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:
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 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 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 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!
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.
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!
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.
What we offer at Americas Rafting Company .com:
- Hell’s Canyon of the Snake River 4 DAYS OR 5 DAYS | 81 MILES
Original post is here:
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 & Jarrett
P.S. We will be launching a new website in a couple weeks. Keep your eyes out!
When 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.
Being 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 starts 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!
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!
Despite 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’t 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!
Cheers to 2016!
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!
The countdown is on ya’ll! We have summer in our sights and it’s coming fast! Yikes, are we ready, well no. But, we’ll get ready in ahurry for Idaho River Rafting. Pre-season for us means utter chaos, it’s like Spring Cleaning on steroids. We have our winter projects to wrap up and gear to inspect, organize, repair, clean and put away. It’s really a lot of fun, but it can be just a bit stressful. The other thing we work against, just like everyone else is time and weather. The winters in New Meadows can be pretty extreme as far as snow, this year we had a very mild winter, but there is typically snow on the ground for 4-5 months, so we are limited on outside construction projects. This year, Spring came early, so we took advantage of the warm Spring days and became busy little Idaho river rafting bees.
Here is a list of what we are working on or have finished this Spring:
1 boat shop cement floor poured
1 boat shop almost all complete (waiting on the big door to be installed)
1 warehouse completed (this is out most recent project, more on that to come)
1 awesome compost bin, made by my talented brother. Will be able to compost scraps from the river trips.
Chicken coop moved and new run built.
1 new 16′ Aire raft purchased and marked up, I introduce W.P. Hunt (more on naming rafts to come)
1 backyard, updated with gravel and firepit area
1 3-Day weekend spent with family: fishing, rafting and finding morels
1 very busy season, coming up! Ready, set, go…
Phew, that’s a pretty long list! It’s been great fun and this Idaho river rafting company can’t wait for summer to be here and for all the great guests we will take rafting this season. We are very lucky to do what we love, what’s the old saying: Do what you love, love what you do? That holds true for us, we absolutely love what we do!
We just returned yesterday from a 3-day Hells Canyon trip. We had a great time, great weather and great guests- you could say we are pretty grateful for our work and our public lands in which we get to recreate. Spring time in Hells Canyon means many things: wildflowers, cool mornings, hot afternoons, blossoms, high water, snake river fishing, solitude, serenity and the list goes on. Spring is one of our favorite seasons for boating- and the weather in Hells Canyon is surprisingly great! And with all that combined, there is something very interesting that happens at the take-out: Pittsburgh Landing, each year. A very elaborate scheme with a dozen or so holding tanks, generators, pumps and even a full time employee moves in starting in February and stays until about April. The fall Chinook Salmon are being acclimated to the river’s water in order to be released. The pumps bring river water up and into the tanks where 500,000+ salmon are swimming, waiting for the big realease in order to improve the Snake River fishing population.
Because of the dams, the fish have a very hard time making it back up the Snake River. At one time in history, the Snake River housed the world’s second largest Salmon Run (second of course to Alaska). Since the dams were put in, the Salmon run is highly regulated and very costly. CLICK HERE for a well done report from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. If you don’t want to read the whole report, here are some of the highlights specifically referring to the Pittsburgh Landing site. If you’re lucky enough to see the Snake River fishing acclimation site in Spring, knowing why it’s there is really quite helpful, so read on for more information.
1996 Operation of the Pittsburg Landing Acclimation Facility (Project 199801005) began with a total of 114,000 fall chinook yearling acclimated and released. Adult fall chinook salmon passage over Lower Granite Dam: 1308 adults – 424 jacks 1997 Pittsburg Landing and Big Canyon (Project 199801008) acclimation facilities were operated with 345,000 yearlings and 253,000 sub-yearlings acclimated and released. Pittsburg Landing released 147,000 yearlings and Big Canyon 198,000 yearlings and 253,000 sub-yearlings. Funding for operations and maintenance provided directly from BPA starting in 1997. Adult fall chinook salmon passage over Lower Granite Dam: 1451 adults – 504 jacks
1998 Pittsburg Landing, Big Canyon and Capt. John Rapids acclimation facilities operated with 336,000 yearlings acclimated and released. Pittsburg Landing released 142,000, Big Canyon 61,000 and Capt. John Rapids 133,000. Adult fall chinook salmon passage over Lower Granite Dam: 1909 adults – 2002 jacks 1999 All three acclimation facilities operated with 530,000 yearling and 670,000 sub-yearling fish acclimated and released. Pittsburg Landing released 143,000 yearlings, Big Canyon 230,000 yearlings and 347,000 sub-yearlings and Capt. John Rapids 157,000 yearlings and 323,000 sub-yearling fish. Adult fall chinook salmon passage over Lower Granite Dam: 3384 adults – 1863 jacks
2000 All three acclimation facilities operated with 397,000 yearlings and 2,182,000 subyearlings acclimated and released. Pittsburg Landing released 135,000 yearlings and 399,000 sub-yearlings; Big Canyon 131,000 yearlings and 890,000 sub-yearlings; Capt. John Rapids 131,000 yearlings and 893,000 sub-yearlings. Adult fall chinook salmon passage over Lower Granite Dam: 3602 adults – 7112 jacks
2001 All three acclimation facilities operated with 327,000 yearlings and 1,732,000 subyearlings acclimated and released. Pittsburg Landing released 104,000 yearlings and 374,000 sub-yearlings; Big Canyon 113,000 yearling and 856,000 sub-yearlings; Capt. John Rapids 102,000 yearlings and 501,000 sub-yearlings.