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.
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.