Summer Special: Floating down the Snoqualmie

Summer Special: Floating down the Snoqualmie

By: Shelby August 18, 2013 3:11 pm 7 comments

Is there anything more American than floating down a river with your friends, a bucket of fried chicken, and coolers full of your favorite beverages? We didn’t think so either, so one Sunday, we loaded up our cars with tubes, life jackets, ice, drinks, and food, and headed out to the Snoqualmie River to bask in the glorious Pacific Northwest summer.


The day started out drearily enough, but the weather report promised us it would clear up by 1:00pm. We arrived just as the parking lot was about to spill over with cars. Party was in the air as everybody was inflating tubes and lathering on sunscreen, but the clouds still hadn’t parted. But as we were dragging our tubes down to the rocky riverbed to launch into the river, the clouds parted and dissolved completely within minutes.




The snow-melt water is freezing as soon as you step in, but after a few minutes of baking in the sun, it feels so nice to dip your toes in and relax the day away. The river is slow, but there are a few shallow parts that make for some fun baby rapids. Hold onto your drinks and hold your butt up as you go over those, or else you might just lose both. If you’re feeling really brave, there are rope swings and logs to jump in from as you go. We saw kayakers, paddle boarders, picnickers, dogs swimming, and people of all ages. It’s really like a summertime oasis.



We went again a couple of weeks later, and the river depth was considerably lower. The rockier parts were much larger and a large party sandbar had grown up about halfway through. This provided a nice stopping point to get out, listen to music, and hang out with people we met and friends we found along the way.



As for summer activities, floating has got to be one of the most relaxing, care-free ways to spend a day. I think we’re done for this summer, but I’ve got this big tube now and already can’t wait to get back down on the river as soon as it’s warm enough. I’ve caught myself daydreaming about it at work recently…



Put-in: Plum River Access on Snoqualmie River, about 3 miles downstream of Snoqualmie Falls. Take-out: Fall City Bridge landing

3.5 miles, about 4 hours

Discover pass required at launch point, but not at end point.

Driving directions are from the pull-out point to the put-in point. Drop off a car at the end spot and drive another to the put-in spot with your tubes!

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  • Sarah

    The addresses you have on the bottom of your site are flipped. The SE Fish Hatchery Rd. is the starting location. I know this because I learned the hard way, used your addresses as they are presented, and ended up apparently starting my trip and what was supposed to be the ending point. Traveled downstream for 3 hours before realizing we were getting farther away. Had to get rescued by a nice man on a boat who took us to shore, in Carnation mind you. Then another nice lady had to give us a 20 minute ride back to our cars. Please consider making this switch so other people don’t float off the wrong way like we did.

    • Shelby

      Ack!! That sounds like quite an adventure! I meant the directions to be between end and starting points, as in you drop Car 1 off at the pull-out point and drive Car 2 to the put-in spot, but I can see now how that is confusing. I will certainly clarify in the post! I’m sorry that happened to you!!

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