White Salmon River - Husum Falls!- BZ corners to Northwestern Lake, Class III-IV
- 8 miles - 4 hours, April - September
In the Southern Cascades this totally unique river is an excellent all season trip, with Husum Falls the high-point of the trip when water flows drop to allow for safely running rafts over it. The White Salmon River can be rafted from early spring until late summer and conditions differ between the early time period and the latter. Early in the season we have the spring melt-off of the snow-pack of Mt. Adams in the Cascade Mountains which produces high water volumes with Class 3 and 4 rapids and the biggest waves and longest “wave-trains”. At this peak water time we “portage” Husum Falls - walking around and “lining” the empty rafts over. Mother nature is unpredictable so the exact dates of the peak water flows are not known until we are in the thick of it, but generally we experience high water from early May until early July. When the river drops to a certain level, usually early July, still running well with glacial melt-off and springs, we can run the rafts over Husum Falls but this is not for everybody! We scout Husum Falls from the Highway 141 bridge and the paddlers can decide at that time to either go over the Falls or walk around and noone should ever feel pressured to run the Falls! The narrow gorge and lava cliffs make this run exceptionally exciting for its short length. You'll twist through plush cool passages of unique flora and pleasant forests and pop back into the warming sun of the Eastern Washington plateau. You'll be able to appreciate the surroundings while floating the calm, just long enough to dig in for the rapids time after time on this river. Some River Riders jump in to body-float the pools, ice cold all season long, climbing aboard in time for another exhilarating run of the rapids. Truly memorable!
NEW: As of 2012, the White Salmon River will no longer have the Condit Dam on it which formed the Northwestern Lake where we ended the trip on the lake. this means that the stretch of the trip which used to be lake is now free-flowing RIVER!! That means added whitewater for you!!
Where to Meet
Use a Washington and Oregon road map to help figure drive time and distances. You need to get to the Columbia Gorge area near Hood River, OR. The faster route is I-84 on the Oregon side of the Columbia Gorge instead of Hwy 14. When you get to Hood River on I-84 take exit #64 and go north over the toll bridge (have .75 ready!) to Hwy 14. Turn left and go 1.75 mi. and turn right up Hwy 141 Alt. towards BZ Corner and Trout Lake. After 2 miles you will come to a stop sign and then turn left onto Hwy 141. Now just stay on Hwy 141 and you'll pass the town of Husum and drive on up the highway to the tiny town of BZ Corner. We meet you at the BZ Corner Gas and Grocery Store at the rear of their parking lot. Look for the Riverrider.com signs and our storage shed next to the BZ Corner Gas and Grocery. The store has groceries, gas and automotive supplies, camping/hunting gear and sanicans! We’ll have your wetsuit/booties waiting for you from our “rolling rental shop” (no presizing needed!) so just show up with a swimsuit or T-shirt/running shorts (something that can get wet) under your street clothes and we’ll take care of you from there when you get signed in.
Due to the large numbers of yellow jackets and bees in the area wanting to share our lunch (or wanting us for lunch) and limitations on appropriate available beach areas we do not provide our famous BBQ on the White Salmon River. There are places to get food right there at our meeting site though – the BZ Store Gas and Grocery has a Deli case and The Logs Restaurant across the street has good old all American cuisine.
Take a look at the White Salmon Lodging page for a list of hotels nearby.