I am currently in Colorado but need to go back a few days and wrap up my final thoughts and actions regarding Hell’s Canyon.
After I finally made it up to the 8,000+ foot mountain, which is what I originally came here for, I set off in search of the Snake River. Donna, at the Hell’s Canyon Visitor Center, had provided me with maps on how to get to both the mountain top and the river itself. After descending from the mountain and getting back out to the Visitor Center I had to drive 27 miles north, then 15 miles west to be able to touch “The Snake”.
When I got there I discovered a nice, wide, calm river…. still not the raging rapids I was hoping to see.
The Snake River rapids, below the Snake River Dam which was between where I came from and where I was now, are renowned world wide. When fueled by snow melt from the Seven Devils mountains in the late spring and early summer they become a ferocious water highway, developing Class IV, Class V and even Class VI rapids, which can be deadly. Kayakers and rafters from all over the world come to “shoot the Snake”. At that time of year only very experienced people are allowed on the river.
I’ve been told by several folks in the area that the only way for me to really enjoy and respect the Snake River is to take a two or three trip on it and experience what it has to offer (although I’m not doing any Class IV rapids… Class I or II are probably plenty for me!).