Snake River coils its way through six states until it feeds into the Columbia River and eventually the Pacific. With its source in Wyoming, the plentiful meltwaters have helped carve some excellent gorges through the eons, which in turn have proven sufficiently challenging to humans in search of a thrill. The river offers up plenty of whitewater rapids to suit varying levels of experience; varying appetites for adrenaline. Jackson Hole is a popular access point for Snake River whitewater rafting experiences.
Beneath the lofty peaks of the Teton Range near Jackson Hole, Snake River winds its way closer to the ocean, offering a stunning backdrop and plenty of chances to spot wildlife along the way. Here are three of the best whitewater rafting trips on Snake River, taking into account many factors including thrill, itinerary, health and safety, and the reviews of previous white-knuckled guests. Please note that all of these tours operate from mid-June to mid-September only. Tour operators implement age and health background restrictions to ensure the safety of all.
From $75/per person
Roads may help you get out into nature from Jackson Hole, but nothing will immerse you in it like a trip down Snake River. This tour is less about whitewater (although there are some choppier sections) and more about the ride, allowing you to sit back and watch as the banks of the river slide by on either side. Keep an eye out for wildlife coming down to the water, or take in the whole expanse of the Teton Range rising up above.
From $92/ per person
If you came to Snake River to seek a real immersive Snake River experience (quite literally), then you need this rafting tour, which seeks out a livelier section of water. After meeting at the start point your guide will drive you to West Table Boat Ramp. From here it’s eight miles of water, and eight sets of rapids ranging from class I to class III, to the finish point at Alpine, Wyoming. Among the well-known sections of this course are Big Kahuna Rapids and Gauging Straights.
From $92/ per person
Shorter tours are simply not immersive enough for many visitors to Snake River, which is why this 13-mile rafting tour enjoys ongoing popularity with guests. This 3.5-hour tour will involve navigating 13 miles of river, most of which is calm, although the occasional small rapid is easily navigated by your experienced guide. This is particularly popular tour with nature lovers, because the trip is longer, wilder and gentler, to allow you time to scan the shores and skies for bald eagles, moose, otters and much more.
From $99/ per person
Thrill-seekers in Jackson might want to check out this excellent small-group experience. The four-hour, eight-person raft trip takes on class II and III rapids, which are considered to be intermediate and ensure that you will get wet. You’ll tackle two big waves known as Lunchcounter and Big Kahuna, as well as other rapids, so be prepared to paddle hard on this fun whitewater rafting tour. Life jackets are provided, as is the case on all tours listed here. This tour lasts around four hours.
From $700/ per group
If you’re part of a group of eight or fewer and would like to have your own private guided rafting trip, hiring this eight-person raft is a great way to make savings. This option runs along a stretch of the river that is a little livelier than other sections, with rapids reaching up to class III (intermediate) rating. You’ll tackle eight sets of rapids over eight miles of the Snake River on this rafting tour. Four separate departure times are available daily during the rafting season.