Ten miles of fast water with numerous channels and strainers. Class II. You must have river reading skills and be able to put your canoe where you want it quickly. This section of river has great views of the Tetons and is used by fishing dories and sightseeing rafts. This was a fun stretch to paddle due to the challenging conditions.
Five miles of lake type paddling through Oxbow Bend to Pacific Creek. Numerous eagles, osprey and waterfowl, otters, deer and occasionally a moose. The current picks up past Pacific Creek and for ten more miles the river becomes braided with a faster flow and numerous strainers, making this a low Class II. This is a very scenic paddle with great views of the Tetons.
Nice stretch of low Class II river with several boat ramps. We paddled 17 miles at at 3,550 CFS. We were in the water for approximately three and a half hours. The fast flow resulted in easy paddling, regardless of the occasional standing waves, whirlpools and multiple channels. The river runs along the road in places, but this didn't detract from the enjoyment as there are sections with nice views of mountains and cottonwood and pine trees lining the river. We used Snake River Shuttle(307-690-4866, snakerivershuttle.com) for all three sections of the upper Snake. The truck was at the takeout each time when promised and we would recommend them if you need shuttle services in the area. Note: A Wyoming Invasive Species sticker is required to paddle anywhere in Wyoming and a Grand Teton National Park Boat Pass is required to paddle anywhere in the park.
Upper Snake River, Deadman's Bar to Moose, 8/21/15
Upper Snake River, Jackson Dam to Deadman's Bar, 8/20/15
Upper Snake River, South Park Bridge to West Table Creek, 8/19/15
We put in the morning of August 16th at the base of Palisades Dam. There is a $3.00 day usage fee. You may also want to pay the day use for Byington separately, but purchase at the same time. Be sure to put both ticket stubs on your dashboard with the dates visible. You will also need an Idaho invasive species permit, which can be requested online. You are asked to register where you will camp each night. There is a map showing the camping available at the self permit station. Be sure to note which side of the river your site is on or you may miss it. Each location has several individual sites. We found the camps to be clean and easily accessible for the most part. Some were larger than others and would be suitable for larger groups.
We used Julie's Shuttle Service (208-483-2903) to run our truck to the takeout. It was stored in her secure lot until the day we got off the river and was there when promised. We recommend Julie's to anyone needing a shuttle service.
The river was at 8,500 CFS when we paddled. We would rate this as an easy Class II due to the fast flow and standing waves. We did not see any strainers and very few rocks, but this can change at different CFS's. The water was very clear and was not overly cold.
The river started out surrounded by riverfront housing and low rolling hills. The river became more primitive after Conant Boat Access and remains that way down to Byington. There were cliffs, low mountains and valleys. There is a very nice waterfall up river from the Conant Boat Access. There are a few additional access points along the river for day trips and it is occasionally bordered by roads. This is a popular fishing area and there were numerous dories on day trips, along with rafts.
We enjoyed this section of river and plan to do this trip again.
South Fork of the Snake River, Palisades Dam to Byington, Idaho, August 2015 and 2016