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To Make A Reservation: Please select one of the following from the “Looking For” menu at the left:

For reserving a single day trip, select “Day Use Motorized Permit”
For reserving a multi-night trip, select “Overnight Motorized Permit”

HELLS CANYON - SNAKE RIVER (POWERBOAT), WA

part ofWallowa Whitman National Forest, US Forest Service
Photo: HELLS CANYON - SNAKE RIVER (POWERBOAT)

Overview

Hells Canyon, North America's deepest river gorge, encompasses a vast and remote region with dramatic changes in elevation, terrain, climate and vegetation. Carved by the great Snake River, Hells Canyon plunges more than a mile below Oregon's west rim, and 8,000 feet below the snow-capped He Devil Peak of Idaho's Seven Devils Mountains.

The Snake River is designated a Wild and Scenic River. The 31.5-mile section of the river between Hells Canyon Dam and Upper Pittsburg Landing is designated Wild and the 36-mile section of river downstream from Upper Pittsburg Landing to mile 180.2 is designated Scenic.

Although uncommon on most wild and scenic rivers, powerboats have been used on the Snake River in Hells Canyon National Recreation Area for many years and Congress included specific language in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area Act which allows their continued use.

Reservations are required during the primary season, which is the Friday before Memorial Day through September 10, 7 days a week in the Wild section and Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays in the Scenic section. The system will be available for current year reservations March 1, annually.

Wild River reservations are required for all powerboat trips between Hells Canyon Dam and Upper Pittsburg Landing during the Primary Season. Six wild river launches are available for each day. A wild river permit also allows use of the scenic river. Non-Motorized periods in the wild river have additional restrictions.

Scenic river permits are required on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from Cache Creek Administrative Site at the Oregon-Washington State Line to upper Pittsburg Landing during the primary season unless you have a wild river launch reservation which also allows use of the scenic river. Twenty-three scenic launches are available for each day; five of the 23 are for Lower Salmon River access and are day-use only.

The 1994 Wild and Scenic Snake River Recreation Management Plan (revised in 1999. Click here to view) established a non-motorized period. The objective of the period was to provide for extended periods of remoteness by limiting encounters with motorized users in the wild river section. The non-motorized section of the wild river is from Kirkwood Historic Ranch to Wild Sheep Rapids. Powerboat access will not be authorized during those times in that section of the wild river. Click Here to see the current year’s non-motorized calendar.

Self-issue river permits are required for the entire river corridor outside of the primary season, but do not require an advance reservation. They can be self-issued at any river portal.

Rafting and power-boating the rapids of Hells Canyon is not recommended for the inexperienced or poorly equipped. For more information about the most challenging areas in Hells Canyon, as well as trip lengths, consult the Wild and Scenic Snake River Boaters Guide

Know Before You Go
  • You must not be currently being penalized for a no-show or late cancellation on this river;
  • This reservation is for a private jetboat permit;
  • Valid motorized craft is defined as rigid hull craft with water-cooled exhaust (inboard shall have through-the hull exhaust) that are driven by propellers or jet pump (s), that are equipped with mufflers and/or other noise reduction devices. Motorized river craft must be at least 12 feet in length, but no longer than 39.6 feet in length;
  • Permit holder must be 18 years old by the launch date;
  • Permit holder will sign a permit affirming that they have read and understand the definition of a private jetboat trip;
  • Party size cannot exceed 24 people;
  • A human waste carry out system is required;
  • All boats will carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device for every person on board.
  • Call Idaho Power Company's Snake River information line at (800) 422-3143 for current and projected flow information.
  • Refer to the Snake River Rules and Regulations for more information about permits, floatcraft, non- motorized periods, camping and general rules
  • Contact Information

    HELLS CANYON - SNAKE RIVER (POWERBOAT)
    2535 Riverside Drive
    Clarkston, Washington
    99403
    Ph: 509-758-0616

    Phone Park for More Information:

    Information:  (509)758-0616
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