208-347-3862

River Blog


White water rafting trip tricks, tips, packing advice, recipes, and general river talk for river trips in Hells Canyon on the Snake River, Lower Salmon Rivers and beyond:

 
 

Why Go Rafting in Hells Canyon?

Posted by on 12:45 am in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Fishing, Hells Canyon Rafting Trips, Rafting, River Food, River History | 0 comments

Why Go Rafting in Hells Canyon?

Idaho?! Aren’t there a lot of potatoes there??? Yup, you got us. The southern half of the state is great potato growing country and we are proud of it. I mean, who doesn’t love fresh french fries?!? The northern half of Idaho? Chock full of mountainous wilderness, rushing rivers, and massive swaths of national forests. Did you know that Idaho has 3,100 miles of raft-able whitewater rivers!? And 107,651 miles of rivers in general! If Idaho wasn’t so famous for potatoes, it would be known for its whitewater. Idaho is a hidden gem and on the edge of that gem touching Oregon is a scar on the Earth: the deepest canyon in North America called Hells Canyon. The Snake River runs out of Yellowstone National Park, down through Wyoming and hauls through all of southern Idaho until it hits Oregon and starts running north. There, it cuts deep into the Earth: 1,900 miles deeper than the Grand Canyon!   So what’s so special about Rafting in Hells Canyon?   The Amazing Scenery:  Cut into deep dark lava rock, the Snake River flows 8,000 feet below the Seven Devils Mountains of Idaho and the Blue Mountains of Oregon. The towering canyon walls are constantly changing against the incredibly blue sky. The canyon opens into steep meadows and closes back in as the Snake River flows north. Creeks flow in through side canyons and drinkable springs pour out cold water through the rocks, all without a road or bridge in sight. For the full 80 miles through Hells Canyon, only a few roads are visible and there’s not a single bridge that crosses the Snake River.   Wilderness: Hells Canyon is designated as a Wild and Scenic section of river, making it extremely protected. With no roads visible for multiple 30+ mile sections of river, this section of the Snake River is extremely remote. We are always on the lookout for black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, osprey, otters and many many more animals!   Peace and Quiet: Hells Canyon is such a hidden gem and so strictly regulated by the Forest Service that only 5 groups can go out a day. Usually, we only see 3 groups including our own! This means that the river is yours when you’re on it. The Snake River in Hells Canyon is not a highway like some other whitewater stretches can be, but instead quiet and serene like it’s meant to be.   The Whitewater! Whitewater rafting in Hells Canyon spans 80 miles. It fluctuates between stretches of calm flat water to big Class IV rapids with boat sized waves and in the middle are roller coaster style rapids for this large volume river. This whitewater is fun for all ages 7-70.   Amazing Camping Overnight whitewater rafting trips are the best part of a day of rafting combined with all the great parts of camping. Jumping off a boat in the afternoons, guests find camp all set up including their tents. Eating great camp food outdoors, playing games like horseshoes and bocce ball, and sleeping like a baby on a cushy sleeping pad under thousands of stars is what it’s all about.   History Hells Canyon was home to its fair share of homesteaders and miners in the early 1900’s and their...

read more

Overnight Whitewater Rafting Trips, Tricks and Tips for Beginners

Posted by on 7:55 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations, Equipment, Hells Canyon Rafting Trips, Rafting, Salmon River Rafting Trips | 0 comments

Overnight Whitewater Rafting Trips, Tricks and Tips for Beginners

Are you a beginner whitewater rafter? Does your significant other/friend/child really want to jump on a rafting trip but you’re not so sure? No problem! Guided overnight whitewater trips are perfect for even the most beginner rafters. Here are some tips and tricks to get you ready:   THE RAPIDS “Are they scary? Is it continuous whitewater rapids? Is it safe?” These are some of the most common concerns for whitewater rafting trips. In both Hells Canyon and on the Salmon River, whitewater rapids make up only about 20% of the total time floating on the river. The other 80% of time is spent relaxing on calm water while floating through beautiful canyons. Both the Salmon and Snake River are large volume rivers: wide and deep with few exposed rocks. The rapids are drop-pool style which means the water pools up before a rapid, then drops through the rapid into another large pool of calm water. Many of the rapids feel almost like a roller coaster or the log flume ride at your favorite theme park. Safety is our top priority. There are inherent risks involved with whitewater rafting and there are also safety measures we take to make it as safe as possible. Lifejackets are worn at all times while in the water and on the boats, our gear is constantly upgraded and maintained, and our guides are trained professionals with years of experience under their sun hats.   CAMPING “Where is camp? What happens when we get there?” On overnight whitewater rafting trips, camps are packed into a big gear boat, rowed down river, and set up in a new place every night. Your raft arrives to a fully set up camp in the afternoon. This is when the magic of an overnight rafting trip happens. Dinner is being cooked for you and there’s no tasks to do, emails to answer or errands to run. There’s time to bathe and change, take a nap in your tent, fish for bass, play river games, enjoy a beer, or just sit and read with your toes in the sand. Appetizers and specialty cocktails are served nightly before dinner is enjoyed in an outdoor dining area. Then there’s dessert and a short walk to your tent. ARC provides a 4-person tents for 2 people, a thick cushy sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, a small pillow and a fitted sheet for a comfortable night’s sleep in the bottom of Idaho’s best canyons.      THE BATHROOM “Where do I, uh, use the bathroom?” The answer is in the most scenic bathroom you have ever used. We use a system called “groovers” which is a metal box with a toilet seat on top. These are placed in private corners of camp away from tents, boats and kitchen. There’s even a door “lock” to signify that it’s occupied. The groovers come with cushy toilet paper, hand sanitizer, a hand wash station and incredible views of the canyon walls of Idaho. The only tricky part is these are only available at camp, so you’ll have to time your #2’s just right. During the day,#1’s can be done in the river. Dilution is the solution to pollution!   PACKING “What do I need to bring?” Your personal clothing, shoes and tolietires. That’s it. We provide all the rafting gear,...

read more

How to Pack for Rafting Trips

Posted by on 8:13 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations, Equipment, Hells Canyon Rafting Trips, Rafting, Salmon River Rafting Trips | 0 comments

How to Pack for Rafting Trips

Packing for rafting trips in Hells Canyon, Salmon River or ANY river can seem overwhelming. What to bring? Am I bringing too much? Too little? The right stuff?   Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions about packing:   How much can I bring? A lot! That’s the great thing about rafting trips versus say backpacking trips. The boats do most of the gear moving so there’s plenty of room for anything you may need. For our overnight rafting trips, a large dry bag is provided. This bag comes with a freshly laundered sleeping bag, small pillow, pillow case and fitted twin sheet which really makes the thick sleeping pads feel more like a cool comfy bed. There’s still room in that bag for a small to medium duffle bag of personal gear. I always recommend bringing cool weather clothes even in the middle of summer, just in case. 99% of the time that stuff will end up living in the bottom of the dry bag for the whole trip, but its great to have on the off chance of bad weather or an emergency. If you happen to bring too much, it’s not a problem! We can provide another dry bag for all the excess gear.   What shoes are best for the river? Any sturdy sandal with a strap that goes around the heel will work. There’s also a ton of options out there for water sneakers and water shoes. Even old tennis shoes will work if you have nothing else. All of these shoes will be constantly wet throughout the day while rafting, swimming, getting to and from the boats and on mini hikes. Make sure that they’ll stay on your feet and are comfortable. After a day in wet shoes, a dry pair of camp shoes can feel great too. They can be tennis shoes, sneakers, flip flops or sandals. These usually stay dry and should reflect what kind or activity you’d like to do at camp: playing beach games, hiking around, reading books etc.   What do most people forget? The small personal items tend to get overlooked: extra contact lenses, retainer straps for sunglasses, chapstick, etc. Sometimes bring a small mirror is nice too.   Can I bring a camera? Yes! There is ample time in between the rapids and at camp to take beautiful pictures of the scenery, friends and family. We have hard dry cases that you can borrow for the trip. They can be securely strapped to your boat so your camera will be in reach just in case a mountain goat is spotted, kids are “riding the bull” on the front of the boats, or any picturesque moment happens.   Should I bring my phone? Sure! Just don’t throw it directly into your dry bag. Although the name is deceiving, dry bags aren’t guaranteed to stay dry. The best place to put it is in a dry camera box.   How many changes of clothes should I bring? This really depends on personal preference. Do you want to wear the same river clothes for the whole trip? Do you want a fresh set of clothes for every day on the river and every night? Personally, I would recommend bringing new changes of clothes for most...

read more

Whitewater Rafting in Hells Canyon

Posted by on 9:50 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Fishing, Rafting, River Food | 0 comments

Whitewater Rafting in Hells Canyon

Waking up in the bottom of the deepest canyon in North America is wondrous. Before the sun peaks over the towering canyon walls in Hells Canyon, the smell of coffee brewing floats into the tent on the warm morning air. After rolling off the cushy sleeping pad and out of the warm sleeping bag, you make your way down the sandy path to the river kitchen. There waiting is the largest pot of coffee you’ve ever seen and some fresh Idaho fruit to nibble on. Other early risers sit in the riverside dining room all staring at the opposite canyon wall, hopefully searching for the white fur of a mountain goat and it’s baby to pop their heads out of the dark lava rocks. A break from phones and internet feels great while getting a chance to spend time with friends and family. With the smell of bacon wafting in the air, breakfast is served: banana bread french toast, real maple syrup, thick crispy bacon, scrambled eggs, yogurt and homemade granola. The sun breaks over the canyon wall and the day immediately starts to heat up. It’s time to get rafting on the Snake River.     8000 feet below the peaks of the Seven Devils and Blue Mountains, the rafts float the wide river for long stretches of calm meandering water leading to Class II-IV rapids with big splashy rowdy waves. Fishermen (and fisher kids) pluck smallmouth bass and trout out of the Snake River with excitement. Lore of 8…10…12 foot toothless dinosaur fish called sturgeon is told as your guide gets ready to drop a line that looks like it’s ready to pull in a small whale. Jokes and laughter fill the boat until the whizz of the fishing line and pulling of the boat catch attention. Someone grabs the rod and starts reeling it in until you can just see the outline of the huge fish below the water. It whips it’s massive body around and just like that it’s off the line and swimming back down into the depths of the river. The sturgeon made off with the bait, but there are plenty more holes to fish downriver. The day heats up quickly and the cool river water feels extremely refreshing while swimming, splashing and kayaking. The guides row the rafts to shore and lead a hike to pictographs painted by people thousands of years ago and remains of old homesteads from the early 1900’s. Back at the riverside beach, lunch is waiting: freshly baked croissants, chicken salad, homemade asian noodle salad, warm gooey cookies, chips and cold drinks. Everyone parks themselves in the shade to eat.     After lunch the rafting, swimming, kayaking, and fishing continues until the familiar blue raft at shore is visible, signaling you’ve arrived at camp. Now there’s plenty of time to relax: swim, bathe, read a book, take a nap, fish, play beach games or just pull up a chair with your toes in the sand. Next thing you know, there’s warm baked brie with grapes beside you and an offer for tonight’s specialty cocktail: fresh margaritas. Dinner is served a little while later: pineapple BBQ chicken with grilled pineapple, peppers and onions, coconut rice, salad, and hot freshly baked cornbread. Everyone enjoys dinner family style in the...

read more

8 Reasons To Go Overnight Whitewater Rafting This Summer

Posted by on 6:46 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations, Fishing, Rafting | 0 comments

8 Reasons To Go Overnight Whitewater Rafting This Summer

  8 Reasons To Go Overnight Whitewater Rafting   1) Get away from it all.   No bosses calling, emails buzzing, or morning alarms. There’s no cell service on the Snake River and Salmon River and that means it’s a great time to decompress and take a break from modern life. Wake with the sun, sleep with the stars, and raft when it’s nice and hot.   2) Bond with your friends, kids, brother, mother…   Jump into a whitewater rafting adventure and I promise you, you’ll bond with your trip-mates. Saving your buddy from slipping out of a raft in a rapid, helping your child catch a fish, or inflatable kayaking with your sibling will create a stronger bond than a city experience ever could. Memories that are talked about for a lifetime are made on rafting trips. Our Salmon River Whitewater Rafting Trips are perfect for big families, big groups, and smaller kids who’ll love the big sandy beaches. Our Hells Canyon Rafting Trips are great for anyone who wants to get out there and explore the deepest canyon in North America.   3) It’s a good bang for your buck   The price tag of an overnight whitewater rafting trip can look steep, but these are all-inclusive vacations: 3 Day, 4 Day or 5 Day Hells Canyon rafting trips where we take care of it all. There are no extra expenses or hidden fees of a standard vacation (and it’s nearly impossible to spend money while in the deepest canyon in North America). They are full days of entertainment with guides to show you the best spots around, 3 scrumptious home cooked meals a day (plus appetizers, desserts and snacks), happy hours, games, fishing, hiking, and much much more.   4) Take a big breath of fresh air   Nothing beats that fresh mountain air.   5) Feel like a kid again   When was the last time you went on an adventure? Tried something new? Held a water gun? Or laughed so hard you cried? Whitewater rafting is an adventure brings out adrenaline.   6) Eat like a king (or queen)   We don’t joke around when it comes to food. Our food is tried, tested and then tried and tested some more. Weare obsessed with putting the best rafting food out on our river tables. We have a catering and restaurant background and we pack that quality right into the rafts. Homemade freshly baked cookies? Check. Fresh baked croissants with chicken salad? Check. Fall off the bone Pineapple BBQ Chicken? Check. Hot breads every night? Check. Homemade desserts like Strawberry Shortcake and Chocolate Cake? Yup. We make meals that don’t weigh you down, but fill you up for the adventure of a lifetime.   7) Happy hour anyone?   Who can say no to an ice cold beverage, cocktail, mock-tail, beer or shirley temple after a hot day on the water? We make a different specialty cocktails every night with appetizers to boot. We highly recommend enjoying these sitting riverside with your toes dipped in the water. 8) Those stars!!!   Deep in the wilderness of Idaho, there’s no light pollution from big cities or even little towns. The sky is vast and dark and filled with thousands and thousands of stars. Staring up at the sky from the depths...

read more

Rafting Season Wrap Up

Posted by on 12:12 am in Americas Rafting Vacations | 0 comments

Rafting Season Wrap Up

The 2017 whitewater rafting season has finally hit it’s end. Our jam packed summer rolled right into fall and then on into December!   The boats have been scrubbed down, de-sanded, rolled up, and put to bed for the winter. Our repair projects are piled a mile high for a snowy day and even the store is empty and waiting on a fresh coat of paint and a redesign. There are dozens of recipes to test out for next season and we are certainly ready to try them out (white queso, club sandwiches with homemade honey mustard, cookies, cream cheese stuffed bagels…but more on those later). Here’s a look back at all the fun we had in Hells Canyon and the Salmon River:                   Thank you to all who made this year so...

read more

Boats, boats, boats!

Posted by on 12:27 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations | 0 comments

Boats, boats, boats!

There are many different kinds of watercraft river runners take downstream: rafts, kayaks, jet boats, dories, and even back in the day steamboats and the occasional thrill-seeking ride in a barrel.   Here at America’s Rafting Company, we stick to 3 options:   Oar Boats Oar Boats are the most comfortable and stable boat. It’s a 16′-18′ inflatable raft controlled by a guide in the middle of the boat with 2 large oars. It’s ideal for fishing, picture taking, relaxing and enjoying the ride. These boats are great for everyone, and younger kids and older adults tend to really like them. Fits 2-6 people with a guide.   Paddle Boats Paddle Boats are in the action. Each person is equipped with a paddle to navigate down river with the help of a guide located in the back of the boat. These inflatable rafts are slightly smaller than the Oar Boats and usually have a splashier more jam packed ride. They are great for friends or family looking for an adventure. Fits 4-8 people with a guide.   Inflatable Kayaks Inflatable Kayaks hold one or 2 people right above the river. They are great for exploring on flat water or enjoying an adventurous ride through rapids! These boats can be inflated or deflated and stored on a bigger raft. Fits 1-2 people with no guide.   When you book a trip, you’ll have the option to choose between the type of boat you’d like to ride in. We encourage switching up boats during the trip if you’d like! Not all trips can have all types of boats, but we try our best to accommodate your...

read more

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Hells Canyon

Posted by on 7:23 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations | 0 comments

Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Hells Canyon

As you already know, on August 21, 2017 a Total Solar Eclipse will occur. The sun will disappear behind the moon completely causing the sky to darken, temperatures may drop, and only a ring of light to be visible around the dark moon. In the path of totality, the moon will fully block the sun causing it to feel like twilight.   Hells Canyon in located in the 99th percentile of obscuration, just outside of the path of totality, and a great location to view the total solar eclipse. (Map: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov)   The Snake River Valley is one of the best spots for viewing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse according to Thrillist: “Seeing the eclipse in the great out-of-doors might make it feel like a more transcendent experience than in a big city. For drop-dead gorgeous scenery and recreation, no place tops the Snake River Valley. This region…has some of the best whitewater rafting in the northwest” Starting on August 20, 2017, a once-in-a-lifetime whitewater rafting trip will begin: Floating down the Snake River Scouting the best possible location to view the eclipse the following day “Glamping” alongside the river with a 3-course dinner Waking up to the sun and enjoying a full breakfast Waiting for the moon to cross over the sun to view the Total Solar Eclipse And of course, more days of whitewater rafting and fun follow. Click here for more information on our multi-day river trips.   Join us in viewing the Total Solar Eclipse on a completely unique outdoor adventure!...

read more

Spring is a’coming!

Posted by on 6:06 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Equipment, Rafting, Recipes, River Food | 0 comments

Spring is a’coming!

Spring is inching closer and closer to us. Ok, I know it’s still February but a girl can dream. We’ve been making the usual annual repairs on our gear and getting everything nice and shiny for this summer. Testing new recipes for our summer menu’s might be my favorite. Jarrett’s the official tester, so I have a feeling it’s his favorite too. This last week I’ve had chocolate chip cookies on the brain. There’s so many recipes and so many variations it’s hard to find the one that’s just right. After countless batches, I think I’ve found the secret. It’s not actually the recipe thats so special, but the butter. Are you ready? It’s brown butter. It’s that simple. Brown the butter and cool it before making your batch of cookies. Not going to lie, cooling the butter is what you’re supposed to do but if you’re impatient like I am, you can use the melted brown butter. Granted, the cookies will be a little flatter and more spread out, but they still taste delicious!   Don’t know how to make brown butter? It’s easy: Melt butter in a pan over medium heat Use a spatula to stir and make sure the butter is cooking evenly It’ll start to foam and then the color changes from light brown and to a nice toasty-brown Once you smell that nutty aroma and it’s medium brown in color, take the pan off the heat and pour the browned butter into a bowl to cool. The butter will continue to cook a little bit after it has been poured out of the pan. This is the only tricky part. If you wait too long, the milk solids in the butter will burn. Too soon, and the flavor won’t be as nutty and toasty. I’d recommend starting off on the light side to be safe and then when you make more batches to let it get darker. Here’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe: 1/2 cup browned butter, cooled to room temperature 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature 1 cup light brown sugar, packed 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp molasses 1/2 cup white sugar 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup chocolate chips Beat the 1/2 cup of regular butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, then beat in the vanilla extract and molasses. Pour the cooled brown butter and white sugar into the bowl. Beat for 2 minutes. It will become smooth and light in texture and color. Then, add the egg and egg yolk, and until just combined. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix on low speed just until the dough just starts to come together. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Don’t over mix the dough! A few bits of flour left is what you’re looking for. Press the dough down into the bowl and cover. Put in the refrigerate for an hour, or however long you can stand. (If you didn’t let the brown butter cool all the way before making the dough, now is a great time to let it set up for longer in the fridge) Preheat your oven to 350°F. Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto baking sheets. Leave some space in between the cookies; they’ll...

read more

208-347-3862 – BOOK NOW Whitewater Rafting And Fishing | IDAHO | OREGON

Posted by on 12:03 pm in Americas Rafting Vacations | 0 comments

208-347-3862 – BOOK NOW Whitewater Rafting And Fishing | IDAHO | OREGON

What we offer at Americas Rafting Company .com: WHITEWATER RAFTING AND FISHING VACATIONS IN IDAHO | OREGON |  SALMON RIVER | SNAKE RIVER| FLOAT – FISH – HUNT – HIKE  – CUSTOM GUIDED ADVENTURES! Chartered and Private Trips Hell’s Canyon of the Snake River 4 DAYS OR 5 DAYS | 81 MILES Salmon River Canyons 4 DAYS | 62 MILES Salmon River Canyons 5 OR 6 DAY | 73 MILES Owyhee River Whitewater Rafting 3 OR 4 DAYS | 45 MILES Fall Fishing and Chukar Hunting Trips Seven Devils | Hell Hike and Raft HIKE INTO HELL’S CANYON | 2 TO 8 DAYS Book Now! Original post is here: 208-347-3862 – BOOK NOW WHITEWATER RAFTING AND FISHING VACATIONS IN IDAHO | OREGON |  SALMON RIVER | SNAKE – FLOAT – FISH – HUNT –...

read more