South of Jackson, where the Hoback joins the Snake River and the canyon walls become steep, there are lively white-water sections. But the upper Snake, whose rating is Class I and II, is a river for those who value scenery over white-water thrills. For the most part, floating rather than taking on rapids is the theme of running the Snake. As such, it’s a good choice for families with children. What makes the trip special is the Teton Range, looming as high as 8,000 feet above the river. This float trip can also be combined with two or more days of kayaking on Jackson Lake. Raft trips take place between June and September. Experienced paddlers run the Hoback, too.
The Snake River’s western Idaho portion has earned a strange footnote in history. It’s the river that Evel Knievel tried (and failed miserably) to jump over on a rocket-powered motorcycle in the mid-1970s.
Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trips. If you take a float trip with Barker-Ewing Scenic Float Trips, you will travel the peaceful parts of the Snake River looking for wildlife as knowledgeable guides talk about area history, plants, and animals. 307/733–1800 or 800/365–1800. www.barkerewing.com.
Rendezvous River Sports. Rendezvous River Sports is the premiere paddle-sports outfitter in the region, offering expert instruction so you can test yourself on western Wyoming's ancient rivers and lakes. The company also schedules more relaxed and scenic trips, including guided tours of Slide, Lewis, and Yellowstone lakes, and rapid-shooting rides on the Hoback River down Granite Creek to the Snake River while you marvel at south Jackson's majestic canyons. Raft, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard rentals are also available. 945 W. Broadway, Jackson, WY, 83001. 307/733–2471 or 800/733–2471. www.jacksonholekayak.com.