Human history in on the Snake River in Idaho inside Hells Canyon dates back at least 10,000 years and the people that we call the Shoshone and Nez Perce lived here until the late 1800s. Visitors love to explore their rock art and ancient dwelling sites. Our guides have an intimate knowledge of these people and will share their history, mythology, and archaeology on both our Hells Canyon hiking tours and our Snake River rafting adventures. In 1877, Chief Joseph crossed the Snake in Idaho while trying to lead his people to freedom. Listening to this story today, it will be easy for you to picture this amazing scene, with dozens of Indians and horses swimming the river.
Abundant Nature & Wildlife
You also discover a grand variety of flora and fauna. The Snake River through Hells Canyon is the home to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, Rocky Mountain goats, mule, deer, elk, black bear, otter, and numerous smaller mammals. As well, Golden Eagles, hawks and falcons soar in the skies above, while ducks and other waterfowl swim in the river. Numerous songbirds, some native to Idaho, live in the thick brush along the tributary creeks. The land is fairly arid and slopes are covered with Ponderosa Pines, mountain mahogany, bunchgrass, and ninebark. Along the many side creeks, you’ll see netleaf hackberry, aspen, willow, bitterbrush, bittercherry, serviceberry, and Bartonberry.
Many people come to the Snake River because of the bountiful fishing. Common species include trout, smallmouth bass, and North America's largest freshwater fish, the white sturgeon. Other people come to learn more about the history of the Native American tribes and early pioneers who homestead here. Everyone enjoys seeing the well-preserved Native American pictographs and swimming in the near-70-degree water.
Best Snake River Idaho Trips
Hells Canyon Rafting Trips: America's deepest river gorge (even bigger than the Grand Canyon) and some of the country's biggest rapids set the stage for an epic multi-day journey on the Snake River in Idaho.
Raft-Support Hiking Trips: If you love walking or hiking trips but felt Hells Canyon would be too difficult to arrange logistically, think again! We've run raft-supported hiking and walking tours on the Snake for decades.
Superlative Idaho: The ultimate multi-sport tour of the state of Idaho - this is a seven-day adventure that spends three on the Snake River.