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Upper Yakima River (Class I-II)

Upper Yakima River Scenery near Cle Elum

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.

Reservations made within 48 hours of departure must be made at (509) 964-2530

Book a Trip on the Upper Yakima


  • Meet at put-in.
    1. Each participant turns in a waiver.
    2. Stage any gear/food going down the river in boats.
    3. Drop off participants who are not shuttling.
  • Participant's vehicles are driven down to take out (one shuttler per car).
  • All shuttlers get a ride back to the put-in via Rill's Shuttle Bus.

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