Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Driggs, ID Day 7. Kayak trip down the Snake River

About 10 years ago, Lynn and I did some canoeing on the Snake River in Teton Park. It was beautiful. We then did a family whitewater rafting trip. This week, I connected the 2 trips with a 25-30 kayak trip that started just outside the Park at Wilson Bridge in WY to Elbow boat landing, a few miles above where the whitewater rafting starts.
I also scouted the Hoback River 10 miles or so up from it's confluence with the Snake, but the water was a little too low and with the cool, rainy day, decided to do the Snake.
This was mostly fast water, 7-8 mph, with strainers so one had to pay attention. The river braided a lot and getting into a side channel with no water or being blocked was a real possibility. There were a number of rafters out mainly for fishing so, at least in the beginning (fewer rafts downstream) one could kind of follow or see where they went.
The run is Class I or II all that way at the levels I was on it. It had a wave train almost at the end that was really fun. 8-10 waves with a 4-5 foot drop from crest to bottom of the trough. The Yukon Expedition was at 35 degrees pointing up and then 35 degrees pointing down for a fun run.
There were also a few whirlpool type bubbling up boils from the bottom crazy water spots that were really cool.
All and all, this river, with the mountains, is probably the most scenic river I've ever paddled on the 20 some years I've been out on the water. I hope to get back out there and start a little above Jackson Lake, in Teton Park and do the complete run through the Park. 40-50 miles.
Also,  to do a nice 15-20 mile section of the Hoback and also a few miles after Palisades Reservoir.
Until I return.....

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