Three and Five Days, Class III:
Value Season Departure Dates
May 25; June 2, 10 (Hells Canyon Preservation Council Benefit Trip), 18; August 29; September 6
5 day: $1265 adult / $1174 youth
3 day: $998 adult / $919 youth
Days, Class III:
Season Departure Dates
June 26 (Family Trip); July 4, 12, 20, 28; August 5, 13, 21 (Family Trip)
5 day: $1336 adult / $1215 youth
3 day: $1203 adult / $1123 youth
• The Snake River is home to a variety of cold- and
warm-water fish, including steelhead, salmon, rainbow trout, catfish,
and bass. Hells Canyon is one of the final strongholds of the giant
white sturgeon. The fishing here is superb, and our guides know all
about the best places to dip a line – so don't forget your
• The short hikes available in Hells Canyon lead to
historic sites, Indian rock art, and for the more daring, the
spectacular vista from Suicide Point.
• Hells Canyon is full of remnants from ancient
civilizations as well more modern times, from archaic Native American
ruins to 20 th century gold mining relics. This canyon was home to the
Nez Perce Indians and their ancestors for 6,000-8,000 years. Aside from
tangible artifacts from their life here, places like Nez Perce Crossing
– where, in 1877, Chief Joseph and his band of Willowa Nez
Perce were forced to leave their home, incredibly crossing the
spring-flooded Snake River with all their belongings and not a single
loss of life – tell the story of the original inhabitants of
the Canyon. In 1806, members of the Lewis and Clark party moved through
the lower reaches of the canyon in their return journey from the
Pacific. The discovery of gold in nearby Pierce in 1860 and subsequent
establishment of Idaho territory in 1863 opened the area up to miners,
ranchers and early river runners in the canyon, and the Snake's Old
Western history unfolded in their wake.
• The Snake River through Hells Canyon is well
suited for families looking for a moderate, yet exciting, river
adventure. The dam-controlled water releases guarantee there'll be
whitewater action throughout the summer months, no matter when your
vacation is scheduled for. Warm weather, warm water, and moderate
rapids make this a great trip for kids, parents, and grandparents of
almost any age. As you float down the river, worries are swept away as
families come together with each passing mile. TV, computers and
telephones are forgotten about while campfires, tents and time in the
rafts take their place. You'll have a blast inflatable kayaking,
viewing wildlife, swimming, fishing– your teenagers won't
even mind spending time like this with Mom and Dad! Because we take
care of every detail of the trip, from meal planning to chores, your
time is 100% free to enjoy yourself and one another. Ask about our
Family Friendly departures: trips specifically designed with your
children in mind.
pride in running a very relaxed and flexible schedule. Each trip
depends upon the group, other trips on the water as well as the
weather. The following is a taste of what your trip may be like.
The Day Before Your Trip
• We meet at 7:00 PM
this morning in the lobby of the Red Lion Hotel for the pre-trip
meeting. A great opportunity to meet with your fellow travelers and
trip leaders, this is also when you can ask any last-minute questions.
Your guides will give you a detailed trip orientation, and then pass
out your waterproof bags so you can make your belongings watertight
that evening. If you are not able to attend the meeting, please let us
know in advance and check in with our warehouse (208-743-4201) upon
your arrival in Lewiston.
• We depart from
Lewiston at 7:30 AM for a charter flight to Halfway, OR. This flight
offers a spectacular bird's-eye view of our pathway through Hells
Canyon, and is often considered a favorite highlight of the trip. After
landing, we'll shuttle to our put-in point just below Hells Canyon Dam
where our boats and your O.A.R.S. crew are waiting. Following a brief
paddle raft/inflatable kayak instruction and safety talk, we're off on
our river adventure!
• Our first day will set the
pace for our river trip. Usually, we aim to spend several hours on the
water before lunch, typically breaking for a short hike, a swim, or a
visit to Nez Perce pictographs or another historical site. When lunch
time calls we break at a beach to enjoy a tasty picnic on the river
shore. After a relaxing meal (or perhaps a swim, a walk or game of
Frisbee), we climb back into our boats for even more exhilarating
whitewater. Why not try your hand at our paddleboats or inflatable
kayaks! Mid- to late-afternoon, we stop for the final time that day to
make camp; you grab your gear and take care of your tent while we worry
about the kitchen and “living room” –
camp chairs and the site for tonight's campfire (if allowed). It won't
be long before you're enjoying delicious hors d'oeuvres and beverages
– as tasty as these refreshments are, they're always better
following a day on the river! Nap, read, or just sit back and enjoy
time with friends and family as we prepare your dinner. After another
feast, the rest of the evening is yours to spend as you wish. Music,
stories or jokes may entertain us tonight; or perhaps the popping fire,
the sounds of the river and the clarity of the huge wild sky will keep
you company in the wilderness that is, for now, our home.
• Your day begins with
the morning light shining off the canyon walls. Fresh coffee and tea
are ready for you when you get up; grab a cup, sit back and take in the
glory of the stirring river. Breakfast is soon served –
omelets made to order, blueberry pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, toast,
and juice are among the treats we have to offer. Once you've had your
fill, you'll pack up your things as the guides break down camp, then
our new day's adventure begins.
• Today is an exciting
whitewater day, finishing with two of Hells Canyon's most impressive
rapids: Wild Sheep and Granite Creek. Our excitement builds as we pause
at the top of each rapid, looking down at the thundering whitewater
below. Those of us brave enough to paddle the inflatable kayaks get
some last-minute instruction before we challenge the big waves and
drops, flying through the frothy rapids and coming out slightly wet
(maybe very wet!) but elated.
• As the roiling rapids give
way to more gentle stretches, we might take a break from the river to
hike up Granite Creek for our first view of Native American
pictographs. Or, perhaps we'll float down to Bernard Creek for a hike
to the McGaffee Cabin – a preserved homestead dating back to
the early 1900's – and panels of Indian pictographs.
• This section of the Snake
River offers exceptional trout fishing. During periods of calmer water,
or perhaps during lunch, the anglers in the group will have some great
opportunities to cast their line in deep, trout-packed pools.
• Whitewater action
continues with big hits like Waterspout, Somers, Rush Creek, Lookout,
Tryon, Haystack, Wild Goose and Deer head rapids – some of
which are great for swimming!
• A visit to Kirkwood Historic
Ranch and Museum offers a taste of living history, exhibiting the
lifestyle of Hells Canyon's inhabitants in the 1930's. This is also the
site of historic and prehistoric Indian artifacts, which are displayed
in the Kirkwood Museum. The ranch is a must-see on any Snake River
trip. Further downstream, Pittsburgh Landing will provide an even
deeper look at the life of early Native Americans in Hells Canyon.
Lodge rings, petroglyphs, and other artifacts that still remain on the
shore teach us more about the inhabitants who prospered for thousands
of years along the Snake River.
• This is the ending point of
the 3-day trip. After visiting Pittsburgh Landing, we'll say our
goodbyes, then those of us leaving will take a three-hour ride back to
Lewiston; those staying on for the 5-day trip will move on down the
river. As the water becomes calmer, we'll move our attention to the
rocky canyon walls, searching for resident wildlife on the shores
– including bear, deer, elk, mountain goats, and bighorn
sheep – and marveling at the regal beauty on such a grand
scale as only Hells Canyon can capture.
• Hiking opportunities are
abound as we float further down the river. Those of you looking for a
challenging climb may have the opportunity to negotiate the steep but
scenic trail to Suicide Point. Panels of Indian rock art are highlights
of several different hikes to Temperance Creek and Deep Creek. The
latter is also the site of a darker history; in 1887, 31 Chinese men
were murdered here for their gold. Other destinations for the avid to
explore include Salt Creek and Coon Hollow.
• Our breakfast today is
as delicious and hearty as the first morning, but we are now much more
accustomed to life on the river. The thought of returning to
“civilization” brings mixed emotions –
sadness at leaving Hells Canyon and our new friends, and perhaps
excitement at the prospect of returning to creature comforts. Our last
day's float brings us past the Snake's convergence with three major
rivers: the Salmon, Imnaha, and Grande Ronde. Following the latter, we
reach our take-out point at Heller Bar. A 45-minute shuttle ride brings
us back to Lewiston, where we bid farewell to our guides and fellow
travelers. It doesn't take us long to realize that although we have
left the river, the river never leaves us.
• 5 (3) days rafting with 4 (2) nights camping
• Scenic charter air flight to the put-in
• Meals from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 5
(3), with limited beer & wine at dinner
• Expedition equipment, including 2 person shared
tent, sleeping bag and pad, life jacket, wetsuits for paddlers when
required and waterproof bags to hold your gear
• Skilled professional guide services
What's Not Included?
• Transportation to
Lewiston and back
• Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals
• Items of personal nature (an equipment list will
Why Visit Idaho?
When William Clark Meriwether Lewis arrived
in Idaho first in 1805, they were greeted with an almost impenetrable
wilderness of forests, mountains, and water, a beautiful but quite
inhospitable land. With the assistance of the regions Native Americans,
the two found navigable waters that would lead them through the region
as they learned of the buffalo hunting trails that would sustain them.
The maps and journals that they developed along their journey to the
Pacific enlightened the country, which was at that time bordered to the
west by the Mississippi River, to the endless beauty and possibilities
of the Wild West.
Today's visitors to the state of Idaho are greeted
with a much more welcome and negotiable land; however, some things
haven't changed much at all in the past 200 years. Idaho's wild areas
still remain among our nation's most remote and rugged lands. Its
peaceful, pristine wilderness regions offer a breath of fresh air to
the tired city dweller.
These are just a few more reasons why we thing you
should visit Idaho:
- Mountains are the jewels of the state, and
ranges such as the Saw tooth and Seven Devils offer vistas unmatched
anywhere else in the entire world. They home to great skiing, hiking
climbing, mountain biking, and more.
- National Forests,
such as the Saw tooth, Clearwater, and Payette, and protected
wilderness areas, including the Frank Church River of No Return and the
Selway-Bitterroot, offer further outdoor activities.
- Craters of the Moon National Monument exhibit a
captivating natural exhibit of basaltic volcanic formations. The lava
fields found here are layered with cinder cones and mimic the craters
of the moon so closely that astronaut Alan Shephard and his crew
trained here for their lunar experience.
- Coeur d'Alene is a mountain resort town, the
recreational center of which , Lake Coeur d'Alene, was named one of the
five most beautiful lakes in the world by National Geographic magazine
. The lake offers plenty of fishing and boating opportunities and the
region that surround the town are the only place outside of India where
the star garnet can be found.
- Idaho's capital of Boise, is the perfect home
base for excursions into the state's more rural areas. Besides offering
an impressive selection of restaurants and accommodations, Boise is
home to botanical gardens, museums and a noteworthy orchestra and
opera. One of the city's more interesting museums is the World Center
for Birds of Prey , where one can view live eagles and falcons, as well
as other exhibits on ecology, biology, and conservation.
- Lava Hot Springs, a health resort and spa,
boasts mineral springs that have most likely been the same temperature
– 110 degrees Fahrenheit – for 50 million years. An
ideal way to invigorate yourself after a day of outdoor adventures is
to soak in these pools.
- Idaho's rivers, streams, and lakes are renowned
for their excellent trout, salmon and steelhead fishing.
- The deepest gorge in North America is called
Hells Canyon, and is found straddling the border of Oregon and Idaho.
Here you'll find an abundance of wildlife – mountain goats,
elk, bighorn sheep,bears, cougars, and numerous birds, to name a few.
The incredible Hells Canyon National Recreation Area protects more than
650,000 acres of this region, from the Snake River through Hells Canyon
to the alpine lakes of the Seven Devils. Outdoor activities, such as
fishing, hiking, and boating on the waters of the Snake, are frequent
and welcomed in this federally protected area.
Family Vacations & Family Vacation Ideas -
Snake River: Pages: 1