Yakima - Confluence with Teanaway River to Thorp

Yakima, Washington, US


Confluence with Teanaway River to Thorp

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Avg. Gradient 14 fpm

Yakima River

Yakima River
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe taken 08/08/05 @ 3090 cfs

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-12484500 1000 - 15000 cfs II 00h49m 1190 cfs (running)
Flow range for best boatability uncertain. Please help your fellow boaters with a comment or report.

River Description

With a consistent release from upstream reservoirs supplying irrigation demand this is a good float through the summer. Be aware of wood hazards and avoid the irrigation weir that forms a dangerous hydraulic (either take-out upstream or make a plan to portage). 

A standard run is from the Teanaway confluence down to the Thorp Highway Bridge. For a longer run you can put-in further upstream on the Cle Elum River at Bullfrog Road just before it joins the Yakima River.

The put-in at the Teanaway confluence is a WDFW site (Discover Pass required). At Highway 970 mile 2.5 (just west of the junction of Highway 970 and Highway 10) turn south on a dirt road following the signs for river access across the railroad tracks and continuing about a 1/4 mile down to the river.

To reach the take-out from the put-in, head back out to Highway 970, turn right, and in 0.1 mile turn on to Highway 10. Follow it 9 miles to Highway 10 mile marker 97.3 where you turn right on Thorp Highway. Continue 0.9 mile down Thorp Highway to the bridge across the river. Access is available on the downstream river right side of the bridge.

An alternative take-out is available a little further downstream at Highway 10 mile marker 101.1. This is just upstream of the lowhead dam that must be avoided (it has been the site of a couple fatalities) at Highway 10 mile marker 101.5.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-04-16 15:21:17

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Lowhead DamN/APortage Hazard Photo

Rapid Descriptions

Lowhead Dam (Class N/A)

Lowhead Dam

Lowhead Dam
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe © taken 04/15/17 @ 4840 cfs

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
August 27 2018 (24 days ago)
mdturnerphys (160275)
Paddled from the Teanaway confluence to the Thorp Highway bridge on 8/25/18 in inflatable kayaks.
Some folks putting in before us recommended staying to the right to avoid a logjam in the main
channel ~1/4 mile after the put in. Looking at a map, we decided to take the small channel exiting
nearly perpendicular to the main flow 200 yards from the put in. We're not sure if this is what
they were recommending, but it was clear. We didn't come across any other hazards.
August 9 2014 (1503 days ago)
coreyh (156788)
8-7-14 Put in at Teanaway confluence and floated down to the dam in 14ft float boat. Took about
3hrs. and was running about 4200 sq. ft. Great run for beginner to intermediate skill levels.
Nothing hard to deal with except there was a log jamb to navigate around about a quarter mile down
from the put in at the public access parking lot where Hwy 10 and 97 intersect. A Discover pass is
required for parking or you can park out by the road and walk in about a quarter mile. You can
unload equipment right next to the river. The take outs are well marked with signs on the river.
October 15 2011 (2532 days ago)
ROADHOG (153606)
Paddled from Teanaway to dam afternoon 10-12-11. Cfs 1500. Water thin but excellent paddling,
chutes full, good rock slaloming. Intermediate skills with Wenonah Rendezvous. 33 minor rapids were
charted off Google Earth, through a country wilderness landscape. Excellent fall canoeing requiring
waterproof cool weather clothing. Water at the Teanaway takes 16 hours traveling to the gauge at
Umtanum. If the gauge at Umtanum is falling, Teanaway levels may be higher. Example, enjoyed the
trip at gauge 1500, 16 hours before (upriver minus) gauge read 1540-50. Photos are at 1460 gauge
minus 16 hours. Check with NOAA for rain or snow for melt at or above Cle Elum and rising or
falling at Cle Elum gauge 43089. Of consequence for tandem canoes or beginners: First rapid is road
visible at N47.16196 W120.81260. A 2+ at 1300-1500 CFS, scout from below. Possible name: RUIN YOUR
DAY ? Second heads up drop is below a bridge, N47.10128 W120.70192. Run right side. Third rapid,
see photos on right top bar extension, at N47.075042 W120.663440, shallow and sharp, scout from
left sandbar. Rapid 3, visible from RT 10, is not a stream gauge, flow reduced by half in
diversion, flow thru the sand hill's erosion. The hillside chute at Bristol Flats, N47.14945
W120.80875, is floated over a shallow sandbar left bank. Boat ramp is at the sandbar. Air quality
degrades with agricultural dusts below the canyon and at dam take out, N47.06504 W120.65422. Local
guide reports the right dam portage is strung with barbed wire. GPS coordinates are upriver from
point. O'Keefe's photo is a pleasant burbling ripple at 1500 Cfs. Ellensburg KOA will shuttle.
July 19 2004 (5175 days ago)
David ElliottDetails
This run can be extended upstream by putting in at the Cle Elum dam, which adds 18 miles (about 4
hours) or at Bullfrog Bridge on the Roslyn/Salmon La Sac road, which adds 10 miles (about 3 hours).
The full 33 miles makes for a good long day in July or August, but the swift current requires
little paddling.

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