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Rafting the Snake River in Idaho

Rafting the Snake River in Idaho

Experience one of the greatest rivers while paddling through the famous Hells Canyon, on the border of Idaho and Oregon. The great Snake River is famous for its big rapids, incredible hikes, and history. Witness some of the most spectacular and rugged landscapes on earth. A comfortable wilderness camp with delicious meals awaits your arrival each night on the river. Ask us about private departures just for your group or family.

Itinerary & Adventure Highlights

Day 1: Arrive Cambridge, ID

The nearest airport to the launch site is Boise, ID, which is 104 miles from Cambridge. We will help you arrange transportation from the airport to Cambridge where tonight you will have a pre-departure meeting at the Frontier Motel. Your Team Leader will be able to answer any last-minute questions and will hand out your waterproof gear bags. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Day 2: Wild Sheep and Granite Rapids

Depart this morning for the two-hour ride to the launch point on the Snake River. You will enjoy breakfast along the way. Prior to launch, your guides will provide a thorough safety briefing as well as tips for the exciting days ahead.

The Snake River has “pool and drop” characteristics, which means there is a long pool of calm water followed by a rapid. Not long after launching, you will encounter several splashy Hells Canyon rapids that give a fun, roller-coaster ride and a taste of what’s to come.

Followed by a lunch stop, there will be a “camp orientation” which explains the “Leave No Trace” camping ethics. You will learn where to wash up, how the toilet systems works, where to brush your teeth, place trash, etc.

Back on the river, on this first day you will normally run two big class IV rapids – Wild Sheep and Granite. These impressive rapids never fail to get your heart pumping!

Day 3: Salt Creek

After a hearty breakfast, you will pack up your personal gear and depart camp for today’s rafting adventure. Plenty of rapids, sun and majestic scenery to take in as well as a stop at a traditional homesteader’s cabin to learn about pioneer life in this area 100+ years ago.

There will be some more whitewater before the river mellows and there is time to jump in and float. Along the way, there are over 100 Native American rock art sites, a few of which you will have a chance to investigate. Hells Canyon is unique because there are both pictographs (rock paintings) and petroglyphs (rock carvings) left by the various tribes that traveled through the canyon.

Camp tonight is in the Salt Creek area.

Day 4: Kirkwood Historic Ranch, Pittsburgh Landing

Today’s activities begin with a hike along the trail at “Suicide Point.” This hike provides incredible views and sweeping panoramas 300 feet above the river.

Next, you will float to Kirkwood Ranch, a historic sheep ranch. Big wave rapids are next and then arrive at Pittsburgh Landing where you will spend the night. Enjoy a short hike to see one of the richest collections of Native American petroglyphs, followed by dinner.

Day 5: China Creek

Today’s spectacular scenery and Hells Canyon whitewater is complemented by a history lesson. You will see the ford used by Chief Joseph and the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce tribe during the famous 1877 exodus from their homeland. At China Creek, you will learn about the Chinese miners who were thought to have a huge cache of gold.

There is time today for playing on the white sand beach, followed by dinner and camaraderie under Idaho’s star-studded sky.

Day 6: Eureka Bar, Salmon and Snake River Confluence

Today’s rafting includes some big waves and big rides as well as some long stretches of flat water. Between the whitewater rapids, look for golden eagles soaring overhead. In the afternoon, you will pass the Snake River’s confluence with the legendary Salmon “River of No Return.”

The take-out spot is located below the Snake River’s confluence with the Grand Ronde River. The group will be transferred to the town of Lewiston, ID where you can freshen up and meet your guides for the farewell dinner and overnight at a local hotel.

Day 7: Departure

Shuttle to the Lewiston Airport for your flight home. It is also possible to fly home from Spokane (2 hours by car).


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