GROUP HELLS CANYON RAFTING TRIPS
Get outdoors and into a summer vacation with just your group
Private rafting trips for just you, your family and your close friends
Class II, III, and IV whitewater rafting
Delicious restaurant-quality meals and comfortable camping on riverside beaches
Incredible views of the Idaho scenery and wildlife
Jet boat ride back to the dam at the end of the trip
Optional fishing and hiking
Great adventure for ages 7-70+
Located on the Idaho and Oregon border on the Snake River
What to Pack
Getting out of the house and into a summer vacation in 2020 is hard.
Travel isn’t the same. Vacations abroad have been canceled. Big groups aren’t ok. We get it. That doesn’t change the need to get outdoors and have a little (safe) fun.
From the whitewater rafting to hiking to fishing and kayaking, this is a jam-packed adventure you won’t soon forget and will be able to share with up to 10 of your closest family and friends.
Hells Canyon is extremely remote and the deepest canyon in North America; its depth spans approximately 8,000 feet from the Snake River to the peak of the Seven Devils Mountains. It’s also highly regulated so there’s plenty of space and fresh air for the few groups down there.
This Hells Canyon Whitewater Rafting Adventure is an all-inclusive private vacation into the wilderness of the Northwest as it offers some of the best white water and scenery like no other.
All meals are restaurant quality, and safely made from scratch in our full-service kitchen on the river
Learn about Hells Canyon’s history through pictographs, petroglyphs, and rock shelters dating back thousands of years ago
Explore the wilderness and find wildlife like bald eagles, bighorn sheep, otters, mountain goats, deer, elk, brown and cinnamon bears, and more
Sleep on your own personal thick sleeping pad in a roomy tent beneath the starry night sky
Relax and enjoy your vacation. We take care of everything–planning, packing and especially the cleaning
Hike to view some of Idaho’s historical landmarks (optional)
Find trout, sturgeon, catfish, and small-mouth bass on your fishing adventures
Enjoy slow-paced afternoons filled with appetizers, fishing, reading, and more
- 70+ miles of splashy Class II-IV whitewater rafting
- Big rapids in oar boats, paddle boats or inflatable kayaks
- All meals are restaurant quality, and safely made from scratch in our full-service kitchen on the river
- Hike to view some of Idaho’s historical landmarks (optional)
- Explore the wilderness and find wildlife like bald eagles, bighorn sheep, otters, mountain goats, deer, elk, brown and cinnamon bears, and more
- Find trout, sturgeon, catfish, and small-mouth bass on your fishing adventures
- Learn about Hells Canyon’s history through pictographs, petroglyphs, and rock shelters dating back thousands of years ago
- Slow-paced afternoons filled with appetizers, fishing, reading, and more
- We take care of everything–all you have to do is relax and enjoy the vacation
- Sleep on your own personal thick sleeping pad in a roomy tent beneath the starry night sky
- Trip starts and ends in Cambridge, ID
The Snake River through Hells Canyon is rated Class III-IV whitewater. It is a large volume river with drop-pool style rapids, meaning a rapid is followed by a large pool of calm water. This section consists of mostly Class III rapids with a few Class IV’s. Many of these rapids are described as roller-coaster waves creating a fun and enjoyable ride appropriate for most physical abilities, including children ages 7 and up. Many boat landings are rocky and require walking varied distances on uneven terrain. Once at camp, the terrain is usually open and forgiving. All hiking is optional and easy to moderate difficulty.
Rafting during a Pandemic:
ARC is currently updating it’s protocols for social distancing, increased hand washing, and upping our already thorough sanitiztions.
Trips start and end in Cambridge, ID
Evening before Departure: Enjoy a stay in the Cambridge, ID area and we will meet for a pre-trip meeting, provide dry bags for packing and answer any questions.
Day 1: After an early morning departure and a scenic drive along several reservoirs, we arrive at Hells Canyon Dam and prepare to begin our river adventure. Our first day starts off with a bang with several Class II-III rapids. The trout fishing is exceptional during the first day in the swift moving water. Lunch is served riverside usually with an option for a short hike or time to relax, swim or fish. After lunch, the Class IV whitewater rapids are fun, big and splashy. In the afternoon, boats pull into camp where tents will be ready and waiting. Relaxing in camp, fishing, swimming, hiking and playing beach games is encouraged at camp. Each night a delicious gourmet meal is prepared from our river kitchen: appetizers, delicious entrées, fresh baked Dutch Oven breads and decadent desserts.
Days 2-4: After sleeping under the stars, coffee will be brewing and breakfast will soon follow. Bags will be packed and boats will be boarded. Phenomenal whitewater follows with calm swimming pools, great fishing holes, rich history, tasty food, and fun. This is when the magic of a river trip happens: no clocks, no cell phones, no computers; just you, the group and your beautiful surroundings. The evening will be similar to the previous night at a camp further down river.
Last Day: We arrive at the take-out in the early afternoon and head back to civilization. You can plan on arriving back to Cambridge around 7:00 pm. If you have any time constrictions, please let us know when you book the trip and we can adjust accordingly.
Note for booking departing flights after the trip: There’s a lot of travel time from the river on the last day. We do not recommend flying out on the final day of a river trip. Please call or email us with questions about appropriate flight times and airport choices: 208-347-3862.
Are you gluten-free, vegetarian or have other food needs? Let us know when you book and we’ll be sure to pack delicious food that’s right for you!
- Freshly baked muffins and scones
- Yogurt and homemade granola
- Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches on croissants
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad with feta, black olives and lemon vinaigrette
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Idaho Peaches
- Appetizer: Spinach Artichoke Dip with Toasted Baguette
- Main: Grilled BBQ chicken, rice pilaf, grilled onions, pineapple and peppers, Sesame Coleslaw, Blue Cornbread
- Dessert: Strawberry and Peach Shortcake with Whipped Cream
- Fresh Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
- Eggs to Order
- Idaho Cantaloupe
- Yogurt and Granola
- Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa
- Chicken and Bacon Sandwiches with housemade honey mustard
- Sweet Pickled Jalapenos
- Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
- Local Fruit
- Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- Appetizer: Baked Brie with crackers and grapes
- Main: Grilled Tri Tip, Asparagus, Couscous, Candied Walnut, Apples Gorgonzola Salad with Poppyseed Dressing, Irish Soda Bread
- Dessert: S’mores Bars
- Banana Bread French Toast
- Scrambled Eggs
- Farm fresh Melon
- Yogurt and Granola
- Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa
- Chicken Caesar Salad Wraps
- Italian Herbed Potato Salad
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Appetizer: Pepper Jelly & Cream Cheese with crackers, Pimento Cheese & Pretzel Rods
- Main: Grilled Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin, Apple Sauce, Baked Potato Casserole, Glazed Carrots, Watermelon Salad with arugula, feta and orange shallot vinaigrette, Rosemary Beer Bread
- Dessert: Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Whipped Cream
- Huevos Rancheros with homemade salsa verde
- Eggs to order
- Potato Hash
- Man Bacon
- Fruit Salad
- Yogurt and Granola
- Coffee, tea, and hot cocoa
- Deli Sandwiches
- Southwest Quinoa Salad with grilled corn, black beans and sweet pickled jalapenos
- White Chocolate Chip and Hazelnut Cookies
WHAT TO PACK
For Summer Rafting (July-August)
Hells Canyon is usually hot and dry in the summer. Average highs are in the 90’s with some weeks exceeding 100F. The nights usually cool off with average lows in 60’s to 70’s.
Bathing suits, quick dry shorts/pants, and long/short sleeve shirts are recommended for the day. Although cotton is not usually recommended on most river trips, it is appropriate and cooling during the hot days. A light rain jacket is useful for the off chance of rain or splashy rapids, especially in the early mornings or late afternoons.
Protection from the sun is highly recommended. Sun hats, sun glasses, sunscreen, and long and light layers are excellent.
While in the raft or kayak you should wear sturdy shoes that will stay on your feet and should be comfortable when wet. There are many appropriate varieties of boat shoes: Teva’s, Chaco’s, Keen’s, Aqua Socks, or even old tennis shoes (although they will get wet and stay wet for the whole trip). Flip flops are not appropriate in the boats. Packing another pair of shoes specifically for camp is highly recommended. These could be flip flops, sneakers, hiking shoes/boots or galoshes. Pick shoes that will be comfortable and match your level of activity. A separate set of clothes for camp is also advisable solely for comfort.
View the full packing list for more details.
Spring and Fall Rafting (April-June, September-October)
With air and water temperatures slightly cooler than in summer and the weather a little less reliable, it’s recommended to bring everything on our packing list. It may seem like overkill but it’s always better to have more clothes than less.
Every year is a little different especially in the shoulder seasons, so feel free to contact us with weather questions!
If the weather and water temperatures call for extra gear, splash tops and/or wetsuits can be provided.
How to Pack
Included in the trip is 1 large overnight dry-bag and a smaller day dry-bag per person given out during the pre-trip meeting the night before the trip.
The large dry-bag comes packed with your sleeping bag, pillow, and fitted sheet. It will be able to fit the contents of a good-sized duffle bag. Small duffle bags or backpacks can fit right into the dry-bag and large sized bags may need to be repacked directly into the dry-bag. This large dry-bag will be packed away during the day and should contain only items that you will need at camp.
The smaller dry-bag is used to hold everything you’ll want during the day: extra clothes, sunscreen, chapstick, etc. This bag will stay you all day.
If the dry-bags are packed and sealed correctly they will stay dry under most conditions, but they are not guaranteed to be completely waterproof. In order to protect important items such as cameras, medications, etc., they should be packed in dry-bags or boxes inside of the dry-bags. Less valuable items like books, playing cards, etc. can be placed in zip-lock bags inside your dry-bag to keep excess moisture out.
If planning on bringing a nice camera, there are dry boxes available to borrow for the trip.
Fishing Hells Canyon
The Snake River offers excellent fishing opportunities for beginners to experts: fish from the boats throughout the day, from the banks during lunch, and in the evenings at camp.
Since Hells Canyon runs on the border between Idaho and Oregon, either an Idaho fishing license and/or Oregon fishing license is needed. Either license will allow you to fish from the boat but if you’d like to fish from the shore at camp, and Oregon fishing license is recommended (camps are usually located on the Oregon side of the Snake River).
Fly fishing recommended gear:
- 5-6 weight fly rod
- 5-6 weight floating line with medium to fast sinking tip. Bass flies: varies
- Try purple, green and white poppers, streamer patterns
- Trout flies: Caddis patterns, midges
Spinning Gear recommended:
- Average sized trout rod with light tackle, or ultralight rod
- 2-4 pound test line
- Lures: Spinners, meps, spoons, jigs
Fishing gear can be provided for you! Let us know you have an interest and a license, and we’ll pack the right gear.
Books about Hells Canyon
- Indian Creek Chronicles Pete Fromm
- River Tales of Idaho Darcy Williams
- Water-The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource Marq De Villiers
- Roadside Geology of Idaho David Alt
- Myths of Idaho Indians Deward Walker Jr.
- Home Below Hells Canyon Grace Jordan
- Standing Up To The Rock T. Louise Freeman-Toole
- The Sterling Years Bonnie Sterling
- Snake River of Hells Canyon Johnny Carrey, Cort Conley, Ace Barton
- Island and Rapids: The Geologic Story of Hells Canyon Trace Vallier
- Steelhead Water Bob Arnold
- Mist on the River: An Angler’s Quest for Steelhead Michael Chec
4 Day Private Hells Canyon Rafting Trip
(for up to 15 people)
- All rafting gear: PFD’s (life jackets), dry bags to pack in, rafts, etc.
- Camping gear: roomy tents, cushy sleeping pads, freshly laundered sleeping bags, pillows, and fitted sheets
- A jet boat ride at the end of the trip, back to where you started
- Professional knowledgeable guides
- Delicious from scratch meals from breakfast on the first morning to lunch on the last day. We take care or everything: all cooking, cleaning & dishes!
- Sodas, beverages, local selection of craft beers, table wines and nightly specialty cocktails
- Fishing gear: Hells Canyon has especially good fishing that both kids and adults enjoy. Bring your own fishing gear if you’d like or use ours!
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
- Transportation to and from Cambridge, ID from the airport, Boise, etc
- Hotels the night before and after the trip
- Dinner on the last night
- Gratuity for guides
- Any personal vehicle shuttling (not required but convenient)
BOOK YOUR TRIP
A 30% deposit will hold your spot on this Hells Canyon Rafting Trip. The remainder of the trip price is due 30 days before your trip.
RATHER TALK TO A HUMAN THAN BOOK ONLINE?
If flying Boise, ID is the best airport to fly into and out of
- The best travel days are full day before and after the trip. Rivers are wild and it’s best to give it some wiggle room
- Cambridge, ID is 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Boise Airport. There are 2 recommended travel options to get to Cambridge: rent a car at the Boise Airport or ask us about the All-Inclusive Packages which include airport transportation, hotels, and meals before and after you trip.
- It’s best to stay in Cambridge, ID the night before the trip.
- After the trip, it’s best to stay in Cambridge for the night or not travel more than a few hours away.
- Driving to a different destination after your rafting trip? It may be easiest to have your car shuttled to the end of the trip. Give us a call if interested in scheduling a shuttle for your vehicle.
OTHER IDAHO WHITEWATER RAFTING TRIPS:
Yoga Rafting Retreat
Hells Canyon | Snake River