Hood River and the surrounding area is a mecca for adventure seekers. Go underground when you explore Washington State’s amazing caves or seek some thrills when you white water raft down the White Salmon. Hood River events attract outdoor lovers from all over the world, like the famous Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim. Every Labor Day weekend, hundreds of visitors flock to the Washington shore for this yearly tradition. Over 550 swimmers don their swim caps and goggles to jump into the freezing water and swim the 1.1-mile stretch across the mighty Columbia River. Whether you participate or spectate, you can feel the energy of determination in the air.
Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim History
In 1942, Roy Webster came to Hood River from New York to buy land for an orchard. Webster Orchards became successful selling apples and pears nationwide via mail order. In the same year, Webster and his friends first challenged themselves to swim across the Columbia River Channel. Now, the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim is Columbia River’s biggest and oldest official swim event. Roy Webster has passed on, but his family still owns the local orchard and carry on Roy’s legacy by participating in the event each year.
The Morning of the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim
The morning of the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim, spectators and participants rise well before dawn to get ready for the event. There is excitement in the air as over 500 swimmers board the Sternwheeler paddleboat and get ferried to the Washington side of the river. Families and friends crowd into boats that are anchored on both sides of the course to form a wide swim lane and cheer on the swimmers. When the paddleboat is in position, swimmers jump the 7 feet from the boat into the 69-degree water in groups of 10. The swim usually lasts about 40-60 minutes, but it is not a race. This swim is a chance to challenge yourself and display determination and courage in the spirit of tradition.
After the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim, Retreat to Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins
When looking for Hood River hotels, consider Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins. If you are participating in the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim or just coming to watch, you will need a place to stay! After jumping in that 69-degree water, appreciate a warming soak in your private cabin’s jetted tub. You can even relish in a spa treatment in the comfort of your own luxurious cabin for some ultimate relaxation. After your rejuvenation, continue to enjoy our oasis with a walk through our magnificent gardens or a glass of wine on your porch as you enjoy the view. Browse through our cabins and book your favorite today!