Kittitas County is rich with water recreation opportunities, from paddling around in high mountain lakes, floating the Yakima River, to water-skiing in several waters around the county.
Cle Elum Lake and Kachess Lake - The Yakima River is fed by these three large reservoirs, and all three offer great water to ski on in the summer months. Roza Reservoir - As the Yakima River leaves our its water is retained one more time, creating this smaller still water behind the dam. This is a popular place for an afternoon jet ski adventure. The Columbia River - Here you have some room to move. Easy access to the water at vantage, and minutes away from the Gorge Amphitheater, make this a the place to go on a hot summer day.
Rafting and Floating the "Yak"
"The Upper River" - From Cle Elum to the Thorp Diversion Dam, this stretch of the river is scenic and water is not generally as busy on hot summer weekends as the "Lower River". This Class 1 water meanders through, hillsides cover with Ponderosa Pine, Sagebrush as well as hay fields and livestock. "The Lower River" - From just south of Ellensburg to the Roza Dam, the river moves through the famous Yakima River Canyon. Steep basalt cliffs soar above the river, framing the water with desert beauty and abundant wildlife. Some caution is required to ensure that your party has an enjoyable trip:
Bring paddles. You'll need them to avoid trouble and other craft on the water.
Watch for signs that warn of danger ahead, such as the irrigation flume at Bristol Flats. Water plunges from the canal above the river, creating powerful and chaotic currents.
Don't attempt to navigate over the Thorp Diversion Dam. There is a pull out upstream—use it.
Watch for and steer away from downed trees, brush piles, and streamside vegetation. Nothing will end your fun faster than punctured raft.
Temperatures can vary dramatically in the desert, Be prepared.
Rill Adventures rent equipment and provide shuttle services for the Yakima River. Enjoy hassle free river floating with Rills! Let us help you plan your day, designing it to accommodate your special interests and needs. We can prepare the equipment and deliver it to the Upper River or have it ready for you to pickup for the Lower River float.