Hells Canyon-Snake River - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-14-2012   #1
 
Minden, Nevada
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 10
Hells Canyon-Snake River

We have a June 21 permit for the Hells Canyon section of the snake through the 4 Rivers permit system. Have other permits/river options so trying to decide if this is a trip we should do..or not. Experienced boaters. If you've done this trip and particularly at that time of year please post comments as to quality of rapids, camping, scenery, etc. Thanks.

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Old 02-14-2012   #2
 
Okemos, Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 29
I did this trip at the end of May in 2002. Very cool, scenic canyon, lots of wildlife (bighorn sheep, chukars, sturgeon, etc), nice beach camping, great smallmouth fishing. I was not very impressed with the whitewater though. You pretty much have wild sheep and granite and that's pretty much it. Great trip it you're looking for a relaxing, scenic float with good camping but I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for lots of whitewater.
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Old 02-14-2012   #3
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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Posts: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by wide eye View Post
I did this trip at the end of May in 2002. Very cool, scenic canyon, lots of wildlife (bighorn sheep, chukars, sturgeon, etc), nice beach camping, great smallmouth fishing. I was not very impressed with the whitewater though. You pretty much have wild sheep and granite and that's pretty much it. Great trip it you're looking for a relaxing, scenic float with good camping but I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for lots of whitewater.
Agree... one day of whitewater, the rest of scenic floating. I've always done this as a fall trip since the permit season ends early, the water is warmer and the flows are typically the same out of the dam. Of course if you bail on this trip I would be happy to pick up your cancellation
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Old 02-14-2012   #4
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
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Posts: 536
the only negative will be the heat. beyond that, it's a trip worth taking at least once.

the scenery was much better than i expected down to heller bar. sustained gorgeous. i though it was going to get boring after pittsburg landing but it was only slightly less dramatic. excellent.

the current moves along at a good clip so it's easy to make your miles at 20k + flows anyway.

i had put this trip off for years but was surprised how good the float was in the end. with the heat, we did the 79 miles in 4 days which seemed about right for us. the current was just hauling ass and staying on the river was more fun than baking in camp.

the rapids were at 24k for us and were pretty easy. i "scouted" them on youtube and never got out of my boat on the actual trip. read and run type deal. each his own on scouting it,however. like others have said, it's not a big whitewater trip past day one. but it doesn't turn into some flat water slog either. it's just pretty straight forward, easy rapids from there on out.
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Old 02-14-2012   #5
 
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
You don't know whether you should do it or not? Why apply?

Calling all MF4riverslotteryangrylosers

Edit: tell us your options
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Old 02-14-2012   #6
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 31
I just picked up a cancellation for this stretch. We launch 7/24. Any beta on the camping or anything else? Got the beta on the rapids.

Generally, if the trip sucked, they would not make it permitted.
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Old 02-14-2012   #7
 
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
How do you pick up cancellations before March 16? I thought they weren't releasing dates until then.
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Old 02-14-2012   #8
 
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 107
Washington just started charging to park at Heller Bar. You'll need to get a Discover Pass for your shuttle...just a heads up.

Washington State Discover Pass
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Old 02-14-2012   #9
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turner View Post
Washington just started charging to park at Heller Bar. You'll need to get a Discover Pass for your shuttle...just a heads up.

Washington State Discover Pass
I'm not sure if this applies or not:
You will not need a Discover Pass to launch your boat from a State Parks boat launch if you have the annual Natural Investment Permit. You will need the Discover Pass for boat launches managed by DNR and WDFW and in a state park using a daily launch permit.
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Old 02-15-2012   #10
 
Okemos, Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 29
SBarn, have you taken a look at whitewatercampsites.com? Good beta on camping in Hells Canyon.
see: http://www.whitewatercampsites.com/Snake - Hells Canyon/index.php
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