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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:


Idaho Rafting: Weekend in Review

Posted by on 11:14 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting, River History | 0 comments

Did you all have a great weekend? Any awesome adventures? The Idaho rafting crew at ARC had a weekend full of chores! We have been preparing for winter lately and just in time, too. Here’s some images caught early this morning at the boat shop: We’ve had about 6 inches of snow drop and stick around in Meadows Valley, Idaho and up on the mountains, they’re reporting over a foot of snow! In fact, Brundage Ski Resort (which is about 15 minutes away from our warehouse) is planning on opening one of their lifts this weekend! Woohoo! That’s much earlier than last year, Brundage wasn’t able to open until after Christmas in 2013, so this is exciting news! All the snow early on gives this Idaho rafting company high hopes for high water next summer. The rivers that America’s Rafting Company runs are all fed by the snow melt, in fact, the Salmon River is the longest running river in North America without any dams. The flows depend solely on Mother Nature. The Snake River, through Hells Canyon is a dammed river, so flows are fed by snow melt, but regulated by Idaho Power. Water is reserved in the three reserviors in Hells Canyon and released. The Owyhee River is an early Spring run off river, so typically we float that in March/April/May, cause once the water’s gone, it’s gone. So, fingers crossed and snow dance dancin’ this will be a big winter and we’ll have a big summer!! See you on the river…  ...

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White Water Rafting Idaho: A Rafting Vacation

Posted by on 3:34 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting | 0 comments

Does the thought of planning a vacation frighten you? It does me. In fact, we are planning an international vacation right now and there is so much headache, anxiety and hesitation that goes into it. My anxiety for booking the tickets is so severe that I have had a gift certificate to buy these airline tickets for 8 months and I haven’t done it! Crazy right? I just know that as soon as I pick out the dates and buy the tickets, I will have to start planning an itinerary and picking out places to stay, things to do, eek, I am getting dizzy just typing about it! It’s a lot easier for me to plan a white water rafting Idaho vacation for someone than it is my own vacation, but that’s because a white water rafting Idaho vacation is quite simply the best vacation on the planet, here’s why: It’s simple: the crew at ARC does all of the planning for you! We plan the meals, the sleeping spaces, the transportation, even the bathrooms! All you need to do is show up by 6 pm the evening before for our pre-trip meeting and pack your clothes into the awesomely water proof duffle bag that ARC provides! Then, we embark on 3-6 days of river time, bliss on the water, white water rafting Idaho! It’s truly a dream vacation. It’s almost all-inclusive: I don’t tout myself as a vacation planning guru (see first paragraph) but I do know that vacations can get very pricy! First there’s the airline tickets, then the hotel, then the food, then the souvenirs, then the drinks, then all the little expenses you don’t think of, cab rides, entrance fees, the list goes on… When planning a white water rafting Idaho vacation, it’s nearly all-inclusive. The drinks, the food, the gear, the transportation to and from the river, the 5 billion star hotel (tents with plush sleeping pads) are all included in the price! Here’s the nitty gritty of what’s not included in your white water rafting Idaho vacation: the transportation to the McCall, ID area (that’s where our trips launch from), food and hotel the evening before and after, the gratuities for the guides and any ARC souvenirs that you may want to get. From your fresh brewed coffee on the first day to the lunch on the last day, all the meals are taken care of for you, presented in a gourmet fashion and enjoyed riverside! The itinerary is planned: you’ll know what you’re going to be doing each day, we’ll see different historic sites along the river, like old homesteads, cabins and ancient pictographs, there will be 3 square meals each day, plenty of libations and all the fishing you can handle. We leave enough room in the schedule of the day to take things at a leisure pace, you can read on the beach, fish from the shore, nap in the sunshine, paddle ’till your heart’s content. There’s something for everyone on a white water rafting Idaho vacation. The rapids will thrill, the flat water will calm, the itinerary is based on river time, which is actually no time at all! We move at the speed of the river, eat when we’re hungry, sleep when we’re tired. It’s the best kind of vacation itinerary on the...

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Idaho Fishing Guides: Weekend in Review

Posted by on 7:22 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Fishing, Past River Trips | 1 comment

Hello and Happy Monday! Hope that you all had a great weekend. It’s been very cold here in Meadows Valley, Idaho. Yesterday, I got some office work done in the early morning, because it was a whole -3 degrees outside! Suddenly, data entry is a lot more attractive when there’s a warm fire, hot cup of coffee and no other distractions, because the cold winter outside takes your breath away. In other news, our Idaho fishing guides were able to get out on the river over the weekend. The river was a bit warmer than the -3 degrees I was experiencing, but not by much. In fact, Parker reported to me that after just an hour of being outside, his water bottle had frozen solid, which made staying hydrated rather difficult. With the help of our Idaho fishing guides, our salmon river rafting trips have morphed into fishing trips and we’re not complaining. There were some beautiful fish caught on the river over the weekend. The fall steelhead run is on and it’s been a great run so far! Here’s an updated photo of the new boat shop. Siding is on it’s way to being done, we sanded and stained sheets till we were blue in the face last week, but all the stain fumes paid off when we got a look at what the shop will be in the end, it’s coming together quite nicely. We are looking forward to a finished product, but fear that mother nature may have a different idea in mind and that’s ok, we can’t change her mind when it comes to winter. The snow has fallen and it looks like it might be staying for the long haul, the weather isn’t forecast to be much higher than 38 degrees all week, the progress on the boat shop has slowed down a bit for now. So has our rafting and hiking trips for that matter. We’re not sure that the boats will get to come out of hibernation again (other than the yearly check up, getting unrolled and inspected) until Spring when cabin fever is in it’s final stages and we can’t stand not visiting the river canyons.   I’m off to finish up some of that office work I started yesterday, looking forward to a productive week. If you got out over the weekend, be sure to share, even if it wasn’t playing on the water with Idaho fishing guides, maybe it was a little more weather appropriate like a brisk hike or even a snow ball fight, let us know what you’ve been up too! See you on the...

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Idaho Rafting Outfitters: Weekend in Review

Posted by on 4:51 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Fishing, Past River Trips | 0 comments

Big things are happening here…. We raised the roof! Well, technically I did not raise anything at all, but I did cheer the roof raising on and it looks awesome! This Idaho Rafting Outfitters had a productive weekend, we were able to get the trusses, sheeting and roofing on the new boat shop and just in time, we got some rain/snow/hail on Sunday night, so we can now let out a big phew! I’m glad that’s over, now it’s on to siding this week and weekend. We were also able to sneek away for a bit and get down to the Salmon River for some steelhead fishing, the weather was chilly on Saturday, but bearable. Sunday was rainy and soggy. No complaints, here from this Idaho Rafting Outfitter. Anytime spent on the river is time well spent. We always tell people, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. So we layered up and headed into Green Canyon, the first of three canyons on the Salmon River. Check out some photos from this weekend:...

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Hells Canyon Snake River: #hellhikeandraft Part II

Posted by on 5:55 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Backpacking, Past River Trips, Rafting | 0 comments

When we left off last week, the #hellhikeandraft crew had just landed in Boise. I had driven the shaggin’ wagon (or more correctly, the 15 passenger van) to Boise, to pick up the crew. I was thrilled to finally be meeting the group. Most had flown in from all over the country, only a couple members had driven straight to New Meadows, and we’d be meeting with with them later that day. In preparing for any of ourq hells canyon snake river trip, we meet with our guests the evening before at Roadhouse Java to discuss logistics and answer all the last minute questions. But, this hells canyon snake river trip, #hellhikeandraft proved to be a bit different in a lot of ways. So there I was pulling in to the Boise International Airport, when I saw a group unlike any other, first they all had red teton sports backpacks and second, they all had that wild look in their eyes that could only mean one thing- they were ready for adventure! We quickly loaded up in the van and set off, heading North, out of the city and into the mountains. We were headed to find this crew some adventure! Two and a half hours and one bathroom break later, we pulled into one of the most gorgeous valleys in all of Idaho, Meadows Valley. We joined with the others at Meadows Valley Motel and went over a couple of housekeeping items, then readied ourselves for the next day. There may or may not have been some wine poured and spirits lifted in anticipation for the great unknown. The crew left bright and early, headed to the trailhead for the Seven Devils Wilderness. It would be the last time I’d se them for a couple of days, I was slated bring in the rafts and meet them in Hells Canyon Snake River. We watched online (there were a a couple SPOT devices on board) as the crew, guided by our own Marshall Minder, Rick Robison and John Welch made their way through the Seven Devils Wilderness. There are many recounts from the crew members on their blogs, and on social media sites so be sure to browse through all of the information, by clicking here. After three days of hiking, we all met up at the mouth of Granite Creek in Hells Canyon Snake River. And embarked on three days of rafting. Parker and I had arrived with 2 rafts blown up and geared down, we had a paddle boat rolled up ready to go, as well as two inflatable kayaks and a SUP (stand-up paddle board) AIRE demoed the SUP out for us, to give it a whirl for this Hells Canyon Snake River trip. When we landed at Granite Creek, we quickly readied camp so that we could spend some time playing on the SUP and get some appetizers started. We knew the crew would be hungry, tired and thirsty when they arrived, so we got everything ready to go, we couldn’t wait to hear the stories of the trail. After a cold beer and some riverside cuisine: Spinach/Artichoke dip with Pita Chips to start, followed by Dutch oven river chicken with carrots and potatoes Kale/Brusell Sprout salad with a white balsalmic vinegarette Green beans with...

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Rafting Company: Weekend in Review

Posted by on 4:23 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting | 0 comments

It’s Monday again! Doesn’t it seem like Mondays show up without warning and smack you in the face to remind you that the weekend freedom is over? Sheesh! Anyways, here’s what this rafting company was up to over the weekend: We now have poles in the ground for the new shop! Things are moving along quite nicely, fingers crossed that we don’t have any snow for a bit. Although, Brundage Ski Resort (we can see the runs from our front window) reported 3 inches of the powdery white stuff on Sunday, so it’s definitely happening, old man winter is creeping in to town! Pretty quiet little weekend, it flew right by us, we’re back to the grind again. Working on our year end reports for our 2014 season, which is always a sad report to file, it means that the season is officially over and on the books. On the bright side, this rafting company is looking forward to 2015, it will be here before we know it!! Cheers to you with my second cup of coffee for this shiny Monday, have a great week! See you on the...

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Hells Canyon Snake River: #hellhikeandraft

Posted by on 4:19 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Backpacking, Past River Trips, Rafting | 0 comments

I guess it’s my turn to write about the epic-ness that was #hellhikeandraft. I have truly enjoyed every word written about the trip, no not just enjoyed. I have drank up every word, reading slower and slower as each post comes to an end, because I don’t want it to end. Let me back up here and give some framework for what this #hellhikeandraft trip is all about. America’s Rafting Company is fortunate enough to call hells canyon snake river, the Salmon River canyon and the Owyhee River our “office” we have one of the coolest jobs on the planet and to sweeten the deal even more, ARC was also lucky enough to get a backpacking permit for the Seven Devils Wilderness here in Idaho. Our permit (one of two in existence) is an appendage to our hells canyon snake river permit, meaning that if we outfit a trip in the Seven Devils, our exit route has to be on the Snake River. It takes an adventurous soul to sign up for a Hells Canyon Snake River rafting trip, but it takes an intrepid soul to embark on a multi-sport, backpacking and rafting trip with America’s Rafting Company into the Seven Devils Wilderness and through Hells Canyon Snake River country. This trip is not for the faint of heart. Climbing to one the highest peaks in Idaho (He Devil of the Seven Devils Wilderness sits just under 9,500 feet of elevation) and then descending into Hells Canyon Snake River, the deepest canyon in North America is an adventure to say the least. America’s Rafting Company knew that marketing this multi-sport trip could prove to be a challenge, as there were more moving parts and the participants on the trips needed to have grit and determination to make it through the elevation changes, the sore feet and the class IV rapids. The rewards and bragging rights that come after a successful completion of the most epic of epic trips are worth every step. I digress, let’s get back to #hellhikeandraft and how it came to be. America’s Rafting Company was brainstorming ideas one chilly morning last winter, huddled around the wood stove in the shop and enjoying a morning brew, distracted by social media and checking up on our twitter feed. We had gotten a new follower, Adam Nutting with Hiking the Trail. Queue the lightbulb over the head, Parker had a great idea, contacted Adam and that was where #hellhikeandraft came into play. Parker had let Adam know about this permit that we held and proposed the idea of gathering a crew of awesome social media/blogger/outdoor gurus and putting on this epic trip. Adam hit the ground running and hand picked the crew, got some awesome gear sponsors lined up and Parker began the preparations from the outfitter side. Soon enough, September was here and the crew was landing in Boise: Trevor Joy (coloradohiking.org) Jes Zaneis (Chronic Climber Chick) Adam Nutting (Hiking the Trail) Tara Oster (Ski, Toast.) Paulina Dao (little grunts) Russ Beebe (Wine Hiker) Shannon Croom Annie Yearout (Outdoorsy Mama) Wendy Newland Jeff Howell (Missouri Howell) Val Joiner (Val in Real Life) Scott Gauvin (Hiking Forward) More to come on this epic adventure next week! See you on the...

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Idaho Rafting Company: Weekend in Review

Posted by on 5:24 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations | 1 comment

Hello! Hope you all had a great adventure some weekend! Here at ARC headquarters, things are still quite busy, despite the season. Fall is typically our busiest behind the scenes season, as we are busy tying up loose ends from the summer. We get all of our equipment put to bed for a long hibernation into winter and finish up outside projects before the snow flies here in Meadows Valley. This Idaho Rafting Company was busy this weekend, working on a new boat shop (we are at max capacity in our current boat shop) so a new one is going up! We have had a lot of rain over the past weekend, so we’ve been trying to squeeze in some time outside in between the showers. The boat shop is all flagged and marked, holes will be drilled this week for the poles and progress will continue! The weather forecast is going to be chilly, but dry, so fingers crossed we can make some progress on the shop this week! We were able to escape the boat shop for a bit and take a drive up the Salmon River to see some fall colors and take a couple little side hikes, the weather was perfect and the drive/hike was just what we needed- we really miss the rivers when we don’t see them for a couple weeks, so it was time to check in and ogle some whitewater! Here are a couple shots from that drive:     See you on the...

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Whitewater Rafting Vacation: The Most Unforgettable Vacation

Posted by on 5:27 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Rafting | 0 comments

Say the word vacation around a group of working adults and they may mumble about how they need a vacation or can’t get a vacation, and then they’ll likely conjure up images of palm trees and sandy beaches, or a trek through Europe, or sipping margaritas in Mexico. Vacation can mean so many different things to different people. It’s not often that vacation conjures up images of brisk whitewater, inflatable kayaks and dutch oven cooking. But, to us those images are the ideal vacation. Just like any vacation, a whitewater rafting vacation can be restorative, adventure some and energizing. It can mean re-kindling a flame, re-connecting with grown children or reminiscing with college buddies. When asked what a whitewater rafting vacation is like, it’s hard to narrow it down into a couple concise sentences when conversing with a new acquaintance. It’s hard to put into words the meaning of riverside coffee, or sinking your feet into the sand and chatting with your better half, splashing in the water with your children. There are no rules (other than a couple safety topics) there are no bosses or emails or cell phones or traffic jams or anything that may cause stress. There’s just you, your river crew and comrades, the  gear and endless opportunities to get to know yourself again, contemplate the meaning of life and just exist in the moment. Perhaps my most favorite concept on a whitewater rafting trip is the concept of time, or lack there-of. I am often asked what time will we be on the water each day- what time will we eat, etc. While we do keep to a pretty general timeline on the river, there really is no set time, other than river time. We eat when we’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired and drink when you’re thirsty. We move at the speed of the river- there is no rushing the Snake or Salmon River, there is only existing within the confines of the river canyon, and exist we do. I hope that you’re able to experience the best vacation on the planet with us, a whitewater rafting vacation. See you on the...

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Salmon River Rafting: The difference between the Snake and the Salmon

Posted by on 5:11 pm in About us, Americas Rafting Vacations, Equipment, Fishing, Rafting, River History | 0 comments

America’s Rafting Company floats the Snake River through Hells Canyon, the Salmon River and the Owyhee River in Oregon. We are often asked what the difference is between Snake river rafting and Salmon river rafting. There are many aspects from each river that can make for a very different experience on the water. The Salmon River Rafting trips that we offer are set up in a similar fashion to our Hells Canyon Snake River trips, so today we’ll point our the major similarities and differences. Salmon River rafting trips require the same kind of boats that the Snake River does, our inflatable rafts are made by AIRE and they are great quality, they get us down the river in style and class. We love working with AIRE- they are a local Idaho company with great vision and customer service! We have very similar equipment in terms of camping and cooking, and most all of our gear is the same for our Salmon River rafting trips and our Snake River rafting trips, but there are a few very different aspects of the two rivers to point out:   First, the Salmon River rafting is lined with sandy beaches! White, pristine sandy beaches. Whereas the Snake River has more rock/gravel bars. The reason the Salmon is full of sandy beaches is an interesting fact: the Salmon River is the longest running river in North America without any dams. That means all the snow melt and run off carries a lot of dirt and debris, which floats down the river and gets deposited along the river banks. On the Snake River the same concept is happening: the sand is running down into the tribuataries and into the Snake, but the Snake is a dammed river. The sand is instead getting trapped above each of the three dams leading into Hells Canyon. Eventually the sand and silt will become too much of a problem and the reservoirs (Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon Reservoirs) will need to be dredged to rid them of the sand.   Secondly, the other major difference in the two rivers is the history. The Snake River canyon is lined with homesteads and mines from decades past. The Salmon River was used and inhabited primarily by the Nez Pearce Indians and Chinese miners. There aren’t many old homesteads or cabins along the lower Salmon River. So, if you’re a history buff and interested in seeing old cabins, equipment and homesteads than the Snake River would be a great choice for you!   Thirdly, the Salmon River and the Snake River vary in their directional flows and the way the sun rises. It’s a very peculiar thing, but the Snake River in Hells Canyon actually flows from South to North. The Salmon River primarily flows from East to West. This has a large impact on the summer days. In Hells Canyon, when the sun rises and sets, you have a lot of cover from the canyon walls. Whereas the Salmon River gets sun very early in the day and it sets very late in the day. So, a trip where swimming and sun bathing is a priority- we suggest the Salmon River. The scenery and terrain in Hells Canyon and in the Salmon River canyon are similar, they run parallel of each other for many miles...

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