Note: This article was published in July 2015 and some details of this article may have changed. For more current information, see the August 2018 cover story of Seattle magazine on the 40 Best Water Adventures in the PNW, which features some of Washington's best river floats.
Washington, as we all know, is a land of many rivers: the winding Columbia, the raging Skykomish, the gentle Stillaguamish....I could go on and on.
As lovely as these rivers are to look at, they're even better to float on. Just picture it-- the sun shining, birds soaring, and you, cool as a cucumber in your inntertube, floating leisurely past wildflower-dotted banks, laughing with friends while sipping a river-chilled beverage. Ahh, paradise.
All you need for a successful river float is good company, a sturdy inflatable (River Rat tubes are my go-to) and cars parked at the start and end of the journey. Heads up: this hot summer weather has left water levels lower than usual, so be prepared for slower float times. And as always, keep an eye out for rocks and logjams.
With that in mind, grab a few friends and make a day out of these fun river adventures.
Central & Eastern Washington
Okanogan River, Okanogan
Wenatchee River, Leavenworth
Put in: Icicle Road Bridge
Take out: Waterfront Park
Time: 3-4 hours
Yakima River, Ellensburg
Cedar River, Renton
Put in: Jones Road
Take out: Carco Theatre
Time: 2-3 hours
Snoqualmie River, Fall City
Put in: Plum River Access Point
Take out: SR202 Bridge
Time: 3-4 hours
This article previously included information on river floats at Green River which have since been removed because of conflicting information.