Why We Love The Snake River
SPIRIT OF EXPLORATION
Whitewater rapids, scenic hikes, an ever-changing landscape, and abundant wildlife make this a well-rounded and exciting rafting trip.
Trout fishing, warm water, and fun rapids make this a great trip for kids, parents, and grandparents of nearly any age.
Keep an eye out for black bear, deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and more on this trip through pristine wilderness.
Hike to see some of the many Nez Perce petroglyphs found along the river and an old homesteader’s cabin to get a sense of the history of the region.
You will be guided through each step of this journey by experienced guides with knowledge of the river and region.
“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.”
― Nancy Wynne Newhall
Straddling the borders of Idaho and Oregon, the Snake River is a place rich in myth and geologic wonder. It is framed by a landscape of mountains with golden grass, pine forests, and snow-capped peaks; home to soaring eagles, wild mountain goats and Native American legends. A three-day trip will cover 34 miles, taking you through the heart of Hells Canyon and some of the biggest rapids in the Pacific-Northwest, including Granite Creek and Wild Sheep. A five to six-day trip will cover all 82 miles of the fabled Hells Canyon and offer more time for exploring this enchanting place.
Length: 3 – 6 days
Price: $990 – $1,565 per person
Season: May – September
Min. Age: 7 years during Low Water Levels; 12 years during High Water Levels
Activity: Whitewater Rafting
Adventure Level: Strong
This is not a tour; it’s an expedition!
A flexible, open attitude is a necessity. You will be immersed in the varying elements of nature. There is no set daily itinerary, electricity, or indoor plumbing. There is plenty of adventure, camaraderie, good food, and beautiful backcountry alpine scenery.
We’ve been connecting our clients to water adventures around the world since 1987. We partner with select outfitters who share our values and are pros at creating exceptional experiences. There is no fee for our service; we earn our commission from the outfitters we represent, and the cost of your expedition is the same as booking direct.
Depending on which outfitter and trip you choose, your trip will begin in either Lewiston or Cambridge, Idaho. Transportation is provided by the outfitter to the river via a short scenic flight to Halfway, Oregon or by a shuttle bus to the Hells Canyon Dam put-in.
Depending on which outfitter and trip you choose, your trip will end at either Pittsburg Landing (3-Day) or Heller Bar (5 or 6-Day) with transportation via bus to Whitebird or Lewiston, Idaho.
Most outfitters will provide all the camping and river related safety equipment, along with plenty of fresh food, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks. Transportation to the put-in point and take-out point from/to your start city is included.
In the spring and fall, the daytime temperatures are usually between 65°F – 85°F and most nights cool down to 45°F – 50°F. It’s warmer in late June through late August with daytime temperatures between 85°F – 95°F, dropping to 65°F – 70°F at night. It rarely rains in Hells Canyon, but sometimes you may witness a dramatic thundershower, which instantly freshens the air.
The Snake River
The Snake River makes up the border between Idaho and Oregon and is controlled by Hells Canyon Dam, so there are excellent water levels year-round, but the highest water is typically in June and September. The river has some exciting Class III and IV rapids, punctuated by calm sections that are great for fishing. Water temperatures are usually around 60°F in June and September and 70°F in July and August.
Boats & Group Size
Your outfitter will use three different kinds of river craft. The traditional raft is a 17-foot self-bailing, oar-powered raft, which a guide controls with two large oars. They may also offer smaller 14-foot self-bailing paddle rafts that allow four to six people to paddle while a guide steers and calls out commands. On some stretches of river, your outfitter can add inflatable kayaks to the mix, making for an exciting float.
Whether you’re an experienced camper or it’s your first time under the stars, our outfitters are specialists in facilitating an enjoyable and relaxing camping experience. Your outfitter will provide a full sleep kit with a tent, sleeping bag, and inflated sleeping pad. Everyone participates in setting up and breaking down camp. A clean, private camp toilet is set up first thing upon arrival at camp and it is the last thing to be dismantled the next morning.
One thing is certain on a Snake River rafting trip: There will be plenty of food! A full, hearty breakfast with cowboy coffee gets the day going. A riverside picnic sets the scene for lunch where you create your own sandwich. Dinners can be anything from a New York steak, grilled filet of salmon, or a Mexican feast followed by a hot, Dutch oven dessert. There are plenty of snacks and beverages offered throughout the day. Alcoholic beverages may be included depending on which outfitter you choose, and are welcome to bring your own. With advance notice, all outfitters are able to accommodate for special dietary requirements.