The White Salmon River is Pacific Northwest Rafting at its Best!
Whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River is the most popular rafting trip on the Columbia River Gorge. Just 20 minutes from the outdoor adventure mecca of Hood River, Oregon, and about 1.25 hours from Portland, the Wild and Scenic White Salmon River offers crystal clear spring water, lush riverside scenery and near continuous rapids.
This half-day guided raft trip travels through a narrow, forested gorge with constant rapids and ends with the thrilling Husum Falls – a 12-foot waterfall we can run when water levels allow. This run is best suited for first time rafters with an adventurous spirit and for rafters with experience. All Star offers trips daily from April through September, launching at 9:30AM and 2:30PM.
What To Expect on Your White Salmon Rafting Trip
Our guests start their trip by meeting our guides at the PGE-managed Northwestern Park. Guests will recognize our smiling guides by the van or small yellow bus with the All Star logo.
Here, we change into our wetsuits and booties, and all guests are fitted with a personal floatation device (PFD) and helmet. We then load up into a vehicle for a short drive to the boat launch at B-Z Corners. The guides will give a thorough safety talk before we take the boats to the water. Then it’s off we go!
The first rapid of the trip comes immediately after launching, setting the exciting tone for your trip. The rapids will come in quick succession: Grasshopper, Corkscrew, Granny Snatcher! Oh My!
Husum Falls comes near the end of the trip, giving plenty of time for you and your guide to discuss Husum. Running the falls is optional, with a short walk around for those who prefer to enjoy the falls from shore. Our day wraps up as we pull into Northwestern Park to get changed and ready for the trip home.
What Should I Wear on a White Salmon Rafting Trip? What Should I Bring?
All Star provides our guests with wetsuits, booties, life jackets, splash jackets, helmets and paddles. The weather will influence what you wear. For cooler weather, start with a thin, synthetic material undergarment. Then layer with a fleece jacket or pullover over your wetsuit.
When it’s hot, wearing a bathing suit under the wetsuit is perfect. It’s best to avoid heavy cotton clothing, as it tends to absorb and hold water. Be sure to wear shoes that are security-fastened to your feet – no flip flops as they can easily slide off and float away.
You won’t bring much of anything onto the raft with you. Water bottles that can clip into the raft with a carabiner are fine to bring. If you have prescription glasses we strongly encourage you to use a restrainer strap, or leave them in the car if you don’t need them.
Should I Go on the Morning Trip or the Afternoon?
This all depends on your crew and what you are looking to do with the rest of your day. Are you early risers or not so much? Did you want to hike in the Gorge before heading back to Portland, or are you looking to do cocktails and dinner in Hood River?
With a morning trip you will get cooler temperatures to start, but will be finishing up your trip when it’s nice and warm. For the afternoon trips you’ll be starting with the sun on the river, but by the end of the trip the sun will be out of the canyon.
Are There Places to Stay Near the White Salmon River?
Yes, there are a number of places to camp or to get a hotel in the White Salmon and Hood River areas. A quick google search provides plenty of options, but be sure to book early as they tend to fill up during the summer months.
Places to Eat Near White Salmon? We Like:
White Salmon River Rafting Trip in a Nutshell:
- 1.25 hour from Portland – Under 20 mins from Hood River
- Great for adventurous first timers or rafters with some experience
- Minimum age 10; 16 to run Husum Falls
- Rafting season on the White Salmon is from April – September
- Husum Falls is rafted at appropriate water levels, and is optional
- Cost includes all equipment and WA sales tax