Tieton River Rafting, Washington
The headwaters of the Tieton River originate in the snowfields of the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The Rimrock Lake conserves these irrigation waters for all summer and spring. Tieton at the west of Yakima is a tiny stream until autumn. Then Bureau of Land Reclamation lets the gates open and pumps 2000 CFS down the valley, converting the Tieton into an angry demon with growling waters. This is the time to pump up some adrenaline in Tieton while other whitewaters in the Pacific Northwest turn into meager floating spots.
Tieton offers some unforgettable Class III+ action with rapids such as Wild Rose, High Noon, Centipede and Waffle Wall. The river drops 600 foot down in its entire course with an average gradient of 60 feet per mile, making it one of the steepest rivers to raft along. The rapids follow each other in quick succession and there is hardly any time to catch your breath! The basalt canyon has a warm climate and is covered with oak forests and ponderosa pines around. The National Forest offers a real wilderness setting to the thrilling rafting experience. The initial stretches are sparse in vegetation, but the forests go denser and drier towards the end near Nachez River.
Tieton presents the perfect ending to the rafting season of the state and for many loyal rafters, Tieton is nothing less than an annual pilgrimage. The Tieton rafting spots are easily accessible through Seattle and the minimum age required for rafting is 12.