“It’s been snowing hard in the Mountains, again,” is a phrase many of us in the Pacific Northwest have been hearing a lot this winter, but what does this mean for the 2020 whitewater river rafting season In Washington State?
Generally and historically speaking, the more snow we receive in the Washinton State Cascade mountains, the bigger the rapids are on Washington state rivers and the longer the season lasts that summer. So a correlation can be made fairly easily; the more snow in the winter equals the better the white water river rafting in the following spring and summer. The following spring after a large snowpack in the Washington State Cade mountains, the whitewater and water levels on the river are large in Mid-May thru Mid June with the river continuing to be larger than normal thru late July. In addition, the rivers tend to run longer into August on “Big-Water” years. Each year we hope to see at least 100% snowpack in the mountains as 100% means we have reached the average snowfall of a whole winter; anything else past this point is extra snow and more water in the river the following spring.
With the increased amount of snowpack in the mountains, this also means our rivers that are dammed tend to have water quantities that last longer and are able to better supply Central and Eastern Washington farms with a more steady supply of water to irrigate with. In addition, more snow in the mountains also means the forests are wetter for a longer duration into the spring and summer and the risk of a devastating wildfire is diminished.
We are closely watching the snow at several snow-reporting sites in the Washington State Cascades Mountains now, with the anticipation of seeing the 100% mark hit any day. Seeing as we are barely 1/3 of the way through the Winter, we are expecting an above-normal snowpack by the 1st of April. This all formulates to an amazing whitewater river rafting season in 2020 on rivers such as the Wenatchee, Methow, Skykomish, Green, Tieton, Nooksack, and the Skagit. All and all said this is looking like the season to hit the river for some amazing rapids and some memory-making adventure.