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Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

atlanta,georgia
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Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

We are pgoing through Lewiston Idaho on way from Portland to Glacier and want to stop for jet boat ride from Lewiston into Hells Canyon. We are 4 seniors and want the jet boat vs rafting. There's a Best Western packge for lodging and jet boat rides with Snake Dancer, Snake River, Rush Creek and Beemers. Recommendation on these or other companies? Are we better booking jet boat and lodging seperately? Companies offer tours of 120 miles, 200 miles and 220 miles (round trip). Recommendations (we want to go into the canyon itself, not just to entrance to canyon)?

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N. Idaho
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1. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Sorry no one has answered your question. Of the people who regularly post on the Idaho forum, I probably live the closest to Lewiston...about 40 miles...but I have never done any of the jet boat trips.

My guess is that Beamers is probably the biggest company as they have a couple of lodges up river and advertise the most in local media. I would probably e-mail each company to see which trips actually get as far upriver as you want to go.

When you leave Lewiston are you planning to go over Lolo Pass to Missoula? That is a beautiful drive! There are several Lewis and Clark stops along the way and the Visitor Center at the top of the pass is a good place to stretch your legs.

What time of year are you planning on coming?

Pam

atlanta,georgia
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2. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Thanks for your comments. There was another comment last week….surprised its not showing.

We’re planning on late June, early July.

Other comment recommended Snake Dance Excursions who offers half day trips to Nez Perce crossing and all day trips to Hells Canyon Dam. I saw Beamers also on another link and will check both out.

I had several questions on the Snake Dance trips and will contact them for some details. When you leave Clarkston, approximately how many miles is it on the River to Hells Canyon? Is Nez Perce in Hells Canyon as on the AAA map, it appears that this is outside the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.

The full day trip goes approximately 60 miles further down the river into Hells Canyon. Significant scenic difference of the Canyon in this additional 60 miles; i.e deeper canyon etc.

Also, the full day trip has Class 4 and 5 rapids whereas the half day trip doesn’t mention rapids. I may have some "selling" to do with my wife. She definitely would not go down Class 4/5 rapids in a raft. Any idea on frequency, distance, duration of rapids. On video, jet boat seems much more secure than raft. Any comment on this?

Regarding Lolo Pass, that sounds like a very interesting suggestion. We had planned to drive from Lewiston to Coeur d’Alene then Highway 90 to St Regis then cut across on Routes 135, 200,93 into Kalispell. This was based on staying at West Glacier. We had some recommendations to stay at East Glacier based on more to see/do on the East side of the Park. Still undecided and open for suggestions.

I see Lolo Pass on the map. Looks like taking State Highway 12 from Lewiston to Missoula and then Highway 93 to Glacier. Scenery wise, definitely recommend Lolo Pass route vs going via Coeur d”Alene?

Thanks!

N. Idaho
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3. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

OK, I'll start with the things I actually know about!

If you have the time, I would recommend US 12. It is 2 lane, speed limit is 50 mph most of the way after you leave Kooskia ID and for good reason. It runs right along the Selway, the further up, the Lochsa River which are both just beautiful. From Lewiston to Kooskia you are on the Clearwater River. This is one of the 3 routes across the mountains in N. Idaho so there will be truck traffic. This more or less parallels the route Lewis and Clark took when they came over the mountains and met up with the Nez Perce. It's also fun to watch kayakers run the rapids on the Lochsa if the river levels have dropped low enough for kayaks to be allowed.

US 95 from Lewiston to CdA is through the rolling wheat and dry pea (lentils, garbanzos, split peas) fields of the Palouse which should be still green that time of year. US 95 is 2 lane from part way to Moscow to about 1/2 way to CdA. From CdA east, I will have to say is some of the prettiest Interstate I've ever been on. It is of course 4-lane and has more traffic. As you leave CdA you drive beside Lake CdA which is just beautiful. You cross in to Montana at Lookout Pass and head down. The speed limit is 70 or 75 on the MT side which I never quite do since it feels too fast for me.

You can get a look at both passes on this Idaho DOT site.

511.idaho.gov/default.asp…

You can't go wrong with either, but when I have the time I go US 12. It will add a half an hour or a bit more depending on how often you stop along the way between Lewiston and Missoula.

Jet boats are way more secure than rafts altho there is bouncing in the jet boat if you are going thru that level rapid. You definitely need to talk to the companies to ask your specific questions about rapids and how far into the canyon you go. People often spot lots of wildlife, not sure how good it will be in early July as the canyon will have started to be hot that time of year.

Odd about the other post disappearing. Usually if TA removes a post due to inappropriateness or advertising there is an acknowledgment in it's place.

Pam

Edited: 28 November 2011, 15:13
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4. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Hi Jola43,

A great resource that lists licensed outfitters in Hells Canyon can be found:

www.ioga.org/jet-boating/river/?runid=21 .

washington
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5. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Having grown up in the area and after driving by for 40 years we finally decided to "do" Hell's Canyon last year.

It was truely a trip of a lifetime!

We stayed at the Quality Inn in Clarkston, Wa., lovely hotel, and just walked down the hill to board Beamer's all day tour.

The rapids weren't bad in July and part of the fun is watching the pilot navigate through some very shallow water.

The one tip I would give is take a cooler with drinks and snacks...it's a 10 hour day and the "continental breakfast" and sandwich for lunch really aren't enough.

The scenery and history on this tour is simply glorious. And remember Hell's Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon! Those mountains soaring above you are unforgettable.

Also I really rec driving the Lolo pass...slower but much more scenic for me.

Lewiston, Idaho
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6. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Hi! We're Hells Canyon Visitor Bureau and we're located at the north entrance to Hells Canyon in Clarkston, WA/Lewiston, ID. First, we'd like to give you a link to our free Visitor Guide; you can find information on each of the jet boat tour companies in here http://bit.ly/HCVBPlanVGuide

Next, let's answer your questions.

The differences in the full-day and half-day trips are significant with regard to scenery and rapids. Half-day trips turn around before you hit the deepest part of the canyon while full-day trips take you all the way to Hells Canyon Dam. On full-day trips, you'll also experience higher class rapids (such as Granite Creek). Beamers, River Quest, Snake Dancer, Snake River Adventures each have bigger boats so your trip through is safe and can be mostly dry. Snake River Adventures also has a smaller Boogie Boat that offers a wetter, wild ride for thrill seekers.

Late June/early July will be a beautiful time to see the canyon. Wildlife is everywhere but it will be warm. Things you'll want to bring: sunscreen, a camera, your hat, and possibly a change of clothes or a towel. Most tour companies provide beverages on their tours but be sure to confirm with your chosen tour operator. We suggest you bring some water along just in case because the canyon does heat up.

Both Beamers and Snake Dancer have Jet Boat Tour Packages on special right now http://bit.ly/HCVBJetPkgs.

When you depart Lewiston for Montana, we'd like to suggest you consider the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway on Hwy12. It's a beautiful drive full of historical landmarks and sites, and there are free audio tours available here http://bit.ly/TrvlTlAudTrs

You can learn more about the drive here drivethetop10.com/The-Drives/Northwest-Passa…

Please let us know if we can help you plan your trip further. We're excited you're headed our way!

N. Idaho
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7. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

HellsCanyon, thanks for the info for the OP.

I hope you check the forum regularly, altho there is not a lot of traffic on here!

Pam

Saint Maries
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8. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

We lived in Montana for 50 years and have now moved to the CDA area. Go up Hwy 12 to Lolo!! then north to Flathead Lake.....take the drive north to West Glacier, and if the road is open, go north and up over the Going to the Sun Highway to East Glacier. Right through the middle of the park. Hiking is the big draw to Glacier Pk so if you aren't into walking, you'll see more game on that road. Then you could drive back to Portland!

Penny

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9. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Penny, welcome to TA, but you have bumped an old thread from 2011. Original Poster has doubtless traveled and moved on to other things by now.

Pam

Saint Maries
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10. Re: Jet Boat ride from Lewiston Idaho into Hells Canyon

Oh, thanks!

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