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:


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.


From scratch delicious restaurant quality food served riverside: pineapple BBQ chicken, hot fresh cornbread, grilled vegetables, and cole slaw.

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 of Hells Canyon with it’s huge canyon walls, these stars will knock your socks (or Chacos) off. We provide tents, but most end up pulling their cushy sleeping pads out of them and sleeping under the stars. There’s nothing like rolling over in the middle of the night, catching a glimpse of the star-studded sky and trying your hardest to stay awake for just a moment longer to gaze above.


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:


Catching the early morning sun poking up above the Seven Devils Mountains at camp on the Snake River.


Seeing the solar eclipse from the bottom of Hells Canyon was pretty incredible. Excitement was high and we managed to take about 1000 awful photos of the dark sky.


Getting dunked in the rapids on the Snake River



Smoke from forest fires in the Northwest blew into Hells Canyon in August but that didn’t stop the good times. It did make for some great (and sometimes spooky) photos!


There’s no guarantee you won’t get splashed, even while fishing for trout and smallmouth bass.


There’s nothing better than relaxing at camp after an awesome day of whitewater rafting.


There was great fishing this year from beginners to professionals and from 7 year olds to 70 year olds!


Thank you to all who made this year so spectacular!

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 requests!

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!


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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 spread as they bake.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re just browning on the edges. Remove them from the oven, and let them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them. This lets the cookies continue cooking for a little bit and they set up so you can easily take them off the pan. 
Eat warm! If you have leftovers (!?) put them in an airtight container and they will last for serval days. I also like to bake off only the amount of cookies I want for that sitting, and leave the dough covered in the fridge/freezer for later. Then you can have fresh homemade hot cookies whenever you’d like! Or however long the dough lasts for…


I think these cookies will need to make it onto river lunches this summer on our Hells Canyon and Salmon River trips!! I love when the summer sun melts them just a little bit, so they taste almost fresh from the oven.

Big News for Americas Rafting Company!

Posted by on 4:29 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting | 0 comments

Big News for Americas Rafting Company!

To all of our Friends, Family and Guests of America’s Rafting Company,

Parker and I are pleased to announce that we have sold America’s Rafting Company. As many of you know, we’ve always been interested in real estate and construction and have decided to pursue that full time. We came to a crossroads last year and it became apparent that it was time to make a decision in which direction to head. About that time, we met Jarrett and Lauren and knew that they were the right people to carry on what we had started.

We have just gotten word that they have been licensed and approved by all of the various federal land managers and outfitting agencies that it takes to run a whitewater rafting business in Idaho. They have been put to the test (literally) and have what it takes. If you joined us on a rafting trip in the 2016 season, there’s a good chance they were guiding on your trip! Parker and I plan to stay in Idaho, pursuing more real estate and construction ventures and there’s not much that will keep Parker off the river, so there’s a chance you’ll see us out on the water!

We are confident that Jarrett and Lauren will be top notch outfitters and continue to provide the same premium whitewater adventures that you’ve come to know in your time with us. I will turn the keyboard over to Lauren now so that you can get to know her and Jarrett a bit more.




Jarrett and I are thrilled to finally be outfitters and to be able to share our love and passion for the river. We’ve spent the last year working closely with Parker and Becky, learning the insides and outs of this awesome rafting company. We are excited to continue America’s Rafting Company with their style and gusto, and to extend traditions of delicious food and a great time on the river.

Jarrett and I have been whitewater rafting for over 12 years throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Arizona, Maine, and Massachusetts. Jarrett has been a river guide for 6 of those years. The river feels like home to us and we are always so excited to share that experience with others.

We have also previously owned and operated a catering company in Jackson Hole and we are passionate about great food. Jarrett and I look forward to offering incredible river meals, specialty drinks, and a fun and safe time for everyone on the river!

We hope to see you on the river!

lauren and jarrett

Lauren & Jarrett

P.S. We will be launching a new website in a couple weeks. Keep your eyes out!

White Water Rafting in Idaho: What We Eat

Posted by on 10:27 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Past River Trips, Rafting, River History | 0 comments

White Water Rafting in Idaho: What We Eat

_MG_4591When we talk multi-day white water rafting in Idaho, we are often asked about food! As a people, food is so important to us for obvious reasons: nutrition, survival, etc. From a social aspect, food serves so much more than that. It’s all about getting together to celebrate and reminisce and look forward to the next chapter, take for instance, all of our holidays: they revolve around food. If there is a celebration: job promotion, birthday or anniversary, we celebrate with food! So, on our multi-day white water rafting in Idaho trips, food is a vital part of the trip and a piece that we don’t take lightly.

_MG_4375Being self-proclaimed foodies, we take a lot of pride in the menu on our white water in Idaho trips. We want to be sure that the food offers comfort, is memorable and of course tastes good!

Our days on the river start out with hot coffee from our 2.5 gallon aluminum coffee pot, check out the video here, showing Woody spinning the coffee to compact the grounds at the bottom after brewing over an open flame. After coffee is served, with all the fixings (including organic creamer), we serve a hot breakfast with fruit, homemade granola and Greek yogurt. Lunch is served buffet “riverside“. We have anything from a deli sandwich set up to a taco bar. Fresh fruit, cold drinks and homemade cookies round out the meal. Our guides will choose a point of interest for lunch, maybe it’s a little old homestead tucked away in the trees or pictographs left from the Nez Pearce Indians. You never know what you’re going to see and our river canyons are brimming with spectacular sights!

Once your stomach star_MG_4380ts to rumble, indicating that dinner might be close, you’ve probably pulled into camp, laid out your sleeping bags, changed into your “camp clothes”, you’ll start smelling fresh bread, cake, grilled veggies and marinating steaks. Appetizers are always served, on the last night we usually do a baked brie-it’s quickly become a crowd favorite!

So, as you can see, our multi-day white water rafting in Idaho trips don’t skimp on anything: you’ll be treated with the best fine-dining that Idaho’s river canyons can offer!

The river is calling…

Happy New Year from America’s Rafting Company!

Posted by on 6:37 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations | 0 comments

As the year winds to a close and the snow falls outside, we have been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year. What a great season we had. We met so many new friends and made great memories with all of our rafting guests!

Bake Brie AppetizerDespite last winter’s dismal appearance, our snow packs were enough to get us through the summer without any changes to our schedule. We were plagued with some pretty bad fires in August here in Idaho’s West Central Mountains, but we were able to stay out of their way. There were some outfitters and rafters that weren’t as lucky. The BLM had to close down the river corridor and the highway getting in and out and some folks were stranded on the Salmon River as they were nearing the town of Riggins. All the county and federal officials worked together to get them out as quickly and safely as possible and to the best of my knowledge, there were no injuries. Other than to our forests, we recently took a drive up the Salmon River to view the ice on the river and see how much damage was done to the river’s edge. There are many burnt trees visible from the river and miles upon miles of land that burned in total. Our air quality was pretty bad during August, but once the fire was out, it cleared right up.

Parker and I weren’Dutch Oven Cookingt able to go on as many rafting trips as we would have liked this past season, of course we’d love to go on every trip, but reality of running a fast paced business sets in during the heat of the summer and we have to step back and run the behind the scenes portion. We are hoping to re-arrange some things so that in 2016 we can join more trips and even row some boats! That’s what we’re here for, after all.

We’d like to say thank you to everyone that joined us on the river this year, rafting without you, our summer’s would be pretty boring. We are looking forward to an even better season in 2016 and counting the snow days as it continues to fall. We’re loving all of that fluffy white stuff out there and have even gotten the chance to play in it a couple times!

Paddle's UpCheers to 2016!

The river is calling…

Whitewater Rafting: Summer 2015 so far…

Posted by on 7:25 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting | 0 comments

Well hello! Summer Solstice has come and gone and we are officially in throws of summer and boy does it feel good! We are having a great 2015 season so far. We have been getting in as much whitewater rafting as possible and loving it! We have launched 4 trips so far, two in April, a guide training trip and a 3 day Hells Canyon whitewater rafting trip! Phew, it’s been great, but we are only getting started! We have over 15 trips on the books for this season! Definitely our biggest season yet.

We are chalking a lot of that success up to our return guests, we have many trips scheduled for this season that were either on a trip with us last year, or had a friend or family member do a trip and they just had to see what it’s all about! Whitewater rafting is a great way to spend some time during the summer, but don’t take my word for it, check out some of our favorite whitewater rafting photos to see what fun it can be!

We still have some room on a few of our trips for this season, so don’t hesitate to call to find out our availability and make some of your own whitewater rafting memories!

See you on the river…