Snake River Trip Details

Snake River through Hells Canyon

Trip Highlights

  • Put in is at The Hells Canyon Creek Recreation Site, 0.5 miles below Hells Canyon Dam
  • Take out for 3 day trip is 32 miles down river at Pittsburg Landing
  • Take out for 5 day trip is 79 miles down river at Heller Bar Boat Ramp
  • Rapids class II-IV
  • Designated as a Wild and Scenic River by Congress in 1968 and protected by the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Act of 1975

How to get here?


The nearest major airport is the Boise Airport (BOI). From Boise you will need to get to Cambridge, ID. This is a two hour drive north on US-95.  We suggest that you rent a vehicle. Once in Cambridge we suggest you stay at the Frontier Motel (208-257-3851) as this is where we will do a pre-trip orientation.  Another accommodation in Cambridge is The Cambridge House B&B (208-257-3555). As soon as your river trip is booked, we suggest you make your hotel reservations.

Frontier Motel offers a vehicle shuttle service that you’ll will need to arrange when you book your hotel room.  If you plan to stay somewhere other than Frontier Motel please contact them for this service.  Idaho Afloat will be providing transportation from Cambridge to the put in, so your vehicle will need to be shuttled from Frontier Motel to Pittsburg Landing (3 day trip) or Heller Bar (5 day trip).


Average High Temperature Average Low Temperature Average Rainfall (Inches)
May/June 76.5º 45.5º 1.28
July/August 90.5º 53.5º 0.45
September/Oct 72.5º 38.5º 1.00


If you intend to fish you must purchase a fishing license. Please be sure you allow for enough time for your license to be mailed to you in the event that you cannot print it off an internet order.  Because the Snake river serves as the state boarder between Idaho and Oregon you can opt to buy and Idaho fishing license and/or an Oregon fishing license.  If you have an Idaho license you may only fish off the Idaho banks.  If you have an Oregon license you may only fish off the Oregon banks.  If you are standing in a raft fishing you are on neutral ground and either license will suffice. You can purchase your Idaho license online from Idaho Fish and Game, over the phone by calling (800) 554-8685, or in Cambridge at the Canyon Corner gas station.  Idaho offers the option of daily fishing license rather than purchasing a full season. See website link above for prices.

You can purchase your Oregon license online from the Oregon Department of Fish and Game or over the phone by calling 503-947-6101. Oregon offers the option of daily fishing license rather than purchasing a full season.  See website link above for prices. The Snake River through Hells Canyon has great fishing opportunities.  Small mouth bass and catfish are plentiful and exciting to reel in.  You also may real in trout or small steel head. Serious fishermen should consider bringing their own equipment.  We provide several fishing rods and tackle on each trip. For most Hells Canyon trips we will pack a sturgeon rod and associated tackle, sturgeon fishing will be done when the boats are beached at camp or possibly during lunch. Fly fishing is welcome, however for the safety of other guests, we ask that you only fish from shore when we are at camp.

After the trip

On the last day of the trip we will float into the take out around 2:00 pm PST.  Once at the take out you will be able to load your vehicles and head on to your next destination.  Depending on traffic and road conditions it generally takes about an hour to get from Pittsburg Landing to US-95.  Once on US-95 it will take about four hours to get to Boise.  We recommend booking your homeward bound flight for the day after you take off the water.  If that is not feasible try to get a late flight and keep in mind that you will be changing timezones, as Boise is on Mountain Standard Time.

Trip Insurance

Idaho Afloat strongly suggests that all guests purchase a Trip Insurance plan that will cover cancellation, accident, baggage loss, etc.  After you’ve made your reservation we will mail you additional reservation information, with that there will be a brochure for Travelex Insurance Services.  They offer many plans to choose from.  There are many other insurance companies that provide these services if you do not like what Travelex has to offer.