Float the Famed Snake River

Floating the Famed Snake River in Jackson Hole Offers a Fresh Perspective

The Snake River winds itself through much of the Pacific Northwest of the United States including the Jackson Hole Valley. Why not follow its path during your stay to see the spectacular sites from its perspective?

Float Trips through Grand Teton National Park are something everyone should have (and knock off) their bucket list. Spring Creek Ranch will set you up with the float trip that’s right for you and your family.

Snake River Whitewater Rafting Float Trips

Barker-Ewing Whitewater Rafting - Drenched but smiling!

Barker-Ewing Whitewater Rafting - Drenched but smiling! Photo: Barker-Ewing


The Snake River is internationally known as one of the best and most consistent white water adventures in North America.

Running through rapids with names like the Big Kahuna, Three Oar Deal, the California Curl, Taco Roll, and Lunch Counter, you know that you are in for a top-notch adventure.

On a scale from I-VI, the rapids on the Snake River are class II-III during normal water flows and are termed, “pool and drop,” which means they are spaced out with calm water sections in between.

You don’t need any experience to whitewater raft and it’s a great activity for most people. Usually the minimum age is six years old, but can change with varying river conditions. Spring Creek Ranch representatives will set you up with the right trip and may even recount some of their own tales from firsthand experience.

Whitewater Rafting Float Trip Essentials

Spring Creek’s qualified whitewater rafting outfitters provide type V personal floatation devices (PFD’s), or “life jackets,” and shuttles to and from the float. You should dress in clothes that can get wet like swimsuits or quick-dry shorts, avoiding cotton and relying on wool or polypro layers if you need warmth. Wear water shoes like Teva or Chaco sandals (but, they shouldn’t be flip flops or the slip-on type) or sneakers that can get wet. If you wear sunglasses, use a retention device like Croakies, so they won’t get lost if they come off. Wear plenty of sunscreen and bring some water.

Since whitewater rafting is a wet activity by nature, you could consider bringing a change of clothes and a towel along to leave in the shuttle car or bus in case you get wet. Don’t bring binoculars or a camera along, unless they are waterproof. Some outfitters sell disposable, waterproof cameras. A local company called Float O Graphs will take your picture while you are going through either Big Kahuna or Lunch Counter rapids. They are located in the town of Jackson and photos of your trip can be viewed after you get back from town or online when you get home.

Snake River Scenic Float Trips

Solitude Scenic Float Trip - What Wildlife Will You See? Photo: Solitude

Solitude Scenic Float Trip - What Wildlife Will You See? Photo: Solitude


A scenic float trip down the Snake River is a perfect way to see wildlife in their natural habitat peacefully going about their daily lives without the intrusive nature of a vehicle. In the summertime, Grand Teton Park teems with wildlife such as elk, moose, deer, bison, eagles, osprey, a large variety of ducks, song birds, and small mammals.

View all this with the awe-inspiring Teton Range as backdrop. Chances are high that you’ll learn a lot about the area and its animal inhabitants, as well. The Valley’s tour guides have countless river trips under their belts and often have educational expertise in wildlife biology, geology or other related fields.

Photo opportunities abound on your tranquil float down the river. Bring a camera and have it ready for special wildlife sightings and unfathomable Teton views. Guides will often alert you to popular photo ops or those with historical significance, so listen up!

Scenic Float Trip Essentials

Spring Creek’s qualified outfitters provide personal floatation devices (PFD’s) and usually rain panchos, and shuttles to and from the float. You should dress in casual clothes (including layers like a sweater/jacket in case of cooler temps) and wear soft-soled shoes, and bring sunglasses, sunscreen, binoculars and a camera. It’s recommended to have a secure strap to hold binoculars or cameras, so that they do not fall into the water, and maybe even a dry bag.

Spring Creek’s Packages and Specials

The Spring Creek Ranch Summer Adventure Package includes whitewater rafting. Find a Spring Creek Ranch summer special that’s perfect for you during this magical time! Call today to learn more about packages and specials (800) 443-6139.

Landscape Photography in the Tetons

Jackson Hole is famous across the planet as one of the best locations for wildlife and landscape photography. Our naturalist programs make the most of this by offering photo safaris twice per week throughout the year. This week, we explored Grand Teton National Park with cameras, tripods and lenses to find historic barns, abundant wildlife and expansive mountain views. Taking advantage of our Spring wildflowers, we took a 20-minute walk to find this meadow of daisys with the majestic Teton range providing the perfect photographic backdrop (seen in the image below).

Jackson Hole Landscape Photography

Yellowstone Opens

Yellowstone National Park -- Jackson Hole, WY
Friday was our first Yellowstone National Park excursion of the year as the South Gate opened for business. It was an extraordinary day with great geyser and wildlife sightings. 

We were lucky enough to watch eruptions of Old Faithful, Beehive and Grand geysers; all beautiful and unique in their own way. One of the highlights of the day was watching a sow and cub grizzly bear digging for unknown food resources in Hayden Valley. The image shows the picturesque Upper Geyser Basin with Beehive erupting in the background.

Our Most Common Reptile

Snake - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
Grand Teton and Yellowstone Parks aren’t the best place to live for amphibians and reptiles, but we still see snakes occasionally and the garter snake is by far the most common snake here.

This garter was spotted this morning near Wilson, Wyoming and can be seen “smelling” the surroundings with its tongue. The forked tongue allows it to smell in stereo which is an asset when hunting prey.

Bison Puppies

Bison Puppies - Spring Creek Ranch, Jackson Hole, WY
It is definitely more correct to refer to young bison as calves, but they give such an impression of little, red dogs that they are sometimes referred to as puppies. Newborn bison have been a highlight of safaris lately along with excellent sightings of many other birds and mammals. Our recent Wolf and Bear Safari was amazing and, as always, I was impressed with our catalog of sightings by the end of the trip.

Highlights of the safari included: several wolves including newborn puppies, two sow grizzlies with a total of five cubs, coyotes carrying away carrion, enormous bull elk in velvet, a peregrine falcon on its cliffy nest, a great-horned owl nest with chicks and a bighorn sheep ram with a full-curled set of horns.

Full Moon at Spring Creek Ranch

Full Moon at Spring Creek Ranch -- Jackson Hole
Clear skies last night aided perfect viewing of the full moon as well as winter constellations, Mars and Saturn. Tonight’s moon is waning but will be along side Saturn to the east in early evening hours.

Wildlife sightings have been exceptional during recent safaris and have included wolves, a mink, river otters and several raptors. During yesterday’s snowshoe hike on Spring Creek Ranch, we had the year’s first sighting of a bald eagle perched on our resident eagle nest. We will keep our fingers crossed that our eagle pair successfully raise chicks this year.