The Upper Wind is a beautiful and challenging river in Southern Washington. It has a an easy shuttle and is close to Portland making it a popular winter trip for advanced rafters and kayakers. It's especially popular with catarafters who use it as a training ground for rowing Class V rivers. It the most difficult section of whitewater commercially rafted in the Columbia Gorge.

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Northwest Rafting CompanyNorthwest Rafting Company (541) 450-9855 is an award-winning group of professional, well-trained guides that lead people down the most beautiful rivers in the world.

The race season starts here every March with the Upper Wind River Whitewater Festival. This organized event has fun head-to-head races for rafts, catarafts and kayaks.

Kayaker Mass Start at the Wind River Festival

Kayaker Mass Start at the Wind River Festival

The difficulty of this river is highly dependent on flows which are mostly dependent on rain. The first two miles are very continuous and can be quite dangerous at flows about 6.5 feet on the Stabler gauge.

Catarafting on the Wind River

Catarafting on the Wind River

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: Put-in just upstream of the bridge at Stabler.

Just below the put-in at Stabler Bridge on the Wind River

Just below the put-in at Stabler Bridge on the Wind River

Mile 0.9: Initiation (IV+) is the first Class IV Rapid that will give you a sense of what the next few miles will be like.

Mile 1.2: Ram's Horn (V) is the most difficult rapid on the Upper Wind. It's a long Class V with the most difficult move at the bottom. This rapid would take a long time to scout so it's good to follow someone down that knows the way.

Kayaking an unnamed rapid just below Ram's Horn

Kayaking an unnamed rapid just below Ram's Horn

Mile 1.4: Balls to the Wall Right a.k.a. BTTWR (IV) is a tricky rapid with center and right lines. Below here are several great rapids including Balls to the Wall Left (III+) and Morning Wood (IV).

Mile 2.1: Climax (IV+) is an 8 foot drop with 3 distinct lines. This marks the end of the bigger rapids. The next few miles are full of fun Class II and III rapids with some great surf spots.

Dropping over the center line at Climax

Dropping over the center line at Climax

Mile 6.5: Take-out on river right just before High Bridge.

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