Natural Resources

Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Study

Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Study


Chelan County updated the County Comprehensive Plan in 2017. As part of that effort, the Chelan County Natural Resource Department conducted public outreach to gather input on the Recreation Element of the Comprehensive Plan. A major theme of the public feedback recieved centered on development of a whitewater park in the Wenatchee Valley, with an emphasis on studing the Dryden Dam as a potential whitewater park location to address the safety hazard of the recirculating hydraulics of the low-head dam structure posed to river recreationalists. The whitewater park feasibility concept was included in the Comprehensive plan as a Tier 1 (high priority) project. In 2021, an amendment to the County Economic Development plan allowed County funds to be accessed to pursure actions recommended in the Comprehensive Plan. In spring of 2021, CCNRD launched the Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Study, hiring professional consultants in the field of whitewater park design and fish habitat improvement to assess a variety of potential sites in the Wenatchee Valley and develope a priority matrix of the sites. This website will serve to update the community on progress of the feasibility study and announce opportunities for public involvement. 

Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Report

In August 2021, Recreation Engineering and Planning and Parr Exellence completed the Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Report using information compiled during the April 2021 site visits and feedback from the April 2021 Community Meeting. The Feasibility Report is now available to view following the link below.

A public comment period will follow the release of this document, to formally gather feedback on this effort that will help determine next steps. Please provide comments via email to or via mail to 411 Washington St. Suite 201, Wenatchee WA 98801. The comment period runs from Friday August 13th through Friday September 17th. Comments will be compiled into a document that can be reviewed by County Commissioners and other invested stakeholders. 

Wenatchee Whitewater Park Feasibility Report


Next Steps:

Chelan County and consultants met with Chelan PUD and Yakama nation to discuss feasibility of Dryden Dam site, which scored highest in the priority matrix. Due to existing broodstock collection facilities, the site is too complex to consider a whitewater park at this time. However, Chelan PUD plans to internally evaluate options to increase safety at the dam facility. 

The second highest priority site is the Leavenworth Mill Dam site. Chelan County is working with consultants, fisheries agencies, and landowners to develop an alternatives analysis for project potential at the site. Project concepts will focus on mill dam rehabilitation, habitat improvement, and recreation improvement. The alternatives analysis will be posted here when complete, and we will plan a public meeting to discuss the preferred alternative. 

Upcoming Meetings:

No meetings are scheduled at this time.


Previous Meetings: 

March 31st, 2022 Leavenworth Community Meeting with Commissioner Bob Bugert


April 21st, 2021 Whitewater Park Feasibility Informational Community Meeting

Meeting Notes

Presentation: Whitewater Park Examples

Presentation: Wenatchee Site Assessments

Presentation: Habitat Considerations


If you are interested in joining a listserve to be notified of project updates and upcoming opportunities for involvement, please visit


Posted: 04/27/2021 03:12 PM
Last Updated: 04/20/2022 11:20 AM

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