A trip with Hells Canyon Raft allows you to explore places by river that often can’t be seen by road – or even by foot. When you float down a river on a raft, it’s an opportunity to slow the pace and take a deep breath. But a river trip with us is so much more than just riding on a raft. When you’re on the river and off of it, there are endless ways to keep busy and have fun.

Let’s be clear: we love sitting on a raft. Whether it’s smashing through whitewater (our favorite), bobbing rhythmically through the riffles, laughing hysterically with great company on the boat, or gazing in silence at canyon walls and watching the birds circle overhead, we love to spend time sitting on a boat.

In fact, we love it so much we’ve devoted our professional and personal lives to it. We take so much pleasure in it that we even choose to do it in our free time when we’re not taking guests down the river.

However, if you think a multi-day river trip means endless boring hours sitting on a raft, think again. From sunup to the late Idaho sundown, your days can be packed with activities and exploration if you want them to be.  (And if you’re just looking to sit still and relax, you’ve got it! You can 100% do that.)

Activities On the River

When we’re going down the river, traveling from one camp location to the next, you probably won’t find yourself sitting still for too long (unless you want to be). Besides the whitewater action, there are tons of ways to have fun.

There are four different options for riding the river:

  • oar boat (only the guide rows)
  • paddle assist (guide rows and guests paddle)
  • inflatable kayak (easy even for beginners)
  • paddleboard (no experience necessary, not available 100% of trips)

Read more about the types of boats we offer here.   

Fishing from the raft is a very popular activity and world-class fishing is at your fingertips on all of our trips. It’s so good and so plentiful, we actually guarantee you’ll catch a fish (seriously).

Many people also love to learn about the canyon geology, history and wildlife. Did you know there are 106 species of birds in Hells Canyon? Our experienced guides are a wealth of knowledge, and you’ll find guidebooks available to you on each boat. This is also the perfect time to capture those stunning photographs you’ll proudly put up on your wall.

How about swimming in the calm stretches between the whitewater rapids? Or trying that back flip off of the raft?

Worried about being hungry or thirsty? For your complete comfort, snacks and cold drinks are always just a short reach away in every boat.

Activities Off the River

When we’re not boating down the river, we’re either at camp for the evening, stopped for lunch break, or hiking.

The time off the rafts is yours. It’s a choose-your-own adventure itinerary, and the list of options is long. You can do long or short hikes into the side canyons, fish from the riverside, play active games in the sand like horseshoes or frisbee (you won’t believe the white sand beaches on the Salmon), or just pull up a camp chair with a cold drink and watch the river flow by.

You have opportunity for plenty of reflective time if you want it. Find a shady spot to yourself to read, journal, paint, or sit and have some quality time connecting with your partner or your child.

What do you want your days to look like? Packed with action, total relaxation, or some of both?

Here are our favorite non-rafting activities to choose from:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Reading riverside
  • River swimming and bathing
  • Games on long, white sand beaches
  • Journaling, painting, drawing, sketching
  • Spending quality time with your partner and/or kids
  • Recreational cocktailing
  • Photography
  • Eating gourmet appetizers and meals cooked by your chef guides
  • Staring at the canyon walls
  • Enjoying zillions of stars in the night sky
  • Napping and sleeping to the sound of the river

You can see that an overnight rafting trip with Hells Canyon Raft is a true vacation. Each day, you get to create the perfect trip for you, filled with a wide variety of nature-based adventures. You will certainly not just be sitting on a raft the whole time!

What are you waiting for? Trip dates for Spring and Summer are filling up. Now is the time to book your summer fun. Contact us now and we’ll help you find the perfect trip.

Cooking in a DUTCH OVEN

Cooking in a DUTCH OVEN

Cooking with a Dutch Oven is simple and fun but requires a bit of experience and finesse. To figure out how many total coals we need to heat with, our general rule is this: take the diameter of your oven and multiply bytwo. Hells Canyon Raft uses 12” aluminum Dutch Ovens, so we need 24 coals for ours. Because heat rises, you want twice as many coals on the top as the bottom, or you run the risk of burning your meal. So we put 16 coals on the top and about 8 on the bottom. This makes for perfection when baking a cake or bread.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • Aluminum Dutch Oven 12"
  • Charcoal coals
  • Lighter
  • A couple good stories
  • A cold beverage


    1. Take the diameter of your oven and multiply by two.

    2. This is how many coals you want

    3. Because heat rises, you want twice as many coals on the top as the bottom, or you run the risk of burning your meal.

    4. This makes for perfection when baking a cake or bread.


Enjoy with your friends and family and take a chance. The results might suprise you.


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