White salmon - which section - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-10-2016   #1
 
Loomis, California
Paddling Since: 2015
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White salmon - which section

Heading to southern washing next month, I plan to raft the white salmon with my brother, and will probably use one of the rafting companies since I haven't run that river before.

They offer a "half day" and "full day". Both start at BZ (or just above). Half day ends at Husum falls. Full day includes the lower white salmon ending a tthe gorge.

Anyone that knows the river, is it worth adding on the lower section?? Or is the BZ corner to Husum have the better rapids.

The companies state that at current water levels they are running, not portaging at BZ, Husum, and steelhead falls.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 08-10-2016   #2
 
UriahJones's Avatar
 
Salem, Oregon
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While not an expert, I just got off the White Salmon last weekend. Camped on Friday night, and ran 5 laps between Saturday & Sunday. BZ to Hussum definitely has the better rapids, by far. Lots of flat water on the lower section between Hussum and the Gorge.

I only ran as far as the old lake. So can't voice for what happens below that, but I think that its pretty much flat with interspersed rapids. Nothing major except for Steelhead Falls.

Not sure from your post but I don't think that any of the groups were running the BZ Falls. We ran one trip with Zollers, and they put in higher up than the other groups I believe, we portaged BZ Falls (V) after running Tripple Drop (IV) and the Flume (IV).

The public access put in at BZ is a little below the commercial put ins, but hits a lot of good rapids still.

If you have no access to your own equipment and want a full day, run the whole way to the gorge. But the best part is the upper.
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Old 08-10-2016   #3
 
Boulder, Colorado
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You will get the most rapids if you put in above the commercial BZ put in (The Orletta put in) down to Husum.You will portage BZ falls (V) for sure, but it is a fun portage as you will probably get to do a cliff jump. You will probably run Husum Falls (IV). I know River Drifters and Wet Planet put in above BZ, not sure about some of the others. The section below Husum is OK as well, but if you have to make the choice, run the upper stuff.
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Old 08-10-2016   #4
 
Loomis, California
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Thanks to both of you for the reply...it is exactly what I needed to know. I will likey skip on the lower section as it sounds like most of the action is from above BZ to Husum.

For late season runs, it looks like White Salmon is the best option. I might head down to the deschutes the following day. Any other thoughts for September. It sounds like in September they open flow up on Tieton, but I don't know much about that river.

Thanks again
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Old 08-10-2016   #5
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themarshall View Post
Thanks to both of you for the reply...it is exactly what I needed to know. I will likey skip on the lower section as it sounds like most of the action is from above BZ to Husum.

For late season runs, it looks like White Salmon is the best option. I might head down to the deschutes the following day. Any other thoughts for September. It sounds like in September they open flow up on Tieton, but I don't know much about that river.

Thanks again
The Deschutes is great too! It is not as hard as the White Salmon but the water and weather are warmer. If you have even a tiny bit of rafting experience you will be OK with renting a raft on the Deschutes. Its a fun booze cruise. I ran the Tieton once, it was OK.
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Old 08-11-2016   #6
 
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White salmon, Washington
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There are 3 company's that have private access above BZ. They all put in along the same flat water section with their first rapid being Triple Drop. None of the company's run BZ falls commercially 😉. If you have the time it is worth the full day once you get past the old dam site. The lower lower stretch is amazingly beautiful with some fun class 3 boogie water. It can be a pain in the ass if the wind is blowing when you get to the final 3/4 of a mile though. I know both wet planet and Drifters stop after the falls on their full day for a lunch that is included before you take off to the lower half. Regardless if you run full day or half go with a company that puts in above BZ for some of the best water on the river.
Oh, and if you use Drifters request Trevor as a guide (shameless plug).


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