Snake River

Snake River Hells Canyon Whitewater Rafting Trips

ABOUT THESnake River

  • Raft in Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river canyon (yes, even deeper than the Grand Canyon)!
  • Mountain tops reach 9,393 ft (Seven Devils Mountain) and fall nearly 8,000 ft to the river positioned at ~1,400 ft.
  • Several specialty rafting trips offered: Women’s Wellness & Rafting and Fishing & Hunting rafting trips
  • Raft the Wild & Scenic section of the world renowned river.
  • Side hikes including Suicide Point in the Seven Devils Mountains.
  • Excellent fishing opportunities for bass, trout, sturgeon, and steelhead.
  • Diverse wildlife – bighorn sheep, chukar flocks and bald eagles.

The Wild and Scenic River Snake River is a bucket list river for whitewater rafters and outdoor enthusiasts. As the deepest river canyon in North America (deeper than the Grand Canyon) Hells Canyon features incredible views with a 8,000ft drop from surrounding mountain tops to the river. This world renowned river offers unforgettable multi-day rafting and camping expeditions that seamlessly blend tranquil stretches with thrilling Class III rapids.

As the largest and longest river in the Pacific Northwest, the Snake River meanders through breathtaking landscapes, boasting an impressive 112 miles of National Wild and Scenic River designation. Wild and Scenic Rivers like the Snake River are meticulously preserved and cherished for their unobstructed flow, pristine water quality, and exceptional scenic, recreational, and ecological values, including vibrant aquatic habitats and diverse wildlife. The Snake River joined this revered group through its designation in 1975.

The Snake River stands tall as a premier destination for whitewater rafting and outdoor exploration. Our rafting trips launch from our outpost in Eastern Oregon, run along the Oregon, Idaho border and offer a thrilling variety of rapids suitable for all experience levels.

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Let's GoRafting

POPULAR
Dates: May
- September
Starting at

$1,599

POPULAR
Dates: July
- July
Starting at

$2,000

POPULAR
Dates: September
- October
Starting at

$2,099

POPULAR
Dates:
- July
Starting at

$1,700

FETCHING TRIPS

WHY THESnake River

Tributary’s Snake River trips feature rafting in Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river canyon where mountain tops reach 9,393 ft (Seven Devils Mountain) and fall nearly 8,000 ft to the river positioned at ~1,400 ft. The river is world renowned for its excellent fishing, home to bass, trout, sturgeon, and steelhead. In addition to its diverse fish population the Snake River basin boasts an array of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, whooping cranes, and even the occasional grizzly bear.

There are options throughout the trip to explore side hikes  including Suicide Point in the Seven Devils Mountains and view ancient petroglyphs right from the river.

Tributary offers three different trips on the Snake River including the 4 Day Women’s Wellness Retreat, 4 Day Wilderness Raft trip and a 4 Day Fishing & Hunting trip. Snake River rafting trips include side hikes, swimming, fishing, but also the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the sun setting and rising each day, making it an amazing vacation.

The 4 Day Wilderness trips are perfect for families ages 7+ while the Women’s Wellness is geared for ages 14+ (girls trip anyone?!). We can also extend our wilderness and fishing trips from a 4 day trip to a 6 day vacation – just ask!

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History & Wildlife

Hells Canyon, which the Snake River flows through, is the deepest river gorge in North America. It was formed over millions of years ago through a combination of geological processes, including volcanic activity, tectonic plate movements, and erosion.

The Snake River itself was named by the Shoshone tribe, who lived in the area. They called the river “Yin-suti-pa,” which means “coiled serpent” in reference to its winding course. Over time, early European-American settlers began referring to it as the “Snake River,” likely because of this description.

There are a few theories about how the naming of Hells Canyon came about. One of the more common explanations is that the name reflects the harsh, inaccessible nature of the canyon. Early travelers and settlers likely found the steep, rocky terrain and extreme temperature variations reminiscent of a ‘hellish’ landscape.

The Snake River Canyon unveils a remarkable ecological tapestry. It boasts a notable concentration of rare and endemic plant species, like Macfarlane’s four-o’clock, bartonberry, prickly pear, and vibrant wildflowers, setting it apart in the Pacific Northwest and western North America.

Within this area diverse wildlife thrives in various habitats creating one of the nation’s most diverse ecosystems. Elevation fluctuations, ranging from 1,500 feet along the Snake River and to 9,393 feet in Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains, allow distinct plant communities to flourish side by side. These habitats, in turn, provide homes for a variety of wildlife families, totaling around 350 species that call this area home throughout the year.

The Snake River’s renown extends to its diverse fish population. A distinguished sport fishery, it is celebrated for sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and walleye. Of special note is Hells Canyon’s role as a sanctuary for immense white sturgeon, some reaching over 1,000 pounds.

The richness of the canyon’s biodiversity is not limited to flora and fish. A captivating array of wildlife flourishes here, including peregrine falcons, bald eagles, big horn sheep, mountain goats, chukar flocks, black bears, and mountain lions. This vibrant mix of species adds to the allure of the canyon, establishing it as a truly exceptional and multifaceted natural gem.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THESnake River

Where should I stay in Halfway Oregon the night before my trip starts?

The Pine Valley Lodge: We recommend our guests stay here for your night before trip lodging. After our meet & greet dinner enjoy an evening at the Pine Valley Lodge. Breakfast the following morning is included at this location.

Halfway Motel & RV Park: Another great place to stay in Halfway.

What Class rapids are on the Snake River?

The rapids on the Snake River are rated Class II-III during normal flows. Some springs will see higher flows up to Class IV when snowpack levels and runoff are above normal.

Where is the Snake River located?

The Snake River flows through several states in the United States, including Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It journeys through diverse landscapes, from rugged canyons to expansive valleys. This portion of the Snake River holds stories from the Oregon Trail, the legendary Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the deep-rooted histories of the Nez Perce and Shoshone Native American tribes. Inhabitants have cherished and called this region home for over 11,000 years, leaving behind a tapestry of cultures and legacies that enrich the river’s journey.

Where does the Snake River start and end?

The Snake River originates in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and carves its way through the picturesque landscapes of the Rocky Mountains before eventually merging with the Columbia River in Washington state where it eventually flows into the Pacific Ocean. It spans over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), making it one of the longest rivers in the United States.

What to do on the Snake River?

The Snake River invites a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. From whitewater rafting and kayaking to serene fishing excursions, there’s something for everyone. You can also explore its stunning surroundings by hiking its scenic trails or simply relaxing by its tranquil waters.

How long is the typical Snake River rafting trip?

A typical Snake River rafting journey covers several days, offering an immersive experience of nature’s wonders. Our rafting trips often span 4-days and 3-nights, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the river’s beauty and excitement. Ask us about making the trip a 6 day vacation!

What makes the Snake River unique?

The Snake River is renowned for its rich history, diverse ecosystems, and captivating landscapes. It has carved deep canyons, nurtured abundant wildlife, and is a world renowned Wild & Scenic River.

ACKNOWLEDGING Ancestral Lands

As we journey down the Snake River, we’ll pass through lands rich in history and culture. These territories belong to the Nimiipuu (Nez Perce), The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation: Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, as well as the Palouse Tribes represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Recognizing these communities is a way of honoring their legacy, their lives, and their descendants.

Acknowledging the Indigenous communities whose lands we visit is a crucial step in understanding our shared history and the ongoing challenges faced by these populations today. For more insight, visit our Territory Acknowledgement page. We encourage you to learn about the people whose land we’re privileged to explore by following the links above.

Our Territory Acknowledgement is an evolving project. If you find missing information or acknowledgments, please share it with us. Together, we can ensure accuracy, inclusivity, and respect. Thank you.