Snake - J) Pittsburg Landing (or Salmon) to Heller Bar

Snake, Idaho, US/Oregon, US/Washington, US


J) Pittsburg Landing (or Salmon) to Heller Bar

Usual Difficulty II (for normal flows)
Length 46.3 Miles

Lower Snake

Lower Snake
Photo by Thomas O'Keefe taken 07/03/05

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-13290450 8000 - 80000 cfs II 00h35m 11600 cfs (running)

River Description

This is the last section of the Snake regularly used by whitewater boaters. Those who boat this section will be either continuing on downstream from Pittsburgh Landing which is the traditional take-out for Hell's Canyon trips or coming from the Salmon River where it joins the Snake.

This lower section of Hell's Canyon has some beautiful scenery and great beach camping especially downstream of the Salmon River confluence. You will be sharing the river with jet boats which during the peak of the summer season will always be in sight. There are several fun bigwater class II rapids with a couple featuring some great wave trains. 


You have a couple different options for this trip. You can start from Pittsburg Landing on the Snake River  located at river mile 215.0 (or if you are on Hell's Canyon trip just continue on downstream). This trip is also done as an extension of a Lower Salmon trip since there is no road access where the Salmon joins the Snake at river mile 188.2. Although there are a couple private ranch roads, the next public access to the Snake is just downstream of the confluence with the Grande Ronde on river left at river mile 168.7. This is the public boat launch at Heller Bar which also has overnight parking.  

Permit Information

Four Rivers Lottery Permit information

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-11-15 20:54:35


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-213.5Pleasant Valley RapidsII+
-195.1Warm Springs RapidsII+
-191.6Imnaha RapidsIII

Rapid Descriptions

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Associated Projects

  • Lower Salmon River (ID)
    The Lower Salmon River offers a wonderful multi-day river trip managed by the BLM, yet us under-protected compared to most other multi-day destinations. AW has worked with the BLM on recreational man
  • Snake River Restoration (ID, OR, WA)
    AW is working with a coalition of partners to restore the Snake and Salmon Rivers in Idaho for fish and paddlers.