Idaho’s Whitewater Outfitters Thrilled With Snowmelt Levels


Idaho’s whitewater season is bound to deliver high flows all thanks to the abundant snowpack from the 2017-18 winter, and whitewater outfitters couldn’t be more ecstatic.

“It’s going to be an excellent year for river boating,” says Peter Grubb with ROW adventures in Coeur d’Alene. “We are expecting to extend our St. Joe River season by 10 or so days into July, and we expect to be able to run trips on the Lochsa until July 10-15, a full week longer than normal.”

Other whitewater outfitters are also planning to lengthen their guiding season in order to capitalize on the higher flows, especially on the Snake River, where the area experienced 108 percent of normal snowpack levels. “Some areas in the Upper Snake River are still accumulating snow, so that will make for good flows later in the floating season,” said Ron Abramovich, water supply specialist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service Snow Survey office in Boise. “Overall, things look really good.”

Whitewater rafters ‘gettin the shot’.

For the Lochsa area, high snow pack levels means that the river will hit peak flows during the ideal time when it’s nice and hot for paddling. “We should hit peaks in the 8-foot range, and that’s a great level,” said Wayne Fairchild, with Lewis and Clark Trail Adventures in Missoula, Montana. Outfitters on the Lochsa River have already begun guiding day trips, getting an early start on the highly anticipated season.

Middle Fork Salmon River and Main Salmon River outfitters are excited as well. “Things are looking perfect for a great season on the Middle Fork,” said Zach Collier, owner of Northwest Rafting Company. “One-hundred percent of average is perfect for a sweet runoff season. We should have good water through July and August.”

Owner of H20 Idaho, Zach Manson, agrees, “It’s looking pretty awesome to me. We’re going to have some great runoff and beaches cleaned and restored by the spring runoff.”

Each outfitter has something unique to offer in terms of how you can experience the Idaho whitewater season. H20 Idaho, for example, is offering two special music trips that feature a traveling river trip band.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unconventional, both Salmon River Tours and Hells Canyon Adventures provide jet boat trips. “We’re offering everything from a 2-hour jet boat tour through the big rapids in Hells Canyon to a deluxe 2-day trip all the way from Hells Canyon Dam to Lewiston and back,” said Mark Yates with Hells Canyon Adventures. “We’re trying to provide affordable trips for families with young kids, while offering more deluxe trips for people who want to spend more time in the canyon for fun and relaxation.”

Rumors of the season are spreading fast though, so it’s important to book your reservations as soon as possible.

Check out for a list of Idaho’s outfitters and contact information.