Paddle Boarding and Kayaking on the Upper Methow River
The Upper Methow River is one of the last untouched floodplain ecosystems in Washington State. This trip follows the river from the Weeman Bridge near Mazama, through the Big Valley wildlife area and ends near Winthrop. This is a truly unique environment with very few signs of civilization. The waters are crystal clear and the shoreline is lined with old growth pine & cedar. Wildlife is abundant here and the mountains rise from the river without a house or roofline in sight.
The river is quite mild and slow moving here, making it ideal for stand up paddling and kayaking, however this is not a trip for beginners as there are many natural hazards to avoid. We keep a low guide to client ratio to ensure safety. Awareness and some paddling skills are required to safely navigate this stretch. Some portages are required so the ability to carry a paddle board accross cobble beaches is necessary. Guides will conduct a brief paddling check prior to departure.
What To Expect
When you arrive at River Run Inn, walk through the main office and you'll find our headquarters right on the river! After checking in with our staff you'll have time to change into your swimsuit and apply sunblock. When you're ready our guides will help you prepare for the trip, taking time to help outfit you with all of the gear you’ll need. Included in the cost of all of our trips is a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), helmet, paddle, wetsuit, paddle jacket if needed, and booties for your feet- everything you’ll need! There is a changing area and restroom available for your convenience.
As soon as everybody's geared up, your guides will give a group orientation that covers paddling technique and river safety. To ensure that everyone has the skills to safely navigate the river, our guides will do a quick paddle check on the river in front of the Inn. Once that's out of the way we'll drive up river to the put-in. Expect to spend about two and a half hours floating the river with a break along the way for snacks.
This section of the river is slow moving and will allow lots of opportunites to try standing up on your board. You will need to follow your guides lead and sit on your board where the river is shallow and where technical moves are required.
What To Bring
If you would like to help us reduce plastic waste please bring a re-fillable water bottle and we'll stow it onboard the raft. Please bring any medications that may be necessary during the trip, ie. asthma inhalers or epi-pen for severe allergic reactions. Please notify your guide- we need to know if you have any medical conditions, AND we'll stow it in the dry bag on board the raft. Depending on the weather you may want to bring a warm layer, we recommend a fleece or technical wool mid-layer (no cotton please). If you must bring a camera we recommend only waterproof cameras. Please leave all other personal items in your vehicle or at home.