Methow River Raft & Kayak takes a group from Winthrop to Twisp on Monday. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

Methow River Raft & Kayak takes a group from Winthrop to Twisp on Monday. Photo by Laurelle Walsh

By Laurelle Walsh

Methow River Raft & Kayak, the valley’s only locally based river outfitter, is off to a good start in its fourth season running the Methow River.

Owned and operated by Shiah Lints and Leia Hansen, it’s also the only company that runs trips on the upper Methow, from the company’s home base at the River Run Inn in Winthrop.

“The river is at a really great level right now for rafting and kayaking, and hopefully with the forecasted cooler temps and rain we will continue to have good rafting through early July,” said Hansen earlier this week.

River flows peaked earlier than usual – May 18 this year – and have been mostly dropping since then, Hansen said. “Of course we can never predict what will be served up in terms of weather, but we are definitely anticipating a shorter than average whitewater season this year,” she said.

Currently, Methow River Raft & Kayak is running Black Canyon and Gold Creek trips, as well as scenic raft and kayak tours from Winthrop to Twisp. “Once the river gets low, which we anticipate will be a bit early this year, we’ll begin doing the ever-popular tube floats from River Run Inn to the Winthrop Inn,” Hansen said.

Hansen and Lints both personally guide trips, along with guides Matt Gentry, Bolo DiModica, Ian Fair, John Nelson and Renae Haug this season. Liberty Bell High School junior Rowan Post is also interning as a guide trainee this summer.

Several companies based outside the valley are also running the Methow this spring: Action Rafting of Cashmere, River Rider and Orion River Rafting both based in Leavenworth, Blue Sky Outfitters based in Seattle, Alpine Adventures out of Gold Bar, and River Recreation headquartered in Monitor.

For more information about Methow River Raft & Kayak, call (509) 341-4661, or go to the website