RAFTING in the GORGE

Three groups rafting in the Gorge on calm water as they approach Hood River with Mt. Hood in the background

photo credit Wet Planet Whitewater / Mikey Goyette

Are you ready to explore rafting in the Columbia River Gorge? From whitewater to gentle scenic tours, the Gorge has it all! The fun starts at the White Salmon River, a National Wild and Scenic River. The White Salmon begins on the glaciers of Mt. Adams and flows into the Columbia River. Known for its most popular Class III to Class V rafting trips and great whitewater, the experience includes rafting amidst beautiful forested canyons.

Husum Falls is another unique and exciting part of the river. It’s the largest commercially run waterfall in the United States and holds great fun for seekers of whitewater adventure. Gentle, scenic tours are also available with portaging options for those less adventurous. But if you are an adrenaline seeking junkie, the White Salmon River will get your blood flowing. The remote Klickitat Canyon offers one of the most spectacular wilderness trips, not to mention up to 21 miles of rafting. The Deschutes River runs hundreds of miles from Bend, Oregon to the Columbia River. The river offers rapids from Class I to VI, and is also known for its great fishing. We invite you to get out of your comfort zone and experience whitewater rafting in the Gorge!

Click here to access maps available to help assist you in planning your next adventure.

A bit of history

• In 1811, a group attempted to navigate Wyoming’s wild Snake River. As they passed by Jackson Hole, the river became too dangerous so they named it “Mad River.”
• In 1842, Lieutenant Fremont and Horace Day invented a modern rubber raft, which is very similar to today’s — featuring four rubber cloth tubes with a wrap-around floor.
• In the sixties, commercial rafting trips became available. Several whitewater rafting companies began offering multiple daily tours in the Grand Canyon.
• In the seventies, rafting became a sport in the Olympic Games, and from the 1970s onward, many companies now make a living guiding tours worldwide.