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Hells Canyon of the Snake River

3 days or 4 days | 34 miles

3 Day or 4 Day Whitewater Rafting Trips in Hells Canyon – the deepest canyon in North America!

These Snake River Rafting Trips are by far our most popular!


• 3-day rafting trip with class II, III, and IV whitewater rafting

• Delicious restaurant-quality meals and camping on the beach–bedding and all

• Incredible views of the Idaho scenery and wildlife

• Optional hiking and kayaking excursions

• Great fishing–catch smallmouth bass and sturgeon

• Located on the Idaho and Oregon border

• Ages 7+

There’s nothing quite like a Hells Canyon rafting trip. From hiking the mountains to whitewater rafting, this is a jam-packed adventure you won’t soon forget. Hells Canyon is the deepest canyon in North America; it spans approximately 8,000 feet from the Snake River to the peak of the Seven Devils Mountains.

This Hells Canyon Whitewater Rafting Adventure is an all-inclusive vacation into the wilderness of the Northwest as it offers some of the best white water and scenery like no other. Plus, you’ll also experience the following on your 3-day rafting trip:

  • 34 miles of splashy whitewater rafting–we offer Class II-IV
  • Big rapids in oar boats, paddle boats or inflatable kayaks
  • All meals are restaurant quality and made from scratch in our full-service kitchen on the river
  • Hike to view some of Idaho’s historical landmarks (optional; all hikes are rated easy)
  • Explore the wilderness and find wildlife like bald eagles, bighorn sheep, otters, mountain goats, deer, elk, brown and cinnamon bears, and more
  • Find trout, sturgeon, catfish, and small-mouth bass on your fishing adventures
  • Learn about Hells Canyon’s history through pictographs, petroglyphs, and rock shelters dating back thousands of years ago
  • Slow-paced afternoons filled with reading, fishing, and more
  • We take care of everything–all you have to do is relax and enjoy
  • Sleep on luxurious sleeping pads beneath the starry night sky

If your family wants to reconnect while disconnecting from social media and busy everyday life, or if your company is looking for a unique team building experience, this is the perfect solution, and it lies in the middle of the beautiful wilderness.

Difficulty Rating:

The Snake River through Hells Canyon is rated Class III-IV whitewater. It is a large volume river with drop-pool style rapids, meaning a rapid is followed by a large pool of calm water. This section consists of mostly Class III rapids with a few Class IV’s. Many of these rapids are described as roller-coaster waves creating a fun and enjoyable ride appropriate for most physical abilities, including children ages 7 and up. Many boat landings are rocky and require walking varied distances on uneven terrain. Once at camp, the terrain is usually open and forgiving. All hiking is optional and easy to moderate difficulty.

Here are the boats we offer on our trips.

Typical Itinerary

Evening before Departure: Enjoy a stay in the Cambridge, ID area and we will meet for a pre-trip meeting, provide dry bags for packing and answer any questions.

Day 1: After an early morning departure and a scenic drive along several reservoirs, we arrive at Hells Canyon Dam and prepare to begin our river adventure. Our first day starts off with a bang with several Class II-III rapids. The trout fishing is exceptional during the first day in the swift moving water. Lunch is served riverside usually with an option for a short hike or time to relax, swim or fish. After lunch, the Class IV whitewater rapids are fun, big and splashy.  In the afternoon, boats pull into camp where tents will be ready and waiting. Relaxing in camp, fishing, swimming, hiking and playing beach games is encouraged at camp. Each night a delicious gourmet meal is prepared from our river kitchen: appetizers, delicious entrées, fresh baked Dutch Oven breads and decadent desserts.

Days 2-3: After sleeping under the stars, coffee will be brewing and breakfast will soon follow. Bags will be packed and boats will be boarded. Phenomenal whitewater follows with calm swimming pools, great fishing holes, rich history, tasty food, and fun. This is when the magic of a river trip happens: no clocks, no cell phones, no computers; just you, the group and your beautiful surroundings. The evening will be similar to the previous night at a camp further down river.

Last Day: We arrive at the take-out in the early afternoon and head back to civilization. You can plan on arriving back to Cambridge around 7:00 pm.  If you have any time constrictions, please let us know when you book the trip and we can adjust accordingly.

Note for booking departing flights after the trip: There’s a lot of travel time from the river on the last day. We do not recommend flying out on the final day of a river trip. Please call or email us with questions about appropriate flight times and airport choices: 208-347-3862.

What to Bring Summer Rafting

Hells Canyon is usually hot and dry in the summer. Average highs are in the 90’s with some weeks exceeding 100F. The nights usually cool off with average lows in 60’s to 70’s. Bathing suits, quick dry shorts/pants, and long/short sleeve shirts are recommended for the day. Although cotton is not usually recommended on most river trips, it is appropriate and cooling during the hot days. A light rain jacket is useful for the off chance of rain or splashy rapids, especially in the early mornings or late afternoons. Protection from the sun is highly recommended. Sun hats, sun glasses, sunscreen, and long and light layers are excellent. While in the raft or kayak you should wear sturdy shoes that will stay on your feet and should be comfortable when wet. There are many appropriate varieties of boat shoes: Teva’s, Chaco’s, Keen’s, Aqua Socks, or even old tennis shoes (although they will get wet and stay wet for the whole trip). Flip flops are not appropriate in the boats. Packing another pair of shoes specifically for camp is highly recommended. These could be flip flops, sneakers, hiking shoes/boots or galoshes. Pick shoes that will be comfortable and match your level of activity. A separate set of clothes for camp is also advisable solely for comfort.

Check out our packing list for more details!

Spring and Fall Rafting (April, May, June, September, October)

If you have chosen to join us for a Spring or Fall trip during cooler weather, please pay particular attention to the packing list for those seasons. Air and water temperatures are cooler and the chance of rain is slightly higher. Packing appropriate clothing leads to a warm and enjoyable trip. We hope to never use the cooler weather gear, but it’s very important to have. If the weather and water temperatures call for wet suits, ARC will provide them. We offer a “farmer John” style wet suit (one piece, long pants, sleeveless and a front zipper). As always, if you have any questions about how to pack or what to wear, give us a call at 208-347-3862.

How to Pack

A large waterproof overnight bag is supplied per guest for clothing, sleeping gear, toiletries, etc. It can easily fit one sleeping bag and the contents of a good-sized duffle bag. This bag will be packed away during the day and should contain only items that you will need at camp. A smaller waterproof day bag will also be provided and will stay with you on the boat. It is accessible throughout the day and can contain items such as sunscreen, a warm fleece or rain jacket, chap-stick, and/or a camera. If packed and sealed correctly, your bags will stay dry under most conditions, although we do not guarantee our dry bags to be completely waterproof. In order to protect important items (such as cameras, medications, etc.), they should be packed in dry bags or boxes inside of the dry bags we provide. Putting less valuable items (like books, playing cards, etc) in zip-lock bags inside your dry bag is also recommended. If you are planning on bringing an expensive camera, please let us know and we should be able to provide a waterproof box that will be accessible throughout the trip. Call the office for more information about properly storing and packing important items. We are happy to help!

Hells Canyon Rafting Prices

3 Day Hells Canyon Rafting Trip

Adult (ages 13+): $975

Kid (ages 7-12): $878

4 Day Hells Canyon Rafting Trip

Adult (ages 13+): $1225

Kid (ages 7-12): $1104

Check out the live calendar below for dates available this summer!


The Snake River offers excellent fishing opportunities.  You’ll be able to fish from the boats throughout the day, from the bank during lunch, and in the evenings at camp. Hells Canyon runs on the border between Idaho and Oregon. You will need to obtain either a valid Idaho fishing license and/or Oregon fishing license. Either license will allow you to fish from the boat. If you would like to fish from the shore at camp, we usually camp on the Oregon side and would recommend an Oregon license.

Fly fishing recommended gear: 

  • 5-6 weight fly rod
  • 5-6 weight floating line with medium to fast sinking tip. Bass flies: varies
  • Try purple, green and white poppers. Streamer patterns.
  • Trout flies: Caddis patterns, midges.

Spinning Gear recommended:

  • Average sized trout rod with light tackle, or ultralight rod
  • 2-4 pound test line
  • Lures: Spinners, meps, spoons, jigs

Recommended Reading List:

  • Indian Creek Chronicles Pete Fromm
  • River Tales of Idaho Darcy Williams
  • Water-The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource Marq De Villiers
  • Roadside Geology of Idaho David Alt
  • Myths of Idaho Indians Deward Walker Jr.

Snake River:

  • Standing Up To The Rock T. Louise Freeman-Toole
  • Home Below Hells Canyon Grace Jordan
  • The Sterling Years Bonnie Sterling
  • Snake River of Hells Canyon Johnny Carrey, Cort Conley, Ace Barton
  • Island and Rapids: The Geologic Story of Hells Canyon Trace Vallier


  • Steelhead Water Bob Arnold
  • Mist on the River: An Angler’s Quest for Steelhead Michael Checcio
Day 1

Breakfast: Mulberry Muffins, Bagels Balls stuffed with cream cheese, grapes, yogurt and Homemade Granola

Lunch: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with almonds and apples on Croissants, Mediterranean Orzo Salad with feta, black olives and lemon vinaigrette, Chips, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Idaho Peaches


Appetizer: Spinach Artichoke Dip with Toasted BaguetteMain: Grilled Pineapple BBQ Chicken, Coconut Rice, Grilled Onions/Pineapple/Peppers, Sesame Coleslaw, Blue CornbreadDessert: Strawberry and Peach Shortcake with Whipped Cream

Day 2

Breakfast: Fresh Biscuits & Sausage Gravy, Eggs to Order, Idaho Cantaloupe, Yogurt & Granola

Lunch: Chicken and Bacon Sandwiches with housemade honey mustard, Sweet Pickled Jalapenos, Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil Salad, Fruit & Lemon Crinkle Cookies


Appetizer: Baked Brie with crackers and grapesMain: Grilled Tri Tip, Asparagus, Couscous, Candied Walnut/Apples/Gorgonzola Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, Irish Soda BreadDessert: S’mores Bars

Day 3

Breakfast: Banana Bread French Toast, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Melon, Yogurt & Granola

Lunch: Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps, Italian Herbed Potato Salad, Chips, Peanut Butter Cookies, Watermelon


Appetizer: Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese with crackers, Pimento Cheese & Pretzel RodsMain: Grilled Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin, Apple Sauce, Baked Potato Casserole, Glazed Carrots, Watermelon Salad with arugula, feta and orange shallot vinaigrette, Rosemary Beer BreadDessert: Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Whipped Cream

Day 4

Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros with homemade salsa verde, Eggs, Potato Hash, Man Bacon, Fruit Salad, Yogurt & Granola

Lunch: Deli Sandwiches, Southwest Quinoa Salad with grilled corn, black beans and sweet pickled jalapenos, Chips, White Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies, Oranges

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