Hell’s Canyon

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Snake River, Idaho

Hells Canyon River Rafting Guide

Splitting the Idaho and Oregon border, the Snake River through Hells Canyon offers big rapids, amazing scenery, and rich history. Hell’s Canyon is part of the Four Rivers Lottery.

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This guide was built by ROW Adventures. Based out of Coeur d’Alene, ID, ROW runs whitewater rafting trips throughout the west. Learn more about ROW Adventures here.

Hell’s Canyon Boat Launch to Heller Bar – Class II, III & IV

Running nearly 80 miles to Heller Bar, Hells Canyon is considered a must-do multi-day rafting trip.

Mile 0 – Hell’s Canyon Boat Launch

River Left. This is a day-use area, with no camping or water available. You’ll find a long boat ramp here, limited parking, and a bathroom.

Mile 0.5 – Cliff Mountain Rapids

Class II. Stay off the rock face on river right, the current pushes into the wall.

Mile 1.0 – Stud Creek COnfluence

River Left. Stud Creek enters the Snake River from the left-hand side. There is a nice camp on the downstream side of the creek.

Mile 1.1 – Stud Creek Campsite

River Left. This is a large camp with shade amongst the trees. The name comes from a horse that ran off in 1910/11, escaped capture, and fathered colts in the area until it died in a rough winter.

Mile 1.2 – Lamont Springs Campsite

River Right. This camp can fit a large group and has a beach. This area used to be an old mining claim.

Mile 1.8 – Square Beach Campsite

River Right. Small Group, Beach.

Mile 2.2 – Brush Creek Confluence

River Right, Brush Creek enters the Snake River from the right, creating Brush Creek Rapids. On the downstream side of this creek is a camp.

Mile 2.2 – Brush Creek Rapids

Class II. Brush Creek Rapid features a fun, read-and-run roller coaster wave train.

Mile 2.3 – Brush Creek Campsite

River Right. Brush Creek Camp is a sandy beach below the mouth of the creek. Decent for a medium-sized group

Mile 3.4 – Rocky Point Campsite

River Right. Medium Group – offers a little shade.

Mile 3.4 – Rocky Point Rapids

Class II. Rocky Point Rapid is a fun read-and-run rapid best run left-of-center

Mile 3.6 – Chimney Bar

River Right. Chimney Bar is a large camp, offering some shade.

Mile 3.9 – Warm Springs Pit House Depressions

River Right. Depressions from Native American Pit House Dwellings. Please be respectful of cultural heritage when visiting this site.

Mile 4 – Warm Springs Campsite

River Right. Warm Springs Camp is a good camp for large groups and offers shade. However, there is a bit of a rocky beach landing.

Mile 4.6 – Battle Creek

River Left. Battle Creek enters the Snake River from the left side. There is a worthwhile hike here, and a large camp located downstream of this confluence.

Mile 4.6 – Barton Cabin

River Left. The site of this cabin was home to two prospectors. After a long winter, they decide to split their goods and go separate ways. This was not a cordial moment and in the heat of the argument over the owner of a sack of flour, one of them grabbed an axe and split it in two. More fighting broke out and hence the name, Battle Creek. Decades later, Ralph Barton built the small cabin that stands here today.

Mile 4.6 – Barton Cabin Stop

River Left. Catch this eddy to walk up to the Barton Cabin

Mile 4.7 – Battle Creek Campsite

River Left. Battle Creek Camp is a large camp, offering shade.

Mile 5.2 – Sand Dunes Campsite

River Left. Small Group – Sandy Beach at some water levels.

Mile 5.5 – Birch Springs Campsite

River Right. This rocky beach camp is solid for medium-sized groups.

Mile 5.8 – Wild Sheep Creek Confluence

River Left. Wild Sheep Creek enters the Snake River from the left here, creating the first Class IV rapids you will encounter on the Snake River. It is recommended to pull over here and scout Wild Sheep Rapids below.

Mile 5.8 – Wild Sheep Scout and Campsite

River Left. Medium Group – Rocky Beach. Stop here to scout the big Class IV rapid ahead! Large group camp on the bench.

Mile 5.8 – Wild Sheep Rapid

Class IV. Wild Sheep Rapid is the longest rapid on the river. It features large waves and hydraulics Scouting from river left is highly recommended. The line here changes at different water levels. At most flows, the run is to enter river left and pull hard to center. T-up to the big breaking laterals coming off the left towards the bottom. At high water, there is a right run through powerful waves and hydraulics.

Mile 6.6 – Rock Bar Campsite

River Right. Rock Bar Camp is a large camp featuring a rocky beach.

Mile 7.4 – Upper Granite Creek Campsite

River Right. Large Group – Landing in a rocky cove. The camp itself sits on the bench above the creek.

Mile 7.5 – Granite Creek Confluence

River Right. Granite Creek enters the Snake River from the right side. There are camps upstream and downstream of this creek. It is a good indicator that Granite Rapids are just downstream. We recommend scouting Granite Rapids.

Mile 7.5 – Lower Granite Creek Campsite

River Right. Large Group – Land towards the end of the bench. The campsite is up on the bench above the river.

Mile 7.7 – Granite Rapids Scout

River Right. Scouting is highly recommended for Granite Rapid. Follow the path along the base of the cliffs for a good overlook of the rapid. Stop and admire the pictographs along the trail, please respect these culturally important artifacts and do not touch them, as oils from your hands can damage them.

Mile 7.8 – Cache Creek Confluence

River Left. Cache Creek enters the Snake River from the left-hand side. Rocks and debris from this creek are largely responsible for the creation of Granite Rapids. Enjoy!

Mile 7.8 – Granite Rapid

Class IV. Granite Rapid is a relatively short rapid with impressive hydraulics. Lines change at different flows. A large rock submerged in the middle of the river creates a huge feature. At flows under 20,000 CFS, the standard line is left past the big drop, and then follows the tongue back to the center. At around 19,000 cfs and above an exciting line opens up in the middle of the river known as the “Green Room”. Hit it just right or risk very large boat-flipping laterals to your right and your left. There is also a river right line at certain flows.

Mile 7.9 – Cache Creek Campsite

River Left. Large Group – Cache Creek campsite on a grassy bench high above the river. Heads up, the landing is in swift current.

Mile 8.8 – Three Creek Rapid

Class III. Three Creek Rapid features a read-and-run wave train.

Mile 8.8 – Three Creek Confluence

River Right. Three Creek enters the Snake River from the right-hand side.

Mile 9 – Three Creek Campsite

River Right. Large group camp with a steep climb to the bench. Three Creek Campsite offers shade, which can be nice in the summer months.

Mile 9.1 – Upper Oregon Hole Campsite

River Left. Upper Oregon Hole camp has a rocky shoreline, but is a great for a smaller group.

Mile 9.2 – Oregon Hole Campsite

River Left. Large Group Camp with some shade. Rocky Shoreline.

Mile 9.5 – Upper Dry Gulch

River Right. Large Group Camp with shade and an easy landing.

Mile 9.8 – Lower Dry Gulch

River Right. Large group camp with some shade and a spring near the river.

Mile 10.2 – Hastings Campsite

River Right. Medium Group. Low gravel bar at lower flows. This area has evidence of placer mining.

Mile 10.8 – Saddle Creek Campsite

River Left. Large Group Camp. Some shade up high, and water in the creek. Eddy can be non-existent at high water (above 30,000 CFS)

Mile 10.8 – Saddle Creek

The Saddle Creek area was settled in 1895 by Fred Jensen and Tim McCarty. It was later inhabited by Pete Wilson and family from 1916-1937. Members of the Wilson family have maintained a connection with the canyon for many years.

Mile 11.7 – Upper Bernard Creek Rapid

Class III. This is a short rapid, but don’t let it catch you by surprise. Follow the obvious channel, the weakness is generally on the left side of this channel. At lower flows, it can be quite steep on the right. Scout if you’re unsure!

Mile 11.7 – Bernard Creek Confluence

River Right. Bernard Creek enters from the right side. There are fun rapids, some cool history, and a great campsite located around Bernard Creek.

Mile 11.7 – McGaffee Cabin

River Right. McGafee Cabin was originally built in 1905 by Bill Hiltsley. It was then sold to Billy, Fred, and “Gene” McGaffe. They homesteaded and ran cows in the Bernard Creek area. Enjoy the historic newspaper clippings on the walls. This is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Mile 11.8 – Bernard Creek Campsite

River Right. Large Group campsite. There is a good landing downstream of the creek, usually on a gravel bar. Follow the trail up to the campsite. Has shade and water.

Mile 11.8 – Lower Bernard Creek Rapid

Class III. A longer rapid with a large standing wave in the lower half. It gets softer as the water rises. Kayak surfing can be good here at certain flows.

Mile 13.3 – Waterspout Rapid

Class III or IV depending on water levels. Waterspout Rapid features a rock at the lower end of the rapid just left of center, creating a large hole at certain water levels. Higher water levels will wash out some of this rapid. Scouting is possible from either side of the river, however, river right offers a shorter walk.

Mile 13.8 – Bills Creek Rapid

Class III. Bills Creek Rapid is a read-and-run wave train.

Mile 13.8 – Bills Creek Confluence

River Right. Bills Creek enters from the right side as you run Bills Creek Rapid.

Mile 15.1 – Sluice Creek Rapid

Class III. Sluice Creek Rapid features some fun, roller coaster waves.

Mile 15.1 – Sluice Creek Confluence

River Left. Sluice Creek enters from the left side, on the downstream side of this confluence, Sluice Creek Camp awaits. Be advised that this camp has swift current, so make your move early if you want to stay at Sluice Creek Camp.

Mile 15.2 – Sluice Creek Camp

River Left. Great for large groups, however, this is a challenging carry. Landing can be difficult due to strong currents, set up early if you plan to stay here. There’s an airstrip here, however, it is closed to all aviation unless it is an emergency or administrative (USFS).

Mile 15.5 – Rush Creek Confluence

River Left. Rush Creek enters from the left side. Just downstream lies Rush Creek Rapid.

Mile 15.6 – Rush Creek Rapids

Class IV. Rush Creek Rapids is indicated by a large rock at the top of the rapid in the center of the river. Most boaters will enter to the right of this rock, which can create a large hole depending on the flows. At low water, this rapid gets a bit more technical as more rocks begin to surface.

Mile 15.7 – Rush Creek Campsite

River Left. Tough Landing, rocky beach, but ample camping up top.

Mile 17.1 – Johnson Bar Landing

River Right. This camp can fit a large group. Big sandy beach is located here with nice swimming holes.

Mile 17.4 – Sheep Creek Rapids

Class III. There are some rocks to avoid throughout Sheep Creek Rapids but it is mostly read-and-run.

Mile 17.6 – Sheep Creek Camp

River Right. Pull in at the creek. Camp is on the upstream side of the creek. Water is available here.

Mile 17.6 – Sheep Creek Confluence

River Right. Sheep Creek enters from the right side. On the upstream side of Sheep Creek is a nice camp, and the homestead lies a bit downstream.

Mile 17.7 – Sheep Creek Cabin

River Right. Historical homestead from 1884.

Mile 17.8 – Steep Creek Campsite

River Right. Beach campsite at low water. Medium Group

Mile 18 – Dry Diggins View

Look up to see the Dry Diggins Ridge towering 6400 feet above you. This is the highest visible point on the Idaho side of the river at an elevation of 7,828 feet.

Mile 18.4 – Yreka Bar

River Left. Yreka Bar is a large, shady camp.

Mile 18.7 – Upper Sand Creek Campsite

River Left. Upper Sand Creek is a medium camp, offering little to no shade.

Mile 19.5 – Pine Bar

River Right. Large Group, beach with shade. Multiple groups may be able to camp at opposite ends of this large camp.

Mile 20 – High Bar

River Left. This large gravel bar was formed by a large landslide followed by the intense power of the Bonneville Floods about 15,000 years ago.

Mile 20.5 – Upper Quartz Creek

River Left. Upper Quartz Creek camp offers little shade but is good for a large group.

Mile 20.8 – Lower Quartz Creek

River Left. Lower Quartz Creek camp offers more shade than Upper Quartz Creek, and is also good for a large group.

Mile 21.8 – Caribou Creek

River Right. Large group site with shade. Located just below Caribou Creek.

Mile 22.5 – Dry Gulch

River Left. Large group, a great beach with some shade. The sun sets late at this camp.

Mile 22.5 – Big Bar Campsite

River Right. Large group camp at the end of the public airstrip.

Mile 22.5 – Big Bar Airstrip

River Right. This is the only public airstrip on the Idaho side in Hell’s Canyon. In 2007, the airstrip was lengthened by Hell’s Canyon Packers, who own Temperance Creek Lodge on the other side of the river. Since then, the Idaho Aviation Association has kept up maintenance.

Mile 23.3 – Temperance Creek Lodge

This lodge has cabins and accommodations in the main lodge. In 2024, their rates were $245/person per day. The word temperance is the “abstinence from alcoholic drink.” The original homesteaders had their mule roll and their whiskey smash, making for a sober winter. There is a private airstrip at this ranch.

Mile 23.9 – Hominy Creek Rapids

Class II. Hominy Creek Rapids are a set of mostly read-and-run rapids.

Mile 24.1 – Hominy Bar

River Left. Large group camp at low and medium water levels.

Mile 24.2 – Suicide Point

River Right. Hiking trail on the Idaho side of the river. Climb roughly 400 feet above the river gaining spectacular views. Be alert for rattlesnakes on the trail. The hike can be accessed from upstream or downstream, but the downstream approach is more common and slightly easier.

Mile 24.3 – Suicide Point Hike Access

River Right. It is possible to access Suicide Point hiking trail from here. This access is ideal if you have members of your party who can float the boats around to Gracie Bar or Kirkwood Historic Ranch. Hiking access is generally easier from the downstream side of Suicide Point.

Mile 24.4 – Salt Creek

River Left. Large group, beach with shade and water from Salt Creek.

Mile 24.8 – Two Corral Creek Campsite

River Left. Beach, some shade, large group.

Mile 25 – Gracie Bar

River Right. Large group site with shade, good landing. Good hiking access to Suicide Point.

Mile 25.4 – Half Moon Bar

River Right. This small site is best for a small group. Easy landing to this camp. From Half Moon Bar Camp, there is hiking access to Suicide Point and Kirkwood.

Mile 26 – Slaughter Gulch

River Left. Large group site with an easy landing.

Mile 26.3 – Kirkwood Historic Ranch

River Right. A historic ranch, museum, and interpretive site that is staffed year-round by the USFS. No drinking water but there are toilets. Communication is available to report on river emergencies or fires. A trail connects Kirkwood to Pittsburg Landing, six miles downstream. The original homesteader was Dick Carter who “…made his money manufacturing and selling moonshine during the Prohibition era.”

Mile 26.3 – Kirkwood Creek Confluence

River Right. Kirkwood Creek runs through the heart of Kirkwood Ranch before entering the Snake River.

Mile 26.7 – Kirkwood Bar Campsites

River Right. Four large group campsites with toilets, tables, and shade. These campsites are accessible by river or by an easy walk from Kirkwood Ranch.

Mile 27 – Yankee Bar

River Left. Small group beach camp with little shade. This camp is not often used, but it is an interesting option if you have a small party.

Mile 27.4 – Russel Bar

River Right. Large group site with some shade.

Mile 28.1 – Kirby Creek Rapids

Class III. Kirby Creek Rapids features a large, read-and-run wave train.

Mile 28.3 – Kirby Creek Lodge

River Right. Kirby Creek Lodge has six bedrooms and can accommodate up to 20 people. In 2023, the lodge was sold, with the new owner beginning updates to the lodge shortly after. As of 2024, the rate per person was $227/night with a six-person minimum.

Mile 28.7 – Cat Gulch

River Right. Cat Gulch is a small beach camp with shade. It is a great camp for medium-sized groups.

Mile 29.9 – Corral Creek Confluence

River Right. Corral Creek enters the Snake River from the right. There is often clear water flowing in this creek.

Mile 30 – Corral Creek Campsite

River Right. Corral Creek Cobble Beach, shade, water available at creek upstream. Large Group. (There is a small camp at the mouth of the creek also)

Mile 30.5 – Wild & Scenic River Boundary

Thanks to the Wild & Scenic River Act of 1968, from this point the river going North is considered Scenic, and the river south of this point is considered Wild. While Hell’s Canyon wasn’t one of the original eight rivers of the Wild & Scenic River Act, it did receive the designation in 1975.

Mile 30.6 – Fish Trap Bar

River Left. Large group sandy beach site.

Mile 30.7 – Upper Pittsburg Landing

River Right. At Upper Pittsburg Landing, there are six campsites accessible by road. There are tables, toilets, and some shade, but, there is no water here.

Mile 31.3 – Wilson Eddy Campsite

River Left. Large Group camp with some shade.

Mile 32 – Pittsburg Airstrip

River Left. Across the river from Pittsburg Landing is the airstrip.

Mile 32.1 – Pittsburg Landing

River Right. Pittsburg Landing is a road-accessible boat launch and takeout. There is a Visitor Information Center where you can report fire and other emergencies. No camping is available here. During the summer months, there is potable water available via a spigot, making this a great spot to pull over a refill if you are continuing downstream. Most 3 and 4-day rafting trips will finish here.

Mile 33 – Pleasant Valley Campsites

River Right. Road access users may occupy several campsites on river right in this area.

Mile 33.5 – Pleasant Valley Rapids

Class III. Rocks above the rapids indicate the beginning of Pleasant Valley. Depending on the water level, Pleasant Valley Rapids can be either Class II or III rapids, however, this rapid is read-and-run at all flows. Be sure to hit any big features straight on.

Mile 34 – Proposed Pleasant Valley Dam

This is the proposed Pleasant Valley dam site from 1954. Yellow paint on both sides of the canyon indicates the exact proposed location and height. The reservoir from this dam would have backed up to the base of Hells Canyon Dam. Luckily, protection from the Wild and Scenic Act prevents this from ever being built.

Mile 34.6 – Davis Creek

River Left. Medium group camp with an easy landing.

Mile 35 – McCarty Creek

River Left. McCarty Creek Camp a good for a medium group.

Mile 36.4 – Big Canyon

River Right. Large group campsite with water and shade available.

Mile 36.6 – Lower Big Canyon

River Right. Small sandy beach camp.

Mile 36.6 – Across Lower Big Canyon

River Left. Across Lower Big Canyon is good for a medium group offering some shade.

Mile 37 – Somers Creek Campsite

River Left. Somers Creek is large camp offering shade.

Mile 37.2 – Camp Creek

River Left. Large group sandy beach site.

Mile 37.6 – Tyron Creek

River Left. Large group site with water and shade available.

Mile 39 – Lookout Creek

River Left. Large group site with minimal shade.

Mile 41.1 – Getta Creek Confluence

River Right. Getta Creek enters the Snake River from the right-hand side. There is usually water here. As always, we recommend treating all water before consumption.

Mile 41.6 – Copper Creek Lodge

River Left. This is a large lodge with 41 acres and 23 cabins, reservations must be made in advance. Please keep in mind that camping is prohibited here. Copper Creek was initially settled in 1900 by Billy Rankin and is now owned by Beamers Hells Canyon Tours, who are primarily a jet boat tour company.

Mile 42.5 – Bob Creek

River Left. Large group sandy beach

Mile 45.1 – Bar Creek

River Left. Large group site with shade

Mile 47.7 – Deep Creek Campsite

River Left. Deep Creek is good for a small to medium group. Be advised, it is a tough carry.

Mile 47.8 – Chinese Miners Massacre Site

River Left. In May of 1887, a band of outlaws tortured and murdered 31 Chinese Miners at the mouth of Deep Creek. They ransacked their camp looking for gold. Three men stood trial with no conviction. No one was ever punished for this atrocity. Two stone walls are remnants of the Chinese Miners’ homes. A memorial was erected here in 2012.

Mile 48.6 – Robinson Gulch

River Left. Large group site with shade.

Mile 48.8 – Dug Creek

River Left. Small group site with water accessible.

Mile 50.3 – Nez Perce Crossing

In the spring of 1877, the US government ordered the Nez Perce tribe to leave their homelands and go to the reservation in Lapwai, Idaho. With the US Cavalry in pursuit, the Nez Perce crossed the river here with all of their members, horses, cattle, etc in spring flood water levels. The Cavalry were too afraid to do the same.

Mile 50.4 – Dug Bar Landing

River Left. This is a small primitive boat launch and airstrip that is road accessible with high clearance 4WD only. Toilets can be found here. Camping is allowed here, but prepare to be visited by other users.

Mile 51.9 – Warm Springs Rapid

Class III. Warm Springs Rapid is read-and-run. At lower flows, this rapid mellows out a bit, but at high flows, it offers some fun, Class III action.

Mile 53 – Zig Zag

River Right. Small group sandy beach site.

Mile 53.5 – Divide Creek CAmpsite

River Right. Small group sandy beach site.

Mile 54.6 – China Bar

River Left. Large group sandy beach site.

Mile 55.3 – Imnaha River Confluence

River Left. The Imnaha River enters the Snake River from the left side. This Wild and Scenic River is well-known for its fishing, scenery, and wildlife. Its headwaters are located around 70 miles upstream of this confluence.

Mile 55.3 – Imnaha Camp and Mine Tunnel

River Left. Medium group campsite with a tough carry at low water. An old mineral mine from 1903 just up the river is closed with gates to protect the endangered Townsend’s Big-Eared Bats.

Mile 55.4 – Imnaha Rapids

Class III. Imnaha Rapids are read-and-run at lower levels, but be mindful of some rocks. At high flows, this rapid typically washes out.

Mile 56.6 – Knight Creek

River Left. Large group site with shade and water.

Mile 57.2 – Sinking of the Imnaha

Look for iron rings in the rock walls on either side of the river. These were used to winch steamboats up through the rapids. One fateful day, the cable winching the Imnaha got tangled disabling the paddle wheel causing the steamboat to drift back into the rapids, turn sideways, get stuck, and slowly get torn apart by the river’s force.

Mile 58.7 – Salmon River Confluence

The longest undamed free flowing river in the lower 48 reaches the Snake River on river right. Some geologists believe tha around 2 million years ago the Snake River was just a tributary into the Salmon River.

Mile 58.8 – Salmon River Falls

Class II. Immediately downstream of the confluence with the Snake River is a read-and-run rapid. There are camps on both the right and left just below this rapid.

Mile 59.1 – Salmon Bar Camp

River Left. On the inside of a big left-hand turn in the river, there is a nice camp on the left. Behind the camp is a short airstrip of 762 feet of the same name that’s seldom used.

Mile 59.2 – Salmon Falls Beach

River Right. A medium/large sandy beach is on the right-hand side, just below an island in the river. This camp is also known as “Chicago” for the big, windy city.

Mile 59.3 – Mr. Peanut

Look up on the Oregon side ridge for an interesting rock formation. Some say it looks like Mr. Peanut playing the Piano.

Mile 61 – Cave Cove

River Left. Large Campsite that features a shallow cave in the wall behind the campsite.

Mile 62 – Cherry Creek

River Left. Cherry Creek enters the Snake River on the left side, there is a small waterfall here.

Mile 62.3 – Frenchy Creek Rapid

Class II. Frenchy Creek Rapid is a long, fun wavetrain. Read and run, and enjoy.

Mile 62.5 – Upper Geneva Bar

River Left. Very large campsite. Often occupied by outfitters.

Mile 62.6 – Lower Geneva Bar

River Left. Just downstream of Upper Geneva, this is another large beach that outfitters can often be spotted staying at.

Mile 63.2 – Taco Bell Beach

River Left. Taco Bell Beach is a large beach on the right.

Mile 63.8 – Cook Creek Confluence

River Left. Cook Creek enters the Snake River from the left side. There is a nice camp just downstream

Mile 64.4 – Sentinel Rock Camp

River Left. Medium/Large campsite with a great eddy.

Mile 65 – Jim Creek Camp

River Left. Jim Creek is a large campsite. Jim Creek itself enters the Snake River on the downstream side of the camp.

Mile 65.2 – Lower Jim Creek Camp

River Left. Large Campsite.

Mile 65.4 – Across the meat Camp

River Left. An interestingly named campsite. Large campsite.

Mile 65.5 – Meat Hole Camp

River Right. Possibly an even worse name. Large campsite with a strong eddy near the bottom.

Mile 66 – Upper Cottonwood Camp

River Right. Large campsite with a singular tree right in the center.

Mile 66.3 – Cottonwood Creek Confluence

River Right. Cottonwood Creek enters the Lower Salmon from the right-hand side. There are nice campsites just upstream and downstream of this not-so-major confluence.

Mile 66.4 – Lower Cottonwood Camp

River Right. Large campsite just below Cottonwood Creek

Mile 67.5 – Across from Upper Cougar

River Left. Large beach opposite Upper Cougar.

Mile 67.5 – Upper Cougar Camp

River Right. Upper Cougar Camp is a large campsite.

Mile 69 – Little Cougar Creek Rapid

Class II. The river splits into a left and right channel. The most fun line is on the right side of the island. It is a fun read-and-run section, working to avoid rocks/holes depending on the flows.

Mile 69.9 – Upper Cache Creek Camp

River Left. Upper Cache Creek Camp is a large beach just upstream of Cache Creek Ranch.

Mile 70.5 – Cache Creek Ranch

River Left. Cache Creek Ranch is worth a stop. There is a cool museum/interpretive site, boat ramp, and toilets. The Visitors Center and interpretive exhibits are here for observation. Communications are available here. There is a large orchard that provides fruit to wildlife and visitors. The ranch is open to day use only and has , picnic tables and shade.

Mile 71.4 – Upper China Garden

River Right. Upper China Garden is a large camp close to some private homes. Be courteous if you choose to camp in Upper China Garden or China Garden just downstream.

Mile 71.5 – China Garden Camp

River Right. Large campsite close to some private homes.

Mile 71.5 – China Garden Rapid

Class III. Enter China Garden Rapid on the left. Watch for rocks near the bottom of this rapid. As you exit the rapid, say hello to the state of Washington, which will be on river left for the remainder of your journey. Idaho remains on river right.

Mile 71.9 – Lower China Garden

River Right. This large beach becomes smaller during high flows.

Mile 73.3 – Shovel Creek Rapid

Class III. Shovel Creek has a medium-sized wavetrain, but keep your eyes peeled for holes and rocks throughout the rapid.

Mile 73.3 – Homes and Lodges

From here until takeout you’ll notice a number of homes and lodges.

Mile 74.8 – Wild Goose Rapid

Class III. Wild Goose Rapid is a good time. Stay left of the large island, and hold on through some great wave action in this splashy read-and-run rapid.

Mile 75.3 – Deer Head Rapid

Class II. Deer Head is a great, read-and-run rapid, with fun waves.

Mile 78.3 – Limekiln Rapid

Class II. Limekiln is the final rapid of the Lower Salmon (Snake). There are a couple of shallow sections on the left side of this rapids. Stay right for a fun end to the whitewater.

Mile 79.3 – Grande Ronde River Confluence

River Left. The Grande Ronde River enters the Snake on the left-hand side. This is another great river for whitewater. Just downstream lies the takeout at Heller Bar.

Mile 79.7 – Heller Bar Takeout

River Left. Heller Bar Takeout has a paved boat ramp and bathrooms. It is well-maintained. As always, please be courteous to other boaters who are putting in or taking out at this oft-used river access point. Important: Any vehicles parked at or using the water access site at Heller Bar on the Snake River must have a Washington State Discover Pass. This pass allows for access to recreation lands managed by the State of Washington.