2011 Yakima River

September 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM


September 10, 2011

Submitted by Vance Cordell 

On September 10, 2011 at 10:30 AM ten people (Rick and Linda Hendon, Ron and Marilyn Gooderham, John and Jean Lee, Carl and Venus Harmon, Ken Thompson, Vance Cordell)  in three rafts, two catarafts and one inflatable kayak pushed off from Big Bend Campground on the Yakima River and floated approximately 13 miles down to Big Pines Campground.  The river was running at approximately 2,000cfs (measured at the Umtanum Creek gauge) which is quite a bit lower than what was experienced on last year’s trip.  Unlike last year’s trip in August, this year we shared the river with only a few other people.  The weather was quite a bit warmer too, reaching  97 degrees during the float trip.

We spotted several deer during the float trip, but that was nothing compared to what we saw the day before in our camp at Big Horn.  Marilyn Gooderham took pictures of a dozen or so desert big horn sheep that came right down to the river across from their camp, drank water and then scampered back up the mountain in front of us.  Several other groups of sheep were spotted on the same mountain during the same day, but none of the others came down to the river.  Later in the evening everyone was sitting in camp talking and feeding a very tame pigeon walking around our feet when suddenly a prairie falcon swooped through the trees and hit our pigeon friend so hard that it knocked him up under Ken Thompson’s camper. The frustrated falcon screamed and rather quickly took off for a limb on a tree just above our heads where he sat for several minutes before leaving.

Saturday night after the float trip, everyone was treated to baby back ribs, along with cole slaw and BBQ baked beans with several salads and Hermiston watermelons & cantaloupes.  Sunday we all got up fairly early and took off for site-seeing tours in the area.

Tags: Yakima River Big Bend Campground
Category: Trip Report

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