Seasons for Floating the Yakima River Canyon
June - August - Peak season for floating and enjoying the heat and some splashing around. River flows are high and swift, averaging about 4,000 cfs. Saturdays in July and August are nuts from 1 pm - 5 pm. CRAZY busy if temps hit 100 degrees plus. If you want a quiet float, go in the morning and enjoy the wildlife, quiet, and get off the river by 2 pm.
September - Very good time to float. River flows are down to about 2,000 cfs and the water is usually still warm enough for a dip.
October - November - Some warm days but cold water, so be prepared with waders, wetsuits, or just some cold feet. This is a GREAT time watch for Bighorn Sheep! It is breeding season and you may get to see them butt heads. Quite a thrill. Later in the month migratory Bald Eagles arrive. River flows are very low this time of year. About 1,000 cfs so floats should be short.
December - February - A short winter float is good fun in boats that keep you dry. Hypothermia will be an issue for anyone that gets wet so use EXTREME caution. Eagles, Deer, Bighorn, Otters, and other wildlife are at a premium!
March - May - The wildflowers are spectacular in May, and the river is nearly empty in March and April other than a few fisherman. It's a great time to get out here and get some eastern Washington sunshine! Watch out for high water and look for river flows less than 4,000 cfs.