen State has to offer such as great places to eat, scenic drives and volunteer vacations. Discover Seattle's arts and culture, details on climbing Mt Rainier and much more. Order now...
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