Wyoming rafting trips are popular among rafters of all skill levels, thanks to the beautiful scenery in this part of the country. The Snake River in Wyoming is especially well-known, as it offers both calmer waters for beginners and families and adrenaline-pumping rapids for more experienced travelers. The Snake River attracts thousands of tourists each year, both for its great rafting and for its location near some of Wyoming’s best attractions, including Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone.
The Snake River flows from the northwest of Wyoming through Idaho and meets the Columbia River in Washington. The Jackson Hole area, close to the beginning of the river, is one of the most sought-after starting points for Wyoming rafting trips. The rapids in the Jackson Hole section range from Class II to Class IV, providing both a learning experience for beginners and a challenge for more experienced rafters, depending on which section of the river you visit.
Snake River Canyon, south of Jackson Hole, is another one of the great Wyoming whitewater rafting spots. A trip through the great canyon of the Snake River offers thrilling waves and spectacular scenery. With Class III rapids, the canyon is the best section suitable for intermediate rafters. There are also many scenic attractions on the way, including towering limestone cliffs. When it reaches Alpine, Wyoming, the river meets the Greys River and the Salt River. This part of Wyoming, known as the Star Valley, is one of the state’s prettiest areas and is also famous for its wildlife, including moose, beavers, and eagles.
At the Snake River Canyon entrance, the river water narrows and gushes its way between the towering canyon walls, creating some really challenging rapids, including the Lunch Counter, California Curler, and Big Kahuna. These rapids suit only advanced rafters, so avoid the canyon unless you’re ready for rougher waters. However, the portion of the Snake River that flows through Grand Teton National Park offers lazier float trips and plenty of fishing opportunities for trout and other species. Several commercial Wyoming rafting outfitters based at the park offer guided trips through this area.
In particularly, families new to Wyoming rafting will find the waters in Grand Teton National Park to be a great choice for day trip, and both half-day and full-day guided excursions are available. The camping in the Tetons is spectacular, and there are hundreds of miles of hiking trails in the area, so if you’re planning a summer vacation in Wyoming, you can look forward to a wide variety of outdoor activities, with rafting being just one of the excellent options.
Aside from the Snake River, there are Wyoming rafting trips offered elsewhere in the state. For instance, if you begin in Cody or Powell, both located in northern Wyoming, there are rafting trips along the Shoshone River, including the Red Rock Canyon, Lower Canyon, and North Fork, which is suitable for trips that are at least half a day. The Shoshone River is 100 miles long, extending from the Absarokas in Shoshone National Forest to the Big Horn River. About 70 miles of the river are navigable, and there are Class II, Class III, and Class IV rapids along the way, which makes this more suitable for intermediate and advanced rafters than beginners.