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I've kayaked a fair bit around the Seattle area on short class III runs, but am considering getting a raft setup and am looking to find a couple flatwater to class II multiday trips to start on. Any suggestions for western Washington?
 

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Multi-day is a tough one for Washington as you can run almost all our raftable rivers in a day. That being said, you could try Sauk, from Bedal camp to the bridge a few miles past Darrington. That would give you a roughly 24-25 miles, last few being pretty flat. You could camp somewhere on the riverbanks between Whitechuck and Backman.
Similar thing could be done on Skagit, Newhalem to Rockport, again around 24 miles with a ton of flatwater.
I would also recommend Warm Spring to Sandy Beach on Deschutes, which makes a fun two-nighter. Lots of flat water with a few class II-III rapids over 50 miles. That requires a permit, but it is not particularly difficult to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Multi-day is a tough one for Washington as you can run almost all our raftable rivers in a day. That being said, you could try Sauk, from Bedal camp to the bridge a few miles past Darrington. That would give you a roughly 24-25 miles, last few being pretty flat. You could camp somewhere on the riverbanks between Whitechuck and Backman.
Similar thing could be done on Skagit, Newhalem to Rockport, again around 24 miles with a ton of flatwater.
I would also recommend Warm Spring to Sandy Beach on Deschutes, which makes a fun two-nighter. Lots of flat water with a few class II-III rapids over 50 miles. That requires a permit, but it is not particularly difficult to get.
Thanks! That's a great start to get our feet wet.
 

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I'm not sure I agree with running the upper Deschutes, for what you have requested, however for the lower I would.

Agreed...there’s a few rapids that can cause problems. Last year in Whitehorse Rapid, there was a raft in the group ahead of us had flipped and a dory pinned on some rocks in the middle of the rapid.
 

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I've kayaked a fair bit around the Seattle area on short class III runs, but am considering getting a raft setup and am looking to find a couple flatwater to class II multiday trips to start on. Any suggestions for western Washington?
St. Maries, St. Joe, or NF Clearwater in N Idaho look good. Drive isn't awful. Non-permitted II-III and very remote if you're used to W WA
 

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You can multi-day the Yakima River if you plan it well. I guided anglers on it for 10 years.

For the Upper River (Cle Elum to Thorp) launch at South Cle Elum (just under the bridge by the ball park) and float down to the Hwy 10 WDFW takeout below the Green Bridge in Thorp. There are a few established camp sites above and below the high water mark along the river at lower flows (500-2400 cfs) on river right beginning just above where the Teanaway comes in. It's possible to take it slow and fish, enjoy the wildlife, and nothing more than a Class 2. There is a large diversion dam that you shouldn't run that is well signed below the Hwy 10 takeout.

Launch at the KOA to multi-day the Farmlands and Lower Canyon sections, using islands and staying below the high water mark, as private property is much closer to river level in this area. You can float all the way to Roza, stashing gear/food at the BLM sites (Umtanum, Lmuma, Big Pines) or pull over and tent camp there with fire pits and pit toilets.

It's not a remote wilderness experience, but if you fish and want to get used to packing, logistics, and learn some new water with little risk of rapids, this is a good choice. PM me for more details if you'd like.

Derek
 

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Have you considered the Grand Ronde? It is swift and cold, with some splashy sections. Gorgeous scenery and an easy permit. It's not Washington but it's not too far away.
 

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If you are still kayaking, I'd love to get some guidance on some of the short class III in the area. I used to be a class IV-V boater, but I'm about 10 years past that. I've been in Puyallup for 5 years and have yet to make any boating friends. I also have a 14' self-bailer that I've taken down the Sauk and Wenatchee and spend some time over on the Deschutes as well.
 

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I agree with others in this thread --WA is poor but Oregon has a number of offerings, and Idaho is rich in options. Check out American Whitewater website. You'll find they list most runs nationwide, and it's easy to search by area. While there, consider becoming a member. They do a great service advocating on behalf of recreational boaters.

Here in Oregon, Deschutes and Grand Ronde are good beginner rivers. I've put brand new oarsmen on the Deschutes. It's not a river I'd recommend running solo first time but with your experience and another boat helping you along, you'd be fine. Put in at Warm Springs or Trout Creek and run to Sandy Beach, 3-4 day run. The run is punctuated with straight forward class II & III rapids. Be sure to stop and scout Whitehorse, it requires maneuvers and takes boats on occasion. Oak Springs rapid can be problematic. It can be scouted from the road during shuttle, and can be avoided by taking out early at Maupin City Park. Have fun!
 

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FYI
The Sauk between Whitechuck and Darrington is not a beginner run, and would be made even more difficult with a gear boat. It is not the mellow class II you are looking for. There is a super mellow class II cruise after the whitewater section though. You could put in at Backman and float to Sauk River Park. Both Clear Creek (right next to Backman put in) and Sauk River Park (take out) are established campgrounds with easy river access. You can put in at Clear Creek, but it's not great for rafts. You can put your trailer in the water at Backman about 2 minutes down the road. The run is only 14 miles or so, but you can just camp at either put in or take out and run some mellow day trips while still enjoying sleeping outside. You could extend this trip all the way to the Skagit and take out at Faber Ferry North near Concrete. That would give you about 12 more miles of easy flat water. The great part about this section is that most people are interested in the whitewater, and I've been up there on the weekends without seeing another boat on the water below Backman. That probably won't be the case this year though with the Steelhead fishery open. There's also an awesome burger place in Darrington which we go to every time we're up there.

I love a long river trip, but doing day trips from a campground already on the river is pretty great too.
 

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Grande Ronde is nice- but plan on a few launches setting off each day from mid-June to fireworks day (ie no fireworks allowed on this river) I June 20-30 I would estimated about 25 groups and 150 rafts launch a day.
 
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