Idaho is home to miles and miles of free-flowing whitewater rivers. You won’t find adventures like ours in any other state. The Hells Canyon area in particular is home to two spectacular rivers: the Snake River, which flows directly through the canyon, and the nearby Salmon River that flows around it. If you’ve only got time for one, think about your favorite aquatic activities. Let’s compare the Salmon River and the Snake River—which one is right for you?

Natural History

When you take your Snake River jet boat tour through the heart of the canyon, you’ll see the results of thousands of years of geological history and human settlement. Our experienced tour guides have inside information about the history of the canyon.

Did you know that the Salmon River is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48? It flows through a deep canyon of its own and holds unique opportunities for outdoor adventure just like the Snake River does.


We at River Adventures are famous for our guided jet boat tours along the Snake River. If you’re looking for a relaxing day on the water and can only choose one adventure, the Snake River may be your best bet.

The underrated but invigorating Salmon River is a welcome opportunity for rafters and kayakers to make their own way down the free-flowing waters. If you’re ready to get splashed, try an adventure on the Salmon River.

Fishing Opportunities

The Snake River holds a great deal of biodiversity in its waters. Bass, crappie, catfish, trout—you never know what you’ll reel in, but you’re sure to have a productive day. Ask about our guided fishing tours for more insider info and expert fishing tips and tricks.

Meanwhile, the Salmon River is a haven for steelhead trout. If you like to fish during the winter months, we can guide you towards the best cold-weather fishing in the area. The Salmon River is a great place to fish if you prefer to do so in December!

When planning your vacation to Hells Canyon, pack your calendar with activities while allowing plenty of time to relax. If you’ve only got time to experience one river during your trip, the Snake River will offer you a peek at history while you enjoy aquatic activities. When comparing the Snake River and the Salmon River and deciding which one is right for you, call River Adventures for friendly, reliable advice.