Snoqualmie River Whitewater Rafting | Class 3

The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Whitewater Rafting trip is a classic Western Washington gem of a run and the closest whitewater to downtown Seattle. This trip features technical whitewater run with boulder gardens and wild scenic escapes, while being only 30 minutes from Seattle. 

Snoqualmie River Basics

Trip Details

Price: $85 (Why does the trip cost this amount?)

Risk Classification: Class 3 (explanation of classification here)

Driving Directions

Exertion Level (proportionate): Hard (70%), Very Hard (30%) (explanation of exertion level here)

Skill Level: Intermediate (explanation of difficulty level here)

Normal Season: May-June 

Peak "Best Time" Season: May

Priority Booking Dates for 2017: May 6,7, 13,14, 20, 21, 27, 28. June 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, July 1, 2

Length of trip: Approximately 7 miles

Runnable River Level: 800 cubic feet per second (lowest)-4000 cubic feet per second (highest)

River Gauge used: USGS Snoqualmie near Tanner (click here)

Type of Rafts used: Self Bailing Whitewater Rafts 12' to 15' in length

Maximum number of guests per trip: 28

Maximum number of guests per raft: 9 (high water), 5 (low water)

Minimum age: 14 

Minimum weight: 90lbs. 

Safety Protocol: Continuous whitewater safety protocol including safety kayakers if necessary (usually in high water or on smaller trips), trip leaders with advanced medical training on staff. Two craft minimum for each trip. Swiftwater rescue kits, medical trauma kits, emergency communication device. 

Paddles/helmets required: yes/yes

Wetsuits required: Yes

Type of Life Jacket required: Type 5 (guests cannot bring their own PFD's)

Liability Waiver Required: yes (online here)

Typical time on river: 1.5-2.5 hours

Typical time for the complete trip: 2.5-4 hours (depends on river flow and rescue situations)

Food/beverage served: no

What Triad River Tours provides: Qualified expert whitewater certified guides, top quality rafts, type 5 coast guard approved life jacket, wetsuits available for rent, hypothermia gear, safety equipment, medical supplies.

What you may want to bring: Quality footwear (like sandals, booties, or flip flops), warm wool socks, capilene or other base layer for warmth, a snack or lunch, camera, water bottle that can be attached to the raft (we do not allow loose plastic on the river due to litter issues).

Special Note: Washington State does not have a government operated guides and outfitters licensing board. Whitewater Classification is subjective and often times misleading. If you do not fully understand the classification for yourself, it is best not left up to chance. What is often referred to as "Class 5" whitewater is considered class 3 or 4 by other, often more experienced boaters who have a larger and more apt perspective on the matter. For a closer study of river difficulty and risk, please visit our safety informative page.


About the Snoqualmie River

The Snoqualmie River originates from several high mountain lakes in the Cascade mountains to the West of Snoqualmie Pass. While being the closest whitewater run to Seattle, it also boasts some of the best wave running in the early summer. The Snoqualmie is a popular kayaking river almost year round, and is a treasure to those who spend time in its pristine, clear, natural, undammed river flows. This is a great river to get both a great whitewater ride as well as get out of the city for a great short adventure and be back in time for dinner. 

Classification and Risk Analysis of the Sauk River


  • Safety Protocol
  • Number of significant rapids (class 3 or higher) at normal flows: 6
  • Generalized classification of river by American Whitewater: Class 3+
  • Highest possible classification: Class 4 (at high water)
  • Lowest possible classification: Class 3 (during low water)
  • Number of recorded commercial fatalities: 0
  • Number of private boater fatalities: 2
  • Estimated number of boaters (user days) per year: 6000
  • Most significant rapid: House Rock (Class 3-4)
  • Major risks to human safety according to our in house analysis: 1. hypothermia 2. strainers (wood) 3. flush drowning 4. blunt trauma (rocks)


If you would like to read more about hypothermia risk and cold water immersion please click here.

If you would like to read a short breakdown on whitewater risks please click here.