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Home->Washington River Trips->Skykomish River

Skykomish River Rafting

[ Whitewater Trips | Family Floats | Accommodations | Skykomish River Photo Gallery ]

The Skykomish River is the closest white water rafting to Seattle, WA. This Washington State protected scenic river is our Home River and no one runs it like we do! Alpine Adventures brings you the best guides and whitewater rafting experiences just 1-hour from Seattle. Want heart pounding whitewater? The Skykomish River offers the best in Washington State! Learn about our Skykomish Whitewater Trips. Looking for a lazy river float with beautiful scenery that's just right for kids and families? Take a Skykomish Family Float from Big Eddy State Park to Sultan.

skykomish whitewater rafting trip

Nailing the Class V Boulder Drop Rapid on the Skykomish River whitewater rafting trip.

Whitewater rafting on the Skykomish RiverWhitewater Rafting Trips

Skykomish Whitewater

• Season: April - Early August
• Ages: 16+ / 12+ during lower water
• Meeting location: 221 Croft Ave. Gold Bar, WA 98251
• Meeting times: Mon - Fri 10am & 2:30pm; Sat & Sun 9am & 2pm
• Class/Difficulty: Class III-V / Intermediate - Advanced
• Duration/Length: 4 hours / 9 miles
• Gear provided? Yes

Alpine Adventures whitewater rafting trips launch into the calm turquoise pools on the South Fork of the Skykomish River just above the the misty horizon line of the first rapid, Cable Drop. A few miles downstream lies the famous Boulder Drop rapid. Standing on the river bank next to Boulder Drop causes hearts to pound just looking at the thundering Class IV-V section of whitewater. When the river is at 7,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) or above, Boulder Drop becomes Class V and you need a great team with one of our expert Skykomish raft guides to lead you between massive house size rocks. We always stop and scout this rapid, as some guests may choose to walk around and be picked up downstream, especially at big water! Check out our Skykomish River rafting photos on Facebook.

Boulder Drop is not the only big rapid on the Main Section of the Skykomish. There are plenty of other exciting Class III to Class IV type of rapids including "Bonsai," "Aquagasm," "Lunch Hole," "Railroad," " and "Fisherman's," to max out your adrenal gland as you wind down the river to our take-out at Big Eddy State Park. The awesome power of this river along with stunning views of the local mountains and wildlife makes this trip a true Northwest can't miss classic!

For information on where to meet for Skykomish whitewater trips, see the Information & Maps page. Before your whitewater trip, watch our informative River Awareness Video. These trips fill up fast so make your reservation today!

Double Down!

Looking for EVEN MORE WHITEWATER!? Check out our Wenatchee - Skykomish Doubleheader!

Watch our video below to get an idea of what it's like to go whitewater rafting on the Skykomish River!

Skykomish Family Floats

Sultan "Sky" Float

• Season: April - early July
• Ages: 3+
• Meeting location: 221 Croft Ave. Gold Bar, WA 98251
• Meeting times: Mon - Fri 10am; Sat & Sun 11am
• Class/Difficulty: Class I / Beginner
• Duration/Length: 4 hours / 8 miles
• Gear provided? Yes

This easy floating section of river on the "Sky" provides an opportunity for the whole family to experience the wonders of nature. The looming presence of Mt. Index rising nearly 6,000 ft. from the valley floor reminds you that you're in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. We often see wildlife along the river and share fun and interesting facts as the guides help to put the whole alpine forest ecosystem into perspective. The trip starts at Big Eddy State Park and is a beautiful leisurely ride downstream to Sultan. From there you'll ride back to our Outpost in Gold Bar on the Alpine Adventures shuttle.

Check out the Information & Maps page for directions. Make your reservation today!

"Lower Sky" Bald Eagle Scenic Float

• Season: November - February
• Ages: 3+
• Meeting location: 221 Croft Ave. Gold Bar, WA 98251
• Meeting times: Mon - Fri 10am; Sat & Sun 11am
• Class/Difficulty: Class I / Beginner
• Duration/Length: 4 hours / 8 miles
• Gear provided? PFD only

See bald ealges resting in the trees and soaring above scouting for their next meal of fish as you float alongside salmon on this calm section of the Skykomish River. This trip provides an opportunity for the whole family to experience the wonders of nature and see these iconic birds and fish in their natural habitat. From the valley floor, Mt. Index rises nearly 6,000 ft. in the near distance, with other snowcovered peaks and ridgelines all around. Dress for warmth including several layers, and some waterproof shoes or boots. We will provide you with a personal flotation device (PFD). The trip downriver begins at Big Eddy State Park and is a beautiful leisurely ride downstream to Sultan. From there we'll drive you back to the Alpine Adventures Office in Gold Bar, where your car is parked.

Check out the Information & Maps page for directions. Make your reservation today!

Two-Day Whitewater Rafting Trips

Wenatchee & Skykomish Doubleheader
Experience both sides of the Cascades with this two day adventure of whitewater thrills! The Wenatchee River flows from the Glacier Peak area into Washington's sunny apple capital, Wenatchee. For years this river has been a favorite of those who want whitewater and sunshine. Famous Class III rapids and drops punctuate this river with names like Rock-N-Roll, Drunkards Drop, Granny's, Snowblind and Gorilla Falls. Stunning views of the Stuart Range on the East side of the Enchantment Basin region of the Cascades will awe you as you float the slower sections of this great river. Spend time in the Bavarian style town of Leavenworth before hopping in your car to drive across beautiful Stevens Pass back into the big "Sky" country. The next morning we're off to run the Class IV - V rapids of Boulder Drop on the Main Section of the Skykomish River. Lunch included both days. Schedule your Doubleheader Rafting Adventure!


Whitewater rafting on the Skykomish and Wenatchee Rivers. Twice the fun!

Camping / Campgrounds

Preferred accommodations for rafting on the Skykomish River

Stevens Pass Motel & Restaurant | 360-793-6633 |

Stevens Pass MotelStevens Pass Motel is right down the street from Alpine Adventures Skykomish meeting location at the main outpost in Gold Bar. All of our rooms are decorated in a rustic country cabin style that is cozy, relaxing, and restful to stay in. Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast in our diner before your rafting trip, we have the best breakfast anywhere on HWY 2. Tell them Alpine sent ya! To reserve, call 360-793-6633.

Cascadian Inn | 866-677-2030 |

Cabins & other rentals

Skykomish River Lodge | 760-683-4551 | Near Skykomish River |

Skykomish River Lodge


Situated in Washington's Cascade Mountains, on the banks of the south fork of the Skykomish River, This L.L.C. (Luxury Log Cabin) is a haven of sumptuous feather beds, gourmet kitchen, great room with two-story rock fireplace, and a large deck perfect for relaxing and taking in the sights and sounds of the Skykomish River. While dining you can be enjoying the mountain river view. One of the best fishing holes is right out your back door! Sleeps 10. Non-smoking. Only an 15 minute drive from Alpine Adventures in Gold Bar.

Harmony Lodge | 206-650-5390 | Near Skykomish River |

Blue River Cabin


The Harmony Lodge Washington cabin rental is a totally secluded cabin rental. This riverfront vacation lodging is nestled in nature in a forested valley of 50 privately owned acres with 2,000 feet of magnificent Index creek that dances over rocks in waterfalls through the middle of the property and flows into the Skykomish river. This vacation lodging is dog pet friendly. Bask in the hot tub at the edge of the deck over the river with a wonderful view. Also the Blue River Cabin is a spacious 1,000 square feet two-story, with large view deck and floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor that overlook the river and mountains. There is a uniquely magnificent view of the Skykomish River, national forested mountains, and the grand sky. Fully-equipped and well-maintained. We provide linens, towels, and firewood. The kitchen is fully equipped and we also provide coffee and cooking oil. There is a wood fireplace and electric heating. The hot tub has 24 jets and overlooks the river, forested mountain, and sky. At night, it is wonderful to be in the hot tub and view the amazingly visible stars. Come, play in nature and stay at our very nice Skykomish River riverfront Blue River Cabin. To reserve, call 206-650-5390.




Time to River

Money Creek Campground



25 min.

Miller River Campground



25 min.

Wallace Falls State Park



5 min.

For more campground information, contact the following Ranger Offices

Skykomish Ranger District 360-677-2414


Information & Maps

Where to meet & driving directions

Washington State Rivers Map

Buy photos of your rafting adventure!

Snow Dragon Adventure Shots