Barker Ewing Rafting Courtesy of VisitJacksonHole

Jackson Hole Whitewater Rafting

A summer vacation in Jackson Hole isn't complete without a raft trip! Float down the Snake River for a relaxing expedition for the whole family. For the thrill-seekers, our whitewater rafting adventures are perfect!

Match a hot day with the famous whitewater rapid, Big Kahuna, or pair a cool evening with sunset, light hors d'ouvres, and cocktails! In addition to viewing the majestic Teton Mountain Range, the limestone cliffs of the Snake River Canyon, and the impressive horizon of Grey's National Forest, there is a wealth of wildlife along the river. Bald eagles, moose, marmots, pelicans, beavers, and osprey are just a few of the species that frequent the valley.

Choose either a white-knuckle whitewater rafting trip or a calm, scenic float. Both are great options for exploring Jackson Hole. 

Find a list of experienced guides for a memorable summer adventure.


Written by longtime Jackson Hole local Frederick Reimers

Jackson Hole's lakes, rivers and streams offer world-class floating, fishing, and whitewater. Water, we are beginning to learn, is a phenomenon more soothing than any other. I’m not just talking about a cold dip on a hot day. Scientists are now starting to understand that merely looking at water can make us happier.

British studies have measured the fact that views of the sea and other blue spaces make us happier than other landscapes. Some researchers think the reason could be an evolutionary legacy— that our biggest evolutionary step was actually learning to fish and gleaning the omega 3 fatty acids. Others, like Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, author of Blue Mind, think that water bodies trigger a sense of awe.”

”It’s a mix of dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins, he says. And activation of the brain’s ‘default mode network’ which gives us a sense of oneness with the universe and self-referential thoughts.” Whatever the mechanism, it’s no wonder that so many hotels are situated on the water, as visitors are eager for glittering views. Luckily for locals and visitors alike, Jackson Hole is awash with waterways and opportunities to enjoy them.

The Snake River is Jackson Hole’s through line, starting at Jackson Lake, a widening of the river in a basin carved by long-ago receded glaciers. Rent a boat and cruise beneath the ramparts of the northern Tetons. Float the Snake River through Grand Teton National Park to see osprey wheeling in front of the Grand. Book a fishing trip and flick flies while your guide rows you into just the right spot. Or test your nerve with a rollicking adventure through the whitewater of the Alpine Canyon.

Each of these are fantastic adventures, flush with challenge and natural splendor. But it’s comforting for me to remember, especially towards the tail end of our high season, that in order to access the calming effects of our valley’s waterways, all I really have to do is turn towards the water and open my eyes and ears.