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Yakima River Rafting

Upper Yakima River Scenery near Cle Elum

Upper Yakima River - Class I-II

  • Open year round, if water levels permit after Labor Day
  • Put in: Teanaway River Bridge
  • Length: 3 hours
  • Equipment: Rafts, kayaks and fishing equipment
  • Professionally guided or self-guided trips available

The upper section of the Yakima River flows through the foothills of the Cascade Mountains between Cle Elum and Thorp. Because of the drop in elevation, from mountains to plains this section of river is swift and somewhat choppy. Your group will need to be able to paddle together in order to maneuver your equipment when getting in or out of the river and to keep your raft away from the banks.
This area is manageable by novices but is not for those who want a lazy day where your paddles never have to touch the water. This section has one set of class II rapids, which is usually the highlight of your trip, but can be avoided by floating on the other side of the river.

The Upper Yakima flows through private farmland and deep canyons with basalt cliffs. The banks are forested with pine trees and brush, throughout your float you will see birds, ducks, cranes, and the occasional deer.

Click here to reserve rafts, inflatable kayaks, pontoons, and fly-fishing frames on the Upper Yakima.

Click here for directions

Lower Yakima River section - south of Ellensburg

Lower Yakima River - Class I

  • Open year round, if water levels permit after labor day
  • Put in: Bighorn Campground
  • Length: 3 hours
  • Equipment: Rafts, kayaks, tubes and fishing equipment
  • Professionally guided or self-guided trips available

This sleeping beauty is the most relaxing stretch of the Yakima River. Beginning at Big Horn campsite, just six miles from I-90, this section of the Yakima slows its roll due to the backwaters above Roza Dam. It stays close to Highway 82, floating by multiple BLM and Fish and Wildlife campsites and picnic areas.
Rill Adventures provides full service between the Big Horn campsite and the BLM Big Pines recreation site.

Fair warning: don't let the calm waters fool you into thinking that you don't have to pay attention! The banks are lined with trees and bushes that can pose serious safety hazards if you're not careful. You'll need to put your paddles to use whenever you start getting near the riverbanks.

Click here to reserve rafts, tubes, inflatable kayaks, and fly-fishing frames on the Lower Yakima.

Click here for directions

Guided Trips

Kayakers enter the middle stretch of the Yakima River

We love guided trips and we think you will too. If you are a first time Yakima River floater a guide will help you hit the best rapids, stop at the best places or get the most relaxing day you could imagine. A guide takes all the stress out of knowing where to get out or missing any highlights.

When you book a guided trip you and your group will have 1 guide and 1 boat all to yourselves, we don't mix groups.

Add a picnic lunch to your day to make it even more hassle free

Upper Yakima River - Class I-II
This is our most popular guided trip. It has the best rapids, best swimming and the best stopping spots.

Highlights of the trip include a 20 foot jumping rock, a railroad tunnel, lots of swimming and the only set of class II rapids on the Yakima.

Book a Guided Trip Today

PicnicsUpgrade Your Trip With a Picnic Lunch!

Standard Picnic Lunch $10.00 Deluxe Picnic Lunch $12.00
Your choice of Sandwich or Wrap Your choice of Sandwich or Wrap
16 oz. Water 16 oz. Water
Assorted Chips Assorted Chips
Cookies Cookies
Mini Carrots Mini Carrots
Watermelon slice
Fresh, Fruits and Vegetables

Rafting gear rental Yakima RiverSANDWICH CHOICES-Turkey, ham, roast beef, tuna, veggie, chicken, cheese or peanut butter & jelly.
TOPPINGS- lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo, mustard and cheddar or swiss cheese.
Sandwiches come standard on wheat berry bread unless you request otherwise.

* People who cannot eat gluten have a choice of lettuce wraps or a salad with chicken, ham, turkey or roast beef.

Cancellation & Refund Policies

Equipment Rentals: For a full refund cancellations must be made 11 days in advance. Cancellation fees will be 1/2 the rental price if made 5-10 days before reservation date, and will be the full rental price if canceled less than 5 days before reservation date.

Guided Trips: For a full refund cancellations must be made 31 days in advance. Cancellation fees will be 1/2 the rental price if made 30-11 days before reservation date, and will be the full rental price if canceled within 10 days of the reservation.

Credit cards are held for security deposit and cancellation fees.

Rafting will take place regardless of rainy or windy weather. Only in the instance of real weather hazards, such as lightning, severe storms or flooding, will reservations be canceled. Weather hazard determination is at Rill's discretion. In the event of a cancellation by Rill's, there will be no fees charged.

Know your River Rules:

  • BE COURTEOUS TO PROPERTY OWNERS AND OTHER RIVER USERS You and your group are not the only ones on the river. Be kind to all you encounter. Land on the upper section of the Yakima is private on both sides of the river, even many of the islands have private owners. When you stop stay near the bank and be respectful of people's privacy and their land.
  • NO GLASS OR STYROFOAM - If you are bringing your own coolers leave the glass and styrofoam at home.
  • PACK OUT YOUR TRASH - Use the leave no trace behind principal, what you pack in make sure and pack out.
  • IT IS ILLEGAL TO CONSUME ALCHOL ON THE RIVER - RCW 66.44.100 states, “Except as permitted by this title, no person shall open the package containing liquor or consume liquor in a public place. Every person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class 3 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW.”
    Please be responsible, safe and considerate of the other people using the river.
  • IF A PET DAMAGES EQUIPMENT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for having it repaired. Dogs are allowed and we do have PFDs for your pet, however, pay attention to them at all times.