Sammamish River

Paddle in your sea kayak or packraft along the Sammamish River between Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish, passing Kenmore, Bothell, Woodinville, and Redmond. For much of the year this is placid water, but during spring melt off there may be a Class I current.

launch points, Put-ins & Take-outs

On the Water

The Sammamish River offers a rare opportunity to float down an urban river while taking in nature and communing with the many large and small birds, from herons and egrets to mergansers and geese. The river has been reduced considerably from it's original wild and natural length because of straightening with levees and dikes for agricultural purposes and urbanization. It's serpentine meandering curves have been replaced with straight and narrow corridors throughout much of it's upper reaches. From Redmond to Woodinville the scenery is mostly agricultural. From Bothell to Kenmore the river cuts a curvy path through wetlands, parklands, and riverside neighborhoods dotted docks and motor boats.


  • Beware of one noteworthy obstacle, the Willowmoor Weir by the Marymoor Park Concerts location.
  • Most of the year shuttles are optional as the current can easily be overcome with a minimum of effort. A heavy spring melt may provide more noticeable current. 
  • Difficulty: Sea Kayak I/II, Class I River
  • Land Manager: Land Manager Varies
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12

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