My Wild Water Experience… Part II

I was feeling very confident as I walked away from our Scenic Float trip. My next point of interest would be to conquer the white water… dun dun dun. For stability and reassurance purposes, I decided it would be best to bring along my friend Brant. I was not going to go alone. As I stood there waiting for the life-vest distribution, with the water running several feet away, I cannot deny that I had a very high level of stress running through me. I took in all seriousness the way our guide instructed us to hold the paddle… I only almost dropped it twice. Like I had said previously, being in a raft in the middle of a river has never appealed to me before. Going through the first set of rapids, I was thinking of every way possible of myself getting back in the raft if I had in fact fallen out. I made it through. I then noticed the gaping smile that I had plastered on my face. I was definitely having fun! I was then ready for some real action. Coming up to Big Kahuna, I felt ready. As we hit it straight on, my paddling stopped as I was engulfed with water. I was soaked, but totally proud of myself for defeating yet another fear of mine.

My piece of advice: GO RAFTING!!!  -Emily Ming

My feelings about the 13-mile scenic dinner float… Part I


I’ve never been a fan of the water. Ironically, I’m now working for a river rafting company! I had been working for Barker-Ewing for a month, but I had not yet mustered up the courage to actually go on one of the trips. I often blamed it on my sensitivity to the cold water since I am originally from Sunny California. As the days went on, I knew it was time for me to go. Believe me, I was definately a skeptic about placing myself in a raft on moving water, but I did it anyway. The first five minutes were stressful since I had no idea what to expect. But as the trip went on, I found myself really enjoyng it. Going through all of the beautiful scenery, I was able to see several bald eagles, which was definately a highlight since I had never seen one before. The 13 miles were gorgeous, but one of the most exciting things for me was the food that came after. I firmly believe in a good meal after a long trip! Overall, the trip was wonderful and I overcame my river-water fears. I believe now that I am ready to move up to a Whitewater Adventure!!

– Emily Ming, Happy Reservationist


Legends of the Snake

This summer’s annual Legends of the Snake event kicks off tomorrow afternoon with a float trip in Grand Teton National Park, and ends with an evening of food and festivities at Dornan’s. Jackson Hole pioneers of the rafting and fishing industry will take to the oars and tell stories of this valley’s river running history… maybe even mix in a few stories of their own personal trips down the Snake! This year’s lineup features former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director John Turner, Jack Dennis, Frank Ewing, Charlie Sands, Dick Barker, Bill Guheen, Dave Hansen and many more.

What exactly is “high water,” and how much water is that?

High water is not just how high but how much and how fast the water is rushing through a stretch of river. Flowing water is one of the most powerful forces on the planet! Let’s say the water flow in the Snake River is 17,300 cubic feet per second (cfs). That means that the river is moving 129,404 gallons of water each second at a total weight of 1,079,229 pounds (or 540 tons, and I won’t bore you with that equation!).

What about high water, specifically on the whitewater section of the Snake River in Jackson Hole? The general rule is anything above approximately 16,000 cfs is considered high water. How does the water get that big, and sometimes in the matter of 1 day, even hours? Snow melt, warm weather, rainfall and water releases from the Jackson Lake dam – these are the four biggest factors that make the water levels climb quickly. The largest high water season on record was in 1997, when the canyon flow hit 35,200 cfs, according to the Bureau of Reclamation website. That being said, some guides recall it hitting 39,800 cfs! Last Friday, the water was around 7,000 cfs; Saturday, it was in the teen thousands; Sunday night, 17,200.  While things could change as the Bureau of Rec makes dam release decisions, the peak this week, and possibly for 2010, hit yesterday (Tuesday) at 24,200 cfs.

Safety is our highest priority always, but in high water, we take extra precautions when explaining the reality of high water.  We don’t want to scare anyone because it can be quite exhilarating; we simply want to teach and inform!

Cinqo de Mayo Giveaway!

Buy 1 Whitewater or Scenic river trip, get 1 free! First to call 800.448.4202 and mention Cinqo de Mayo wins. Leave a message if we miss your call. Cheers! Breakfast Combo & Overnight excluded.

It’s river time… almost!

Rafts are inflated, but the weather is deflating all of our spirits! Don’t worry… we have ordered sunshine and blue skies for our opening weekend on Saturday, May 22! The spring outfitter meeting for all Snake River Canyon trips was yesterday. Our scenic riverside camp for our meal trips sprung up today. Our overnight and breakfast combo riverside camp will be up next! Things are moving right along. We are so excited for some river time on the Snake!