Several rafting companies lead scenic half-day 10-mile float trips (around $60 adults or $45 kids) down the Snake River inside Grand Teton National Park, putting in at Deadman’s Bar and taking out in Moose.
Float It Yourself
The Park Service (307/739-3602, www.nps.gov/grte) has useful information on running the sections of the river inside Grand Teton; ask for a copy of Floating the Snake River (or download it online). Note that life jackets, boat permits ($10 for a seven-day permit), and registration are required to run the river through the park, and that inner tubes and air mattresses are prohibited.
Floating the gentler parts (from Jackson Lake Dam to just above Pacific Creek) is generally easy for even novice boaters and canoeists, but below that point things get dicier. The water averages 2-3 feet deep, but it sometimes exceeds 10 feet and flow rates are often more than 8,000 cubic feet per second, creating logjams, braided channels, strong currents, and dangerous sweepers.
Peak flows are between mid-June and early July. Inexperienced rafters or anglers die nearly every year in the river. Flow-rate signs are posted at most river landings, the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, and the Buffalo Ranger Station in Moran, or call 800/658-5771.
If you’re planning to raft or kayak on the whitewater parts of the Snake River, be sure to contact the Bridger-Teton National Forest office in Jackson (307/739-5500, www.fs.fed.us/r4/btnf/teton/river) for additional information, including its Snake River Canyon Floater’s Guide.
Excellent waterproof maps of the Grand Canyon of the Snake River are sold at the visitor center. In addition to showing the rapids, these maps describe local geology and other features.
Rent rafts and whitewater kayaks from:
- Snake River Kayak and Canoe School
307/733-9999 or 800/529-2501
- Leisure Sports
© Don Pitcher from Moon Yellowstone & Grand Teton, 5th Edition