The Chiwawa River is often overshadowed by her popular sister to the north west, the Wenatchee, only 30 minutes away, but the lush scenery and crystal clear waters have made the Chiwawa run a sought after experience for many boaters. The season is quite short, from mid-June through the 4th of July, and this is a great run for the intermediate boater looking to gain some experience on a river with continuous Class IIIs through three different gorge stretches. The water does not slow down on the Chiwawa, even on the sections between gorges.
The Chiwawa begins high in the Glacier Peak Wilderness of the North Cascades on Chiwawa and Fortress Mountains. It flows through the Wenatchee National Forest and into the Wenatchee River, several miles east of Lake Wenatchee. Much of the drainage for this river is classified as national forest and wilderness, and the upper Chiwawa watershed still remains untouched.
Boaters can look forward to wide gravel beaches that make the perfect spot to stop for lunch, and kayakers will especially appreciate the outstanding surf waves along this fourteen-mile stretch.