RIVER RATING: Class III-IV
TRIP MILES: 34 - 82 Miles (34 on 3-day trip / 82 on 4+ day trip)
PUT-IN: Base of Hell's Canyon Dam
TAKE-OUT: Pittsburg Landing
RETURN TIME: 5:00 PM MST Lewiston, Idaho
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 12
Day 0 : Arrive in Cambridge, ID, Orientation Meeting
Travel from you home to Cambridge, Idaho and meet ROW's Team Leader at the Frontier Motel at 8:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (MST) for a one-hour orientation meeting to answer last-minute questions. You'll also receive your waterproof gear bags. Dinner on your own.
Trip Logistics: In order to minimize your driving time to and from the river, we start our trip in Cambridge,
Idaho (two hours northwest of Boise) and ends in Lewiston, Idaho. ROW provides transportation from the Boise
airport to Cambridge, Idaho for the start of your trip and then to Lewiston, Idaho after the river trip.
Option A – Fly into Boise, Idaho the evening prior to your departure date and take the ROW shuttle up
to Cambridge. Then after the trip return home via Lewiston, Idaho, or Spokane, Washington.
Arrive in Boise no later than 4:00 Pm Mountain Time the day before your trip.
The shuttle van will meet you outside the baggage claim doors in the “taxi” lane at 4:30 pm for an easy two-hour drive to Cambridge.
After your trip you can:
A) Fly out of the Lewiston Airport (Airport shuttle provided free by the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel) to
your hometown. Lewiston is serviced by Horizon Air or Delta Air only.
B) Take a shuttle van/taxi to Spokane, Washington (two hours north) for a better
selection of flights as Spokane has a much larger airport.
Option B – Drive to Cambridge, Idaho and pay the Frontier Motel to arrange a driver to drive your car
north while you are on the river.
Plan to arrive in Cambridge in time for the 8:00 pm Orientation meeting.
On all trips your car will go to White Bird, Idaho for approximately $120.00 or our actual take-
out at Pittsburg Landing for approximately $155.00.
If your ﬂight arrives later than 4:00 pm into Boise, you have two options:
Rent a car and drive two hours to Cambridge. Then have it shuttled to the ending point of the trip.
Take an airport shuttle from Boise to Cambridge. Contact either Boise City Taxi at 208-377-3333, Yellow Cab at 208-345-5555, or arrange an Uber. If you are unable to schedule your ﬂight into Boise by 4:00 pm or if your ﬂight arrives late and you need to arrange other transportation, the cost for this transportation will be at your expense.
After your trip you can:
- A) Fly out of the Lewiston Airport (Airport shuttle provided free by the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel) to your hometown or next destination. Lewiston is serviced by Alaska Airlines or Delta Air.
- B) Take a shuttle van/taxi to Spokane, Washington (two hours north) for other airline selections as Spokane has a much larger airport. If you choose to shuttle to Spokane you can arrange an Uber or use Michelle's Shuttle Service 208-305-5636. Be sure to clarify how many are in your party and how much luggage you may have when reserving with them.
Option B – Drive to Cambridge, Idaho and arrange for the Frontier Motel to shuttle your vehicle north while you are on the river. Plan to arrive in Cambridge in time for the 8:00 pm Orientation meeting.
orientation meeting and answer any last-minute questions. This is an important meeting, please be on time!
Ending Points: If your car was shuttled, it will either be at our take-out point or in the town of White Bird (we
take you there on our bus).
If you flew to Boise, we’ll transport you by van or bus to Lewiston, 3 hours north, arriving at around 5:30pm.
We recommend that you plan to spend the night in Lewiston at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel. They’ll take you to the
airport the next morning.
We highly recommend checking the weather prior to your trip for an updated forecast and current conditions. We recommend the followinng websites.
WHEN TO GO?
Camping conditions on the Snake are ideal, making it very comfortable to stay out several nights. Usually it is between 80-95 degrees during the day, while at night it cools to 65-75. It rarely rains, but when it does it freshens the air and often provides a dramatic thundershower. There are no mosquitoes. Our camps are either on ﬂat benches beneath pine trees or on sandy beaches. The water is about 60 degrees in June and September and 70 degrees in July and August. Since people usually go swimming quite a bit, you always feel clean. May, June and September are excellent times to be on the Snake, as dam releases are often high and there are few other people around.
Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our multi-day rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
A cool day on the river.
A warm day on the river.
Time spent lounging in camp.
One large waterproof bag (16” in diameter x 33” tall) per person. This will contain your sleeping bag as well as your personal clothing and items. This bag is NOT accessible during the day as it goes ahead of the group with our cargo raft.
Note: This bag will also contain additional gear provided by ROW: Sleeping bag, flannel liner & pillow
A small daypack (9” in diameter x 20” tall) for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
Two T-Shirts (1 quick dry and 1 cotton for a hot day)
One light long-sleeved shirt for sun protection and cool evenings. Popular options are a rash guard or sunscreen shirts.
Two pairs of shorts (nylon quick drying always better than cotton).
Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
Swimsuit – two-piece suits are easier for women - tankinis with river shorts are a great option.
One pair of river sandals (must have an ankle strap, no flipflops!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen, or Merrells. Tennis shoes with polypro socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold. These shoes are for creek crossings and initial raft ride to the trailhead..
Well broken in high top boots and or gaiters to provide protection against cactus thorns, cheat crass, poison ivy, etc.
Water bottle with carabiner.
One Cap, Sun Hat or Visor (ROW hats are available when you arrive.)
One rain suit, jacket & pants (windbreaker without cotton liner works well, but no cheap ponchos)
Mid-weight to light-weight long underwear tops and bottoms. Best worn over a swimsuit and undershorts.
One synthetic or wool mid-weight sweaters for layering on the river on cool days.
Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
Bee Sting kit for those allergic to bees
Water bottle with carabiner
Extra Cap, Sun Hat or Visor
Two Short sleeve shirts (Enjoy clean and comfortable)
One pair of pants (lightweight nylon, cotton or fleece)
Pair of shorts
One synthetic mid-weight sweaters for cool evenings
Underwear and socks
Flashlight or headlamp with extra bulb and batteries
Skin lotion, lip balm, waterproof sunscreen, etc.
Toilet kit - toothbrush and paste, soap ( biodegradable is best, no soaps can be used in the river), camp towel, washcloth, comb, handkerchief, a small pack of tissues, small mirror, moist towelettes, shaving stuff, feminine sanitary supplies, etc.
Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses strongly suggested. ALL glasses need a head strap!
One pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes for cooler weather and hiking. (We don’t recommend you bring large hiking boots as they take up too much space and aren’t necessary.) Flip-flops are also comfortable for easy walking on sandy beaches!
Stocking Cap/ Beanie for cool nights
Two pair wool or polypro socks to wear on the river
One additional synthetic pile or wool shirt
Wool or poly gloves & wool or poly cap (like a skiing hat)
Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case is also highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
Sarong – many uses for both ladies and men
Sundress for camp – ladies
2-3 Carabiners for clipping items to the boat
Plastic garbage bags (2-3 for separating dirty/wet clothes in your waterproof bag)
Cards, games, books, musical instruments, journals
Fishing gear and Idaho or Oregon fishing license if you plan to fish - must be in a protective case & disassembled. Only catch and release fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed!!
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester. A cotton T-shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and synthetic or wool shirt as a base layer. You do not want to wear cotton on the river on cool rainy days. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
ROW provides Farmer John style wetsuits for our cold weather trips in May/June (long legs, but no sleeves). These are often worn with your
synthetic long underwear underneath for extra warmth. You will still need a light or mid-weight synthetic sweater and rain jacket for warmth on
your upper body. Wool or synthetic socks can also be worn with the booties if your feet tend to get cold.
Like anyone in the service business, river and outdoor adventure guides appreciate gratuities. Our guides are some of the best and most highly trained in the business. They not only guide your raft down the river, but set up camp, cook and serve gourmet meals, provide interpretation on the natural and cultural history of the area and strive to provide the highest level of hospitality. Tipping is ultimately a personal decision, however if you appreciate the service your guides provided, then as a guideline we suggest a gratuity of 10-20% of the trip price.
Tips can be given to the ROW Team Leader at the end of the trip in the form of cash or personal check. The Team Leader distributes them equally among the guides and gives a portion to ROW’s behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes like our drivers and food shoppers.
Snake River reading list - Some of our favorite books
Snake River Lore - A brief history of the Snake River
Boise Guide - ROW's short guide to Boise Idaho
Lewiston Guide - What to do near Lewiston Idaho