Trip Overview

Whitewater rafting on Idaho’s famed and scenic Lower Salmon River in late summer treats you to a week of fun rapids and sleepy flat water, relaxing days of paddling through canyons, capped by delicious hot meals, stories of the day by a campfire, and warm camaraderie. Rafting novices and solo travelers are welcome!

Whitewater rafting is exhilarating, and AdventureWomen has created the perfect opportunity for women at all levels of experience to join the fun on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho. The Class II-III rapids on the Lower Salmon are adrenaline-pumping balanced with plenty of swimming and laid-back lounging. Every evening closes with sweet slumber in your tent pitched at the river’s edge.

After arriving at your Lewiston, Idaho hotel, stow your gear and head to a local brewhouse to meet your guides with whom you’ll be boating and camping. Over a gastro-pub style meal and a frosty pint, get to know your rafting companions before the next day’s launch or “put in.”

Previous whitewater rafting experience is not required. You’ll just need a willingness to try paddling and learn how to steer the boat as a team, following your rafting guide’s commands! Friendly and experienced raft guides fit you with a personal flotation device (PFD), then lead you and your paddling companions through safety talks and explain how to follow their commands – “right turn,” “stop,” “back paddle” as a team. Don’t worry if you fall out of your raft; your experienced rafting guide is there to help you “self-rescue” and pop you right back in!

Along the way, your professional rafting guides will delight you with tales of the history, geology, and wildlife of Idaho’s Salmon River and even stop to show you indigenous art dating back thousands of years painted on the canyon walls. These talented outdoor leaders set up your tents, cook excellent camp meals, and regale you and your new friends with exciting stories as you relax in the evenings by a crackling campfire. Curious about the stars? Your guides will point out all the planets and constellations in the night sky amid the thicket of stars high overhead.

Some of the best hot spots for running the big white water rapids of the Lower Salmon River include Cougar Canyon and Snowhole Canyon. You’ll run big rapids here, including Snowhole, Bodacious Bounce, China, and the Gobbler. Power through the narrows at Blue Canyon on a long stretch of rapids, including Eye of the Needle, Checkerboard, Sluice Box, and Devil’s Slide. Conclude your five-day rafting trip on the Lower Salmon River, running the powerful rapids at the confluence of the Salmon with Idaho’s Snake River.

Throughout your week of rafting, you’ll enjoy warm solar showers at our riverside camps, as well as soap-free dips in the river along our route, but a hot shower after your rafting fun is a welcome respite on your return to civilization. Feeling fresh and dry, rejoin your river mates for a fun farewell meal with your excellent guides and the women paddling companions you’ve bonded with over whitewater thrills, campfire laughter,, and quiet nights falling asleep, listening to the Salmon’s flows.

Never been rafting before? No sweat! Look at how much fun you can have as you watch our Canadian Rockies group brave the whitewater!

Main Attractions

  • Five days of whitewater rafting fun paddling the rapids of the Lower Salmon River
  • Learn the basics of paddling as a team and how to read the river’s flows from experienced rafting guides
  • Enjoy eating and relaxing around the campfire
  • Learn about wildlife, geology, and Salmon River history and see native American Indian paintings

What You'll See and Do

  • Anthropology
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Natural Hot Springs
  • Swimming
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Wildlife Viewing

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lewiston
Take the free airport shuttle from the Lewiston Airport to the Hell’s Canyon Grand hotel. Meet at 6:45pm on the patio at MJBarleyhopper’s (in the Hell’s Canyon Grand hotel). Enjoy a lively welcome dinner as you get to know your fellow travelers this evening. Share stories and learn about why each woman on your trip is excited to get on the water!

You’ll be given dry bags and instructions on what to pack in which bag for tomorrow. Do not plan to bring any valuables or valuable jewelry on the river.

Overnight: Hell’s Canyon Grand Hotel

Day 2

Lewiston to the Salmon River
Leave Lewiston after an early breakfast and head out to the rafting trip launch point. On the way, stop at th Nez Perce National Historical Park for an introduction to the native peoples who lived along the Salmon River for thousands of years.

After about two hours, you’ll arrive at your launching point. Before you launch, you’ll be given a thorough safety briefing by one of your guides while the rest of the crew loads the gear onto the rafts. You’ll learn how to paddle, ride, and swim safely in rapids. Pick a paddle or oar boat and hop in! Test your paddling skills as you start to raft down the river!

Stop for a quick orientation in Leave No Trace ethics, and you’ll learn the proper place to dispose of trash, how to use the bathroom, and where you’ll be able to wash. After the orientation, enjoy an open-air lunch!

Raft until about 4:00pm, when you’ll stop and set up camp. You’ll have a chance to swim, play beach games, read, or just relax. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres around 6:00pm, and dinner will be around 7:30pm. Share stories around the campfire this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Riverside Camping

Day 3

The Salmon River
Wake up in camp and enjoy some tea or coffee before breakfast. Pack up, and set off on the boats for more rafting! Paddle your way into Green Canyon, which is the home of the famous Demon’s Drop and Wright Way rapids; these rapids are an incredible thrill! Enjoy lunch on a large beach. Take some time to relax, swim, and play some games on the sand.

This afternoon’s rafting is mostly peaceful with a few small rapids. Take some time to take photos and search for wildlife along the banks. These evenings will soon feel like it’s the way every day should be. Set up camp, go for a dip, and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dinner with your new friends!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Riverside Camping

Day 4

The Salmon River
On this thrill-packed whitewater rafting day, make your way through Snowhole Canyon and Cougar Canyon. Hit some larger rapids, including Snowhole, Bodacious Bounce, China, the Gobbler, Bunghole, and Lorna’s Lulu, which are sure to give you some great stories to take back home!

Stop along the river to see remnants of Chinese pit houses. Gold was discovered in the area in 1861, and in 1864, the area had been flooded by Chinese coming to seek their fortunes. By 1870, Idaho’s population was 25% Chinese. Using manual labor and archaic hydraulic systems, they moved hundreds of tons of rock and earth looking for gold. They built rock houses that still stand as a monument to these settlements and the endurance of the miners.

Play horseshoes, rig the volleyball net, or just take a hike up a nearby hill this evening. Fall asleep to the crackling of the campfire.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Riverside Camping

Day 5

The Salmon River
Spend another day rafting through gorgeous scenery. For those who are feeling adventurous, you’ll have a chance to swim through a rapid as you pass through Cottonwood Creek. You’ll also have a chance for a rock jump today!

After lunch, float to Blue Canyon. The canyon was named because of its dark bluish igneous rock which covers the striking landscape. The river gets narrower at this point and turns into one long stretch of wild rapids. Tear through Eye of the Needle, Checkerboard, Sluice Box, and Devil’s Slide.

Camp where the Salmon River merges with the Snake River on a stunning sandy beach. Natural beaches like this one are only seen on undammed rivers where sediment can travel freely down the river and finally come to rest, forming lovely beaches!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Riverside Camping

Day 6

The Salmon River to Lewiston
If you didn’t make it this far yesterday, you’ll see the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers today. There is a powerful energy where the mighty Salmon joins with the Snake at the bottom of Hell’s Canyon. After you join the Snake River, you’ll be pushed by twice as much water! The Snake River is the boundary between states, so Idaho will be on your right, and Oregon will be on your left.

Enjoy one final riverside lunch. After several more miles of awe-inspiring river, you’ll arrive at the stopping point of your river journey just below the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers. It is a quick 45 minute ride back to the town of Lewiston, where you can shower and repack your bags.

Have a farewell dinner with your new AdventureWomen friends. Reminisce over all of the memories you have made and celebrate the end of an amazing journey through this truly spectacular country.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hell’s Canyon Grand Hotel

Day 7

Depart Idaho
Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport on the free shuttle for your flights home.


Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants. This trip is operated by ROW Adventures. 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Lewiston, Idaho

Arrival and Departure Information

August 27, 2022 Departure:

Arrive: Arrive in Lewiston, Idaho (LWS) on August 27, 2022 before 6:00pm. Take the free airport shuttle from Lewiston Airport to the Hell’s Canyon Grand Hotel.

Depart: Depart Lewiston, Idaho (LWS) on September 2, 2022 any time.


We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  


Gratuities are highly trip-dependent and details will be provided to you prior to departure. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests $200-250 (or more) for gratuities on most trips. As always, tipping is at your discretion. 

Activity Level

We rate this trip as High Energy. Our High Energy adventures are designed for women who enjoy a physical challenge and crave being on the go! You should be prepared for itineraries that include (but are not limited to): a full day of biking on a rolling terrain, hiking 5-8 miles on moderate to steep trails, being active at high altitudes, whitewater rafting, or skiing. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more here.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800 and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Supplemental Rafting Release
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Supplemental Release for COVID

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

August 27th Departure Final Payment Date: May 29, 2022


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included


  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on single occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation in vehicles at 50% capacity
  • Fully-guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Rafting/hiking guides throughout the trip
  • 2 beers per day on the river/2 glasses of wine at dinner
  • One AdventureWomen Ambassador

Not Included

  • Airfare to and from Idaho
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages unless otherwise noted
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides and staff

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686


Hell's Canyon Grand Hotel
Immerse yourself in an exhilarating mix of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and intriguing culture at Hell's Canyon Grand Hotel. Enjoy a relaxing night dining at the on-site restaurant, have a drink at the bar with its own patio, or take a dip in the resort-style tub before retreating to your room.

Riverside Camping
Your camp will have sleeping tents with a sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, and self-inflating sleeping pads, and dining tables and chairs. Try your hand at setting up your tent!

At camp, you will have a toilet tent with a hand-washing system nearby, which will be available from the time you get to camp until you leave the next morning. During the day, a toilet will be available for solid waste. Bring ziplock bags for disposal of feminine hygiene products. Solar showers will be available for use with biodegradable products, but most women feel clean after frequent swimming!


If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

Packing Considerations: Weather in Idaho can vary widely day to day on the river. Packing properly for this trip is critical to your enjoyment while on the river. We recommend that you prepare yourself for three basic scenarios:

  • A cool day on the river
  • A warm or hot day on the river
  • Time spent lounging in camp

Weather in the area is unpredictable. You must come prepared for cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes even in the same day! You may not end up using all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all. Typical daytime temperatures can climb into the 80s and 90s, and the water temperature is usually in the 60s or 70s. Blue skies and sunshine are the norm, but it can rain any time, so be prepared with rain gear.

Your luggage must weigh less than 25lbs. You can either pack in a 12” x 13” x 24” soft-sided duffel bag (no hard frames or wheels are permitted), or you can pack smaller stuff sacks in a suitcase. You will be provided with a large dry bag to put your duffel or your stuff sacks in, along with your provided sleeping bag and pillow. If you bring a wheeled suitcase, it will be stored while you are on the river. You will also be given a smaller dry bag to put your daily essentials in - layers, rain gear, sunscreen.

Clothing and Gear On the River:

  • Duffel bag - 12” x 13” x 24” with no hard frames or wheels
  • 2 short sleeve shirts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 light long sleeve shirt (quick dry, for sun protection and cool evenings)
  • 2 pairs of shorts (quick dry recommended)
  • 1 pair light-weight pants (convertible pants are convenient)
  • 1 pair swim leggings with SPF
  • 1-2 bathing suits (2 piece suits are more convenient - think bathroom stops!)
  • 1 rain jacket
  • 1 pair of rain pants
  • 1 mid-weight fleece sweater
  • 1 cap, sun hat, or visor
  • 1 pair of river sandals - must have an ankle strap
  • 1 pair light- to mid-weight long underwear top and bottom
  • Sunglasses with retaining strap/cord
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle with carabiner

Clothing and Gear Off-River:

  • 2 short sleeve shirts
  • 1 pair of pants (light-weight nylon, cotton, or fleece)
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 mid-weight sweater
  • 1 sun dress (optional)
  • 1 sarong (optional but has many uses!)
  • Underwear and bras
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • Fishing gear and Idaho fishing license if you plan to fish. Gear must be in a protective case and disassembled. Only catch and release fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed.

AdventureWomen Essentials

  • Travel documents (identification, money)
  • Write down/print out travel insurance number
  • Travel alarm clock with spare batteries or waterproof watch
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Binoculars (optional; 8x40/42 models are excellent choices; center focus models are easiest)
  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery charger
  • Waterproof phone case for taking photos on the river
  • Power bank
  • Sunglasses, case, and strap
  • Spare glasses, contact lenses, cleaner, saline, etc.
  • Sunscreen and lip balm with SPF
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Hand wipes/hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Biodegradable soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • Small packet of tissues
  • Tampons and panty liners (avoid plastic applicators)
  • Earplugs: we recommend silicone earplugs
  • Assortment of stuff sacks and bags (please consider bringing reusable or silicone bags to reduce the use of disposable plastics)
  • Garbage bags for separating dirty/wet clothes
  • 1-2 bandanas/Buff
  • Reading material/journal and pens
  • Cards, games, musical instruments

Personal First Aid Kit

  • Prescription medicine you usually take
  • Personal epi pen (if you need one, don’t forget to pack it!)
  • Bandages, Gauze, Ace bandage, blister prevention
  • Antiseptic wipes/spray
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Cotton-tipped applicators
  • Oral rehydration tablets/packets
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Mild laxative
  • Antacid
  • Cold remedies
  • Ibuprofen/acetaminophen
  • Eye drops
  • Tweezers, scissors (travel size), safety pins

If you prefer to buy a complete kit, we recommend the Smart Travel first aid kit.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686