What to wear
- Sunglasses with ‘chums’ or ‘croakies’
- Fast drying clothes
- Synthetic fabrics
- Bathing suit
- Shoes that STAY ON YOUR FEET (no crocs or flip flops)
- Towel/Dry cloths for post trip comfort
- Anything cotton or denim (on whitewater trips)
- Flip flops, crocs (on whitewater trips)
- Jewelry you don’t want to lose
- Purses/backpacks (except on the bus)
- Cameras and binoculars are welcome on Scenic Floats, although we are not responsible for loss or damage. Do not bring any of the above on whitewater trips as it may interfere with your ability to safely paddle. Professional photography is provided on the whitewater stretch and you can purchase the photos after your trip in our office!
Clothing for whitewater trips
As a foundation, bathing suits are almost always the best place to start. We provide, free of charge, and splash jackets with hoods to help keep you dry. Do not wear heavy cotton clothing such as blue jeans or sweat pants and tops. When cotton gets wet it loses its insulation value. On warm, sunny days a bathing suit and t-shirt may be all you’ll need. If it is cooler, you’ll want to add synthetic layers like capilene or polypropylene or even polyester and nylon. Wool is also acceptable. Most long winter underwear is suitable as well. If you have polar fleece or polartec clothing, bring it! Wetsuits and wetsuit booties are available for rent. Wetsuit rentals are $9.00 and booties are $5.00. If you rent both, it’s only $11.00. There may be situations where we’ll require you to rent a wetsuit due to conditions. You are encouraged to bring along a towel and some dry clothes to be left on the bus for the return trip. If you are on our dinner trip, it is especially important to bring along dry clothes to wear while enjoying your meal.
Clothing for scenic float trips
For scenic floats, you should dress according to the weather. Keep in mind that the weather changes quickly at mountain elevations, and layering your clothing will enhance your comfort. This way you can peel or add layers as the conditions change.
For whitewater trips, wear shoes you definitely don’t mind getting wet. We require you to wear shoes that are secure, such as tennis shoes that lace tightly, wetsuit booties, “auquasocks”, or rugged sandals with a heel strap such as Tevas or Nikes. Bare feet or thongs are not allowed. Crocs will come off should you have to go for a swim. If you don’t have any shoes you don’t mind getting soggy, you can rent our neoprene booties from us. Secure shoes are best on scenic float trips. Keep in mind that they may get wet boarding and disembarking the boat.
On whitewater trips it is recommended that you wear some sort of eye-wear retainer such as Croakies or Chums for both prescription glasses and sunglasses. Retainers are available for sale at our office.
Cameras, Camcorders, and Binoculars
All are welcome on Scenic Floats, although we are not responsible for loss or damage. Do not bring any of the above on whitewater trips, because they are almost certain to get wet and damaged. If you own a waterproof camera or would like to bring a disposable waterproof camera, you may. But please bear in mind that picture-taking should not interfere with your ability to paddle. On whitewater trips there are folks that will be photographing and video taping your trip through the largest rapids. We will provide you with information about this after your trip. You may go to their office and view proofs with no obligation to buy, or look at proofs on their websites.
What we provide
On your whitewater trip you will be provided with a coated nylon splash jacket when you arrive at the river, as well as a life jacket. No helmets are required for the Snake as it is a class III clear channel river.
Safety is a priority at Lewis & Clark, and our record reflects it. Our guides have training that exceeds the standards set forth by our permit administrators. We do all we can to make your trip as safe as possible while giving you the thrills and experiences you seek in a river trip. However, there are many risks beyond our control on a river trip, and you will be required to sign a form acknowledging those risks.
Does everyone have to paddle?
Any raft we run requires a minimum of 4 adult-strength paddlers on the boat. On Classic Whitewater boats that are full we typically have 8 paddlers and 2-4 non paddlers on the raft. Swapping spots is always possible and it’s important for you to communicate to us what you want: Do you want to paddle? Do you want to sit in the middle? Do you want to be a bow paddler? We encourage you to communicate these desires to us.
Small Boats at high water
Our general guideline (with some exceptions) is that we do not run small boats at high water levels. During and in advance of high water season we encourage guests to book small boats if they want them, with the understanding that if the water levels are too high, guests will be moved to Classic Rafts and refunded the difference in price.
What class rapids are on the Snake River?
This stretch of the Snake River is Class II and III whitewater. It’s bonafide fun, wet waves that are a joy to run but don’t typically scare people. Conditions change quite a bit from spring runoff (May- June) and midseason July-September flows. All seasons have class III rapids, with waves higher in spring and overall trips longer in mid to late season. You are not paddling continuously on any of our whitewater trips. There are many flat sections where you may relax and take in the scenery.
Can I really take my kids rafting?
Absolutely! Minimum ages during normal water conditions are as follows:
- Scenic Float Trips: 3
- Classic Whitewater Rafting: 6
- Small Boat Whitewater Rafting: 8
We sometimes make adjustments to these limits, typically when high water in the spring dictates.
What are your options?
We have many options for rental gear to make you warmer and more comfortable on your whitewater rafting trip. We strongly recommend (and sometimes require) wetsuit rentals during high water conditions and whenever the combined water and air temperature falls below 110 degrees. We offer free wetsuits to all children ages 12 and under because we want them to be happy, comfortable, and warm. Neoprene gear rental prices are as follows:
- Farmer John or Shorty Wetsuit: $9
- Neoprene booties $5
- Combo of wetsuit and booties: $11
- Neoprene long-sleeve Jacket: $7
- Full Set-Up (wetsuit, booties, and jacket): $15
- Go-Pro Camera: $25
Bookings & Cancellations
For Individual Travelers
Our cancellation policy is 48 hours for individual travelers. This means that you may cancel 48 hours or more in advance of the time your trip is scheduled to leave and receive a refund. If you cancel less than 48 hours in advance you will only be refunded for spaces that we are able to re-sell to new guests.
Our cancellation policy is one week for private rafts. This means that you may cancel one week or more in advance of the time your trip is scheduled to leave and receive a refund. If you cancel less than one week in advance you will only be refunded for spaces that we are able to re-sell to new guests.
Groups & Large Parties
What is the min and max size?
We have a max group size of 48 people on whitewater trips and 30 on scenic floats. We do have the option to put in for special permits for larger groups upon request.
Give us a call
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the legendary Snake River! With world-class guides and numerous Class II and III rapids, depending on river flows, you’re in for the trip of a lifetime.
Whitewater trips are rarely canceled due to weather, and never due to rain alone. Only in instances of severe weather would a trip be canceled. It is also important to remember that your trip launches nearly 25 miles from town, so weather here is likely different that it is at the river. Always check in for your trip at the appointed time because conditions at the river are often completely different from those at our office in town. We will cancel scenic float trips if the weather appears to be consistently inclement. Please check in for your trip, as this is a decision we will make at the time of departure, not sooner. Real time Doppler radar via the internet provides us with a great tool for making these decisions.
You will be rafting on a wild river in a remote place. We make every effort to provide you with the finest, most enjoyable trip possible. Our staff will give instructions before each trip. It is important that you listen to and follow those instructions. You will assume responsibility for many decisions affecting your safety during this trip. Because you will be on a constantly-changing wild river, there are inherent elements of risk and danger beyond our control. We do not assume liability for personal injury or deaths. You must sign an acknowledgment of risk and go at your own risk. If you are overweight, in poor physical condition, have a heart condition, bad back, asthma, or other medical condition, you should consult your physician before going on a whitewater trip. If you carry any medications for any conditions, please tell us so that we can help make sure they are accessible if needed.
No experience is necessary to take a raft trip with Lewis & Clark. Most of our customers are first-time rafters, so we have a great deal of experience and skill in giving great experiences to novices. We emphasize and encourage all who wish to dig in and paddle on our whitewater trips. There are always spaces for those who don’t wish to paddle. In normal mid-season conditions, we take kids as young as 6 whitewater rafting every day, and kids as young as 3 on our scenic float trips.