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Deadman Islands Snee Oosh Swinomish.
Deadman Islands Snee Oosh Swinomish. George Grubb
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"Some" Washington State, British Columbia, Californial flatwater recreational kayak put in sites
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Paddling Crescent Bar

  1. Put-in
    Launch fees, parking ...

  2. Summaries
    Location, conditions, warnings, paddle route, nature ...

  3. Provisions
    Food, fuel, firewood, WIFI, local information

  4. Accommodations
    Camping, cabins

  5. Additional info
    Rating, disclaimer

Once at the bottom of this steep drive down, follow the free parking signs through Crescent Bar on the main road. Take a left at the large playfield that is across the street from the small half block of commercial district that is open during the peak summer season.

The free parking and waterfront park area is on the east side of Crescent Bar across from the hayfield. You canít miss it. There is nothing much else in this resort community except condominiums and trailer parks and a gold course.

Feel free to gaze at the dramatic setting of towering basalt cliffs that border the east side of this put-in and most of the river as far as the eye can see.

The launch is a short couple hundred steps from the parking lot across a lawn under towering locust trees.

Park and haul the gear to the beach area of silt mud and small rocks. Over all this is an AOK place to slip a kayak or canoe in the Columbia River waters. The launch is shallow area with a fairly smooth bottom to glide out and paddle.

The parking area and launch are free. Overnight parking is not allowed.


Crescent Bar is about 27 miles south of Wenatchee and 11 miles or so west of Quincy off Highway 28. Turn south off 28 to Crescent Bar Road NW at Trinidad then down the hill to the Columbia River and Wanapum Lake formed by Wanapum Dam that is located south of Vantage and I-90. See the My Google Maps provided for the exact location of Crescent Bar and the put in etc.

During the most recent paddle at Crescent Bar, the activity on and off the water was next to zero. The community and the water in regards to people and power boats and jet skis it was silent. I assume during the peak season, especially on weekends this can be a real hell hole for noise and activity.
The primary source of noise is the highway 28 that runs between Wenatchee and Quincy. It can be heard on the water. Non paddlers donít get it. Sound travels across water. People can be speaking far away on the water and can be heard, even by someone thatís hard of hearing. Here the rock wall cliffs bounce the noise around. It is not horrible but the few minutes of silence is awesome. Sneeze here and it echoes and roars off the cliffs that rise above. Test it and see. This or someplace like might be an awesome artist with sound skills to work magic.
The might be creatures in the flora like ticks and snakes so be on your toes.

iWindSurf.com check wind.
During this visit the wind blew fairly hard on the Columbia River side of the bar. The launch site was protected from the down river winds up to the point at the southern end of the bar. There the wind was blowing extremely hard but the water between the cliffs and the bar itself was calm and very peaceful with minor little breezes no and then.

There was a small current on the west, put-in, side of the this small body of water. It was flowing south. At the first bend at the small islands it could be seen and felt. This current wasnít a problem. Made the paddle to the tip of bar where it meets the main river easy and enjoyable. On the way back up the east side of the water there was a current heading back north. This was a win win situation. Almost two free rides, one heading south and then the return north to the launch. Amazing easy paddling in shallow waters.

Note this is a an area that is a reservoir behind the Wanapum Dam way down stream past Vantage Washington. The river levels are control by hydro electric production and run off. Consequently no two paddles would ever be the same here or elsewhere for that matter.

Crescent Bar is alive with birds. If the fossil fuel noises are quiet paddlers will be more then amazed by the egrets, herons, and other waterfowl that come and go and call this place home. The shoreline of the bar and mini islands are thick with reeds and shrubs and trees that shelter birds and other animals. On the other side is a golf course. Check not for eggs but golf balls in the water.

The eastern shore of this little place is rock from the basalt cliffs above. Donít miss the many creatures that fly in and live in the rocks along the shore.

The western shoreline near the launch site is linked with mobile home units. The housing extends a short distance down the east side of the bar. There is golf course behind the vegetation lining the bar the rest of the way down to the mouth of the river. So watch out for golf balls. The golf course can not be seen most of the route south or back north if paddling back up this same body of water and not up the main river side of the bar. Supposedly a circle could be made around the bar witch is an island. But the wind on the river during the October 2010 paddling made paddling on the main river unpleasant and consequently no attempt was made and a return to the put-in site was made on the same body of water paddle on going south. See the map of the route provided.

The time to go here and most places is off season and or during the week. When it is peak season here and many places it could be a total horror story unless of course you are into fossil fuel noise from speed boats, jet skis and crowds. If you are into crowd therapy, go in the summer when the heat is on. Otherwise relish in the calmer spring, fall and possibly winter.

If you have not been to Crescent Bar you are in for a treat. This is a stunning location on the Columbia River. From the drive down from highway 28 to the beach put-in area and the entire paddle. This is an extremely scenic spot from the kayak or canoe alive with great birding opportunities.

During the October 2010 visit there was no water or public toilet in Crescent Bar to be found. The nearest public facility is a rest area up on the main highway that brought you here. Head east towards Quincy and on the top of the hill is a traditional rest area with restrooms.

During the off season there are no services of any kind in Crescent Bar. During the peak season of summer there appears to be a convenience store probably with some water etc. Otherwise like most paddling locations bring your own food, fuel, water etc.

There isnít any kayak or canoe rentals in or around Crescent Bar. The primary rentals are things like jet skis and power boats in the peak season. Sporting goods stores are located back in Wenatchee. Not sure if there are any paddling related supplies.


There is RV and tent camping at Crescent Bar Campground. Not sure what the season is because the website does not say. Tenting starts at $37.00 a night.

Other locations to camp in this area are sort of limited. But up and down the Columbia River there are some state parks and other city, county and other parks suitable for camping. Check the link below to regional camping and other inexpensive places to stay.

For some budget camping, cabins, yurts, RV and hostels, check out Paddle Heaven's Columbia River map and Columbia River page of links as well as Paddle Heaven's Camping cabins and more.

Additional Information

Deliverance rating. Off season was OK because there was no one around except the garbage pickup truck. During the peak season it is anyone's guess if the crazy bell rings loud here.

Tranquility Ranking
One way to up the tranquility rank besides taking Valium, until a National Day of Silence, no fossil fuel noise, try hearing protection. Can be peaceful when the highway is silent and fighter get war machines don't roar overhead.

All hail the fossil fuel and war machine noise!

Fishing Reports, Stocking Reports & Fish Counts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Things your need to know.
Read Me disclaimer, warnings, paddle at your own risk.

Click for Quincy, Washington Forecast

See some of the weather conditions in Washington State by viewing Web Cams in diffefrent locaitons before you head out paddling.

View Columbia River in a larger map

Approximate distance from:
Seattle 174 miles.
Everett 149 miles.
Bellingham 210 miles.
Vancouver Canada 260.
Spokane 150 miles.
Portland Oregon 278 miles.

View Larger Map
Google Earth view of Crescent Bar.

Babcock Ridge topographic map featuring Crescent Bar from the USGS Store. West Bar across the Columbia River from Crescent Bar.

GPS: 47.212718,-119.990349

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Region: Columbia River

Overall rating: 5 paddles.

Launch: Free sandy slit launch.

Launch rating: 5 paddles.

Parking: Free parking at the launch site. Washington State public lands parking permit

Miscellaneous Easy shallow paddling in semi protected waters.

Route Distance: 3.5 miles route on the map provided.

Highlights: Scenic cliffs, sun, wildlife, weather/sunshine.

Warnings: Highway noise, crowds in summer, wind on the river.

Fossil fuel noise levels: 4 on a scale of 0-10. 10 being the loudest.

Facilities: No facilities during off season. Cell worked. Nearest toilet is on the way to Quincy in the rest area.

Services: No services in off season.

Budget accommodations: Tent,Cabin,Hostels,Kayak Camps,RV,Yurt.


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Last Update: 03.11.11 9:12am