Motorized water sports. Motor boating and water-skiing are popular pastimes on the river, particularly in Summer when midday temperatures range from the low 80’s to 90+°F.
Non-motorized water sports. Abundant winds in the Columbia Gorge makes Desert Aire a popular destination for sailing, windsurfing and other sail sports. Local water enthusiasts also enjoy swimming, paddle boarding, wake-boarding, tubing, kayaking, canoeing...
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office patrols the waters of Grant County and enforces boating safety laws. State law requires most operators of motorboats with a 15 horsepower or greater motor to get a boater education card.
Marina / Boat Launch. The nearest boat launch may be found at Desert Aire Drive N (GPS coordinates 46.684291 N, 119.930435 W). Part of the Priest Rapids Recreation Area campground, it was completed in 2013, and offers three lanes of river access and ample parking for boat trailers. There are no fees for use. Open year-round.
For details on other nearby boat launches, visit Grant County recreation spaces.
Fishing. Smallmouth bass, bullhead, catfish, largemouth bass, brown trout and sockeye salmon may be found in Priest Rapids Dam Reservoir, a popular local fishing spot located just 2.5 miles from Desert Aire (46.6802° N, 119.9442° W). A Fishing License is required. Please visit Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for information on purchasing a license, fishing rules and regulations. Please remember to check with the local Fish and Wildlife department to ensure the stream is open to the public. Check out the best daily fishing times.
Water Safety is largely a matter of practicing common sense. Be aware of the hazards and learn how you can ensure that your time on the water is fun and safe.
Equipment. Sandbar Marine's pro shop in nearby Mattawa offers a variety of boards and accessories for sale or rent for the water enthusiast, including paddle boards, wakeboards, surfboards, tubes, and ropes. They also have a repair shop and indoor/outdoor boat storage.