Snake River

3rd in a series; read the previous installments here. Morning light creeps into Hell’s Canyon, carving the hillsides with light and shadow in just a few minutes as neatly as the water has been carving it for millennia. I look up the slopes for a glimpse of one of the wild goats, bighorn sheep, or mule deer that we have seen several times along the trip down the Snake River on the Idaho/Oregon border. There are none to be seen this morning. I take my mug over to the table where the guides are just setting out a thermos of coffee. The excursion has been billed as a float trip through the...

Guides Tyler, Connie and Mahaly discuss and plan a path through one of several class 4 rapids on day 1. Author Matthew Dickerson managed to stay in the boat but was thoroughly drenched by the tail end. Photo by Matthew Dickerson
2nd in a series. Read the first installment here. It’s the third morning of our four-day float trip with ROW Adventures down the Snake River along the Idaho-Oregon border. My wife Deborah and I sit in the shade of one of the rare clusters of trees near the bottom of Hell’s Canyon. Though at times during our float we’ve felt the impact of the “heat dome” that tortures most of the continent west of the Rockies, the morning air feels delightfully cool. I’m sure the previous night’s intense thunderstorm, which sent us running for shelter, helped bring in some of that cool air. We finish a hearty...

ROW ADVENTURE RAFTS wait to be loaded for the start of Day 3 of our columnist’s float down the Snake River this summer. Photo by Matthew Dickerson
Hell’s Canyon. With 8,000 feet of elevation difference between river level and the highest peaks of the enclosing ridgelines, it’s the deepest river gorge in North America — even deeper (and wider at the brim) than the Grand Canyon. It’s also the terminus of the Salmon River, the longest undammed river in the Lower 48. Cutting through the heart of this majestic and awe-inspiring canyon is the Snake River. After leaving Wyoming, where it has gathered waters from the mountains of Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Snake briefly turns northwest and picks up...

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Addison County Independent