Whitewater rafting can be a daunting experience for a first-timer but booking a guided rafting trip led by a professional and reputable outfitter like Hells Canyon Raft should put your mind at ease. While you’re daydreaming about pristine sandy beaches and evenings around a campfire with friends and family in one of Idaho’s iconic canyons, we’re packing, prepping, and training to make sure that you’re set up to have the most incredible once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Before the season even starts, we are hard at work making sure every little detail is ready for your trip. Boats and gear are inspected and repaired to ensure proper performance, menus are dialed so our river meals continue to impress, and tents and tarps scrutinized to make sure a mid-summer storm doesn’t ruin your night. We know that out in the wilderness we only have what we’ve brought, so we bring the best.

We all know that the key to a successful trip is in the details, so here are a few ways booking a guided trip ensures that key details aren’t overlooked.


At the beginning of the summer we head out for a company-wide training trip that gets the new guides up to speed and lets the old boaters swap stories and lessons. Our guides have a huge variety of talents and passions – some are musicians, some are camp chefs, some wouldn’t be out of place giving a university level lecture on geology or ichthyology. Our pre-season training trip lets our guides share their unique abilities with each other, and that makes every trip better than the last.


Once you’re on your trip, your guides will be working constantly to minimize and manage the risks of the river. That can mean everything from making sure the camp kitchen is sanitized to snugging up your PFD before launching for the day. You’ll be able to see a lot of these precautions, like first aid kits in the boats and bottles of hand sanitizer by the camp toilet, but many of the most important safety measures take place well before your trip launches. These include rescue training, first aid classes, and evacuation plans – all things that don’t make a trip great until you need them. You can rest easy after a long day in the canyon knowing that your guides live by the river motto Prepare for the Worst, Guide for the Best.


There is no feeling quite like the first time you raft a new section of river. Every wave train is adrenaline-inducing and every canyon wall leaves you awestruck. Our intention is for you to be able to soak in each and every moment of your trip without thinking too hard about what’s around the bend or where the next available camp spot is. This means we’re planning every oar stroke, prepared to stop at some of the best beaches for lunch and photo ops and always ready to share the best hikes to take in each night’s sunsets. One of the best parts of our jobs is taking people on their very first river trip, and one of the best parts of going down a river for the first time with a guide is that you’ll be under the care of a literal walking/talking/rowing encyclopedia of river knowledge. And let me tell you what…nothing beats being handed a steaming cup of coffee that you didn’t have to brew while you watch the sun crest over the canyon wall in the morning.


If I didn’t drive the point home enough in the last section, being on a guided trip means you have to do VERY little thinking, and nothing beats being able to turn your brain off when you’re on vacation.

So, sit back, breathe a big sigh of relief and pick out your dates that you want to let us do all the thinking for you. 





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