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Washington whitewater, American River

Yakima county, Hell's Crossing to American Forks section whitewater kayaking, rafting, and paddling information.


CLASS III-IV     4.7 miles
  If you've been whitewater rafting and kayaking outside Washington you might find the rivers here a bit more challenging, so better not forget that a large number of rivers in this state are not easy. The starting location is a short drive from Ellensburg, there's a road map further down the page with more info on that. This stretch of American River is 4.7 miles long and has been rated as a class III-IV section by American Whitewater. There
    arenít any hotels right nearby but if you're willing to drive a short distance then no problem and if you make reservations in advance you're all set. You can pitch a tent or park your RV at a nearby campground. This is
not the only paddling section in this river system, there are others too. This section is long enough to enjoy a good non stop paddle, it's perfect for a one day trip. Some people prefer whitewater rafting and some kayaking, either way this area has a large number of paddling rivers. The natural beauty of Yakima County and the sparkling of the sunlight on the water have people coming here. The beauty of the Northern Cascade Range is a great  
plus for this river. Great exercise and a chance to spend some time outdoors will make you glad you came.

Briefly about the general area:
There's good hiking along the Fifes Ridge Trail, and Lake Easton State Park is a good location to stretch your legs a bit. Now, you may believe that's loads but there's even more cool stuff to do here in the Northern Cascade Range. The Goat Creek Trail offers hiking at its best. For the period of the days of summer, highs usually are in the 70's at American River. Summer night lows plunge down to the 40's. Daytime highs throughout the winter are in the 30's while American River overnight low temperatures throughout the winter are in the 20's.

American River, Hell's Crossing to American Forks road map
Printable road map with the put-in and take-out locations clearly marked.


Detailed Map

Stats for this river stretch

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near American River.
 Whitewater Near American River:
American River, Yakima County, 3 miles away
      Class III-IV - 4.7 miles long (Hell's Crossing to American Forks)
American River, Yakima County, 3 miles away
      Class II+ - 5 miles long (American Forks to Sawmill Flat)
Little Naches River, Yakima/Kittitas County, 4 miles away
      Class II-III+(IV) - 9.5 miles long (Matthew Creek to Little Naches Campground)
Bumping River, Yakima County, 7 miles away
      Class II - 10.5 miles long (Bumping Reservoir to American River)
Naches River, Yakima County, 8 miles away
      Class II-III - 34 miles long (Sawmill Flat to bl. Town of Naches)
American River, -blank- County, 12 miles away
      Class II-III+ - 7.5 miles long (Lodgepole Campground to Hell's Crossing)
Rattlesnake Creek - Naches Tributary, Yakima County, 13 miles away
      Class III - 7.7 miles long (North Fork to Nile Road Bridge)
Tieton River, Yakima County, 16 miles away
      Class III+ - 11.5 miles long (Rimrock Reservoir to Windy Point Campground)
Cle Elum River, Kittitas County, 16 miles away
      Class II - 7.8 miles long (Cle Elum Dam to confluence with Yakima River)
Tieton River - South Fork, Yakima County, 18 miles away
      Class IV(V+) - 5.7 miles long (Grey Creek Campground to Rimrock Lake)
 Ski Areas Near American River:
Crystal Mountain, Washington , 18 miles away, 3100 foot drop, 11 lifts, 50 runs
White Pass, Washington , 20 miles away, 1500 foot drop, 6 lifts, 32 runs
Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington , 25 miles away, 2280 foot drop, 26 lifts, 96 runs
Alpental, Washington , 27 miles away, 2280 foot drop, 5 lifts, 19 runs
Stevens Pass, Washington , 35 miles away, 1800 foot drop, 10 lifts, 37 runs
Mission Ridge, Washington , 58 miles away, 2250 foot drop, 6 lifts, 36 runs
Cooper Spur, Oregon , 78 miles away, 500 foot drop, 2 lifts, 10 runs
Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon , 83 miles away, 2777 foot drop, 12 lifts, 87 runs
Timberline Lodge, Oregon , 85 miles away, 3590 foot drop, 6 lifts, 32 runs
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Oregon , 87 miles away, 1500 foot drop, 9 lifts, 65 runs
 Hotels Near American River:
Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum , 19 miles away
Best Western Snowcap Lodge, Cle Elum , 21 miles away
Timber Lodge Inn, Cle Elum , 22 miles away
Econo Lodge Near Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum , 23 miles away
Hampton Inn Ellensburg, Ellensburg , 43 miles away
 Campgrounds Near American River:
Pine Needle Group, Goose Prairie, 0 miles away
Pine Needle Campground, Yakima County, 1 miles away
Soda Springs, Goose Prairie, 2 miles away
 Trails Near American River:
Fifes Ridge Trail, Yakima , 0 miles away, 13 hiking miles, 4581 feet elevation difference
Goat Creek Trail, Yakima , 3 miles away,  8 hiking miles, 3879 feet elevation difference
Nile Ridge Trail, Yakima , 4 miles away, 5.6 hiking miles, 3162 feet elevation difference
South Fork Trail, Yakima , 5 miles away, 5 hiking miles, 2365 feet elevation difference
Mount Cliffty Trail, Kittitas , 6 miles away,  9.8 hiking miles, 3795 feet elevation difference
Richmond Mine Trail, Yakima , 6 miles away,  10 hiking miles, 3203 feet elevation difference
Middle Fork Trail, Yakima , 7 miles away, 7.2 hiking miles, 3118 feet elevation difference
 Public Lands Near American River:
Mount Rainier National Park, Ashford - WA , 54 miles away
Lake Easton State Park, Washington , 14 miles away
Iron Horse State Park, Washington , 16 miles away
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington , 20 miles away
 Golf Courses Near American River:
Prospector Golf At Suncadia, Cle Elum , 18 miles away
Suncadia Prospector Golf, Cle Elum , 20 miles away
 Lakes Near American River
Flat Iron Lake, Yakima , 4 miles away
Granite Lake, Yakima , 12 miles away
Rimrock Lake, Yakima , 16 miles away

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Some content, including Reach Name, Class, Coordinates, and Length, comes from American Whitewater with permission.