NOW OPEN: Husum Falls on the White Salmon

Class V Husum Falls is open and ready to raft!! 

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The White Salmon River in southern Washington, located in the Columbia Gorge near Hood River, Oregon boasts a scenic rafting adventure, accompanied by beautiful summer weather, lush greenery, and ACTION-PACKED whitewater. Sounds like the perfect combination for all outdoor enthusiasts!

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These people LOVED their experience on the White Salmon and YOU will too!

“This was a wonderful rafting experience. It felt thrilling, yet reasonably safe and intimate…It was about 10 miles on the White Salmon River, all pretty active with lots of class 2, 3 and 4 rapids… The trip really was tremendous once you got on the river, and the guides tried hard to make the whole experience really enjoyable. Definitely a WET one … we were soaked several times, but a fabulous experience, and the guides capped the afternoon off with a nice grilled dinner. This is well worth doing, and although I’m not a thrill seeker (bungee jumping is not on my bucket list), I really felt safe throughout the experience. Seek this out and enjoy!” -Randy F. via TripAdvisor

“Great weather. Beautiful river. Good equipment. From Seattle it is a 4 hour drive, but it was definitely worth it. Mostly Class III with a couple of Class IV and the 12′ waterfall towards the end of the trip. Exciting and refreshing!!” -Sixgearmusic via Trip Advisor

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The Columbia Gorge is the perfect last-minute summer getaway for Washington and Oregon residents alike. Spend a day in Hood River, Oregon taking wind surfing lessons followed by an afternoon of wine tasting at the local vineyards. The next day, enjoy an all day whitewater rafting trip with Blue Sky, followed by a riverside top sirloin steak barbecue. Just an hour from Portland, and four hours from Seattle, a balanced weekend of relaxation and action awaits you in Southern WA!

Your White Salmon River Adventure is Ready for You!

1-800-228-7238

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2013 Whitewater Season has Begun!

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend from Blue Sky Outfitters!

Our river guides are ready and waiting for YOU on the Wenatchee and Methow rivers this Memorial Day Weekend!

It’s been a long winter and we have been anxiously awaiting whitewater season 2013.

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If you and your family or friends are east of the mountains this weekend and looking for a little adventure, Blue Sky has you covered. With full day, half day, and wine tour trips we offer something for everyone. Stop by and check out our BRAND NEW storefront in Leavenworth, WA off of Front Street and 9th for some Blue Sky gear, rafting information, and other fun merchandise!

Here at the Blue Sky Outfitters office, we’re looking forward to a long summer season, with some awesome weather and rockin waves–don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime!

Give us a call at 1-800-228-RAFT for more information.

Whitewater Rafting News

Lately, we have been writing a lot about the trips that we have been offering at Blue Sky Outfitters. That is great and all, but we feel like we should give our readers something else to check out.

So here is our first attempt to help you get caught up with some of the whitewater rafting happenings around the nation and globe.

American Whitewater – A “not for profit” organization that aims to “conserve and restore America’s whitewater resources and to enhance opportunities to enjoy them safely.” This organization really does deserve your attention because they work day in and day out to provide you with fun and safe rafting throughout the year.

ABC-of-Rafting – Think of it as Rafting101. An all-encompassing information hub great for beginners in the rafting world. It gives you rafting basics, equipment information, skills and techniques and a whole bunch of other stuff that you can sink your teeth into if you are finding yourself more into rafting each day. They also have a forum which is worth checking out.

River Currents (O.A.R.S) – A great whitewater site that lets you do much more than simply book rafting trips. They are known for the Grand Canyon trips, although Oars hosts rafting trips all over the world, from West Virginia to Fiji. But they also operate sea kayaking, hiking trips and other outdoor adventures.

Tieton River Whitewater and Wine Tour

Tieton River Whitewater and Wine Overnight Tour

What better combination for a weekend getaway than an adventurous day of whitewater rafting followed by a luxurious day of wine tasting? For Seattle, the month of September might mean decreasing temperatures and the start of the rainy season, but on the Tieton River the weather is beautiful and the water is warm! In fact, it’s the warmest river water in the state along with being the fasting moving, which makes for an exhilarating rafting trip, packed with whitewater action. Located just minutes from the Yakima Valley, the Tieton’s ideal location makes for a perfect end of summer overnight to visit the beautiful wineries of Rattlesnake Hills as well. If you have a free weekend in September that you’re looking to fill with some good times, Blue Sky Outfitters has you covered.

Day One: Meet us at the mighty Tieton River for our Full Day Trip—3 hours of continuous whitewater action followed by our riverside top sirloin steak barbecue. Class III and IV rapids will excite beginners and veterans alike…get ready for some water to the face and lots of paddling! Then head over to the Comfort Inn located in Zillah for a relaxing evening in your hotel room.

 

Day Two: Wake up and enjoy a complimentary breakfast at your hotel, then hit the road with your Blue Sky guide for a day full of wine tours and tastings, all fees included in the price. First you’ll hit the Bonair Winery right in Zillah, known for its beauty in the autumn season. The next stop will be the Hyatt Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in the region. Next you’ll find an excellent selection of Red Wines at the family-owned Portteus Winery. Last but certainly not least, you will find yourself at the Silver Lake Winery , taking in the breathtaking view overlooking the vineyard and the whole Yakima Valley while enjoying a salmon or rib barbecue. The tour will end back at your vehicle in Zillah where our Blue Sky guide will see you off.

This tour is brand new for 2012 and we are excited to see its growing popularity as the season nears. Staring Labor Day weekend we will be sending guests off on this delightful weekend getaway…don’t miss your chance to join them! The Tieton River is only rafted in September, so give us a call today and reserve your spot on this exhilarating whitewater and wine excursion.

(800) 228-7238

Conquer the Tieton!

If you have never heard of the Tieton River, you’re not alone. The Tieton is a lake sourced river tucked into the southeast edge of Snoqualmie National Forest. And if you have, we have a quiz for you: How many months out of the year can one descend the Tieton? If you answered “1,” congratulations, you are pretty knowledgeable and if you did not answer with 1, well, don’t be discouraged, you learn something new every day – many first-time rafters start on the mighty Tieton River. The Tieton River is actually only 45 minutes west of Yakima, making it very popular for Eastern Washington vacationers and Yakima river-junkies. Rimrock lake reservoir is the main source of the Tieton’s water. The Tieton has very little water for most of the year but once September arrives, the floodgates of Rimrock Dam are opened and the glorious H2O runs free, providing beginning to advanced rafters with the best whitewater in Washington State. The Tieton is also fast! In fact it is the fastest river in the state, giving rafters a plentiful 19 miles of pure and continuous Washington State whitewater. What could be better? That’s right, nothing. Add Blue Sky’s classic riverside top sirloin steak barbeque to the mix along with our seasoned professional guides and you have just discovered THE BEST whitewater rafting trip in the state of Washington.

This group conquered the Tieton! No easy feat.

However, maybe you’ve heard some other things about Rattlesnake Hills (the area that the Tieton flows through) and its distinguished wineries. Maybe you are a wine lover? Yeah, we’re talking to you wineheads. Don’t worry though, Blue Sky has you covered. We package the renowned tour of the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail with our Tieton River Whitewater Adventure (complete with our riverside barbeque!), providing you with two, yes two, fun-filled days of pure whitewater and winetasting delight. But wait, there’s more! We also provide hotel accommodations the evening after rafting the Tieton, so you are refreshed and ready to hit four of Rattlesnake Hill’s best wineries the next day! And at the last winery you visit on the trail, Silver Lake Winery, you will have the choice of a delicious chicken, rib or salmon barbeque, the perfect way to end your day.

Wine tasting awaits at four of Rattlesnake Hill’s amazing wineries

So if you are looking for an exciting but relaxing overnight getaway head out to the Rattlesnake Hills and try out the Tieton Whitewater Adventure or the Tieton Overnight Whitewater and Wine Tour. You will not be disappointed.

Destination: Leavenworth, WA

Must-Do Activities

Aside from strolling down Front Street, browsing the shops and taking in the breathtaking mountain views, the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, rated #1 tourist town in the Northwest by Family Fun magazine, has a lot to offer its visitors.


  • Get out on the water!
    • Whitewater Rafting- Enjoy an action-packed day paddling through the thrilling rapids of the Wenatchee River with Blue Sky Outfitters. With full-day and half-day trips available, it’s an easy addition to your family vacation and the whitewater and wine tours are perfect for a weekend getaway with the girls!
    • Float the River- If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and relaxing, take a self-guided inner-tube float on the upper portion of the river. Tube Leavenworth with your family, friends and even bring your dog along.

  • Play some golf!
    • Desert Canyon- Treat yourself to 18 holes on the #1 golf course in Washington, Desert Canyon. Under an hour away from Leavenworth, play against the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills and water views and experience the best golf in the state.
    • Icicle Junction- For those less-experienced golfers, hit the ball around at the Icicle Junction miniature golf course right in downtown Leavenworth. Sticking with the Bavarian theme, this family-fun activities center also offers an arcade, movie theater, and sports court.

  • Sample some great food!
    • The Cheesemonger’s Shop– Any kind of cheese you can think of, this Leavenworth shop has. Hard, soft, sharp, mild, they have it all.  And what better complement to cheese than wine? They also sell wine and, of course, German beers. The perfect combination. Step in for a sample and you’re sure to make a purchase!
    • Munchen Haus– If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Germany, eat at Munchen Haus—complete with outdoor dining and serving local Icicle Brewing Company’s beer. Their outdoor courtyard has a fun, family atmosphere and is even pet-friendly.
    • The Alps Candy– For a quick snack or sugar fix on your way in or out of town, stop by The Alps candy store. The first floor is filled with candies including taffy, Swedish fish, and fudge while the rest of the store holds a variety of sauces: ketchup, mustard, barbeque and FLAVORFUL hot sauces. It’s a bit out of town along Highway 2 but regular customers say it’s worth the trip.


The town of Leavenworth is the perfect destination for families, couples, and friends alike and is jam-packed with fun activities to take part in. Next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway, no matter the season, Leavenworth should be at the top of your list!

River Spotlight: The White Salmon River

The White Salmon is truly a special river, tucked away in the Columbia Gorge, closely surrounded by trees and wildlife. Glacial waters of Mt. Adams combine with water of numerous springs providing a sufficient flow for whitewater boating year-round, bringing joy to rafters and kayakers alike, 365 days a year. The principal tributaries of the White Salmon include Trout Lake and Buck, Mill, Dry, Gilmer, and Rattlesnake Creeks.

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Floating Down the White Salmon

Condit Dam:
99 years ago, Condit Dam was completed on the south-end of Northwestern Lake on the White Salmon. Its main purpose was to provide electrical power for local industry. Although the project was successful, it created negative outcomes – detrimental to salmon spawning blocking salmon and steelhead runs and damaging the river’s ecosystem. In 2011, utility company PacifiCorp elected to remove that dam rather than install costly fish passage structures.

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Condit Dam before 2011 demolition

Currently, steelhead are swimming upstream, marking the first upstream fish migration since the dam was built there nearly a century ago. Biologists are now waiting to see if Chinook will return to the area to spawn in September. Workers are continuing to remove the concrete structure of the dam by the end of August.

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White Salmon River in 1912

Here at Blue Sky Outfitters, we raft what is known as the Middle White Salmon and Lower White Salmon – the section of the river from BZ Corner off of Alt Hwy 141 to Northwestern Lake (or where it used to be before the removal of Condit Dam). The Middle White Salmon, from BZ Corner to Husum, is a very exciting and challenging section of the river that both intermediate and beginning rafters enjoy. The Lower White Salmon, from Husum to Northwestern “Lake”, is a great run of the White Salmon for beginners with its calmer waters. This run from BZ Corner to Northwestern Lake is one of the best heavily forested gorges in the Pacific Northwest. The White Salmon is great for experienced rafters and adventurous beginners alike. Here at Blue Sky, we are excited to be rafting this beautiful and historic river.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/31305629″>Explosive Breach of Condit Dam</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/andymaser”>Andy Maser</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>