Washington Whitewater Rafting
Wenatchee River


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.

Photo courtesy Osprey Rafting Company

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.

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