Friday, August 24, 2012

Hells Canyon Jet Boat Tour

Here at Cornucopia Lodge we are always sending customers down to go on a jet boat tour with Hells Canyon Adventures. Today I decided that mom, dad and I should really go on the tour. Thankfully we didn't have anyone booked at the lodge... so we went!

We ended up going on the 6 hour tour, which takes you 57 miles round trip.  The whole thing started off next to the Hells Canyon Dam.  From the dam we boarded the boat then began down the Snake. Side fact: Hells Canyon is more than 125 miles long of which 40 miles is over a mile deep. It reaches a depth of 7900 ft. The maximum depth of the the Grand Canyon is 6000 vertical feet. This makes Hells Canyon the deepest canyon in North America by 1900 feet! 
A view from the back of the boat looking
 at Hells Canyon
The Kirkwood tour was really exciting because we got to experience everything from a class one rapid to a class four. I didn't think I was going to like it first, but it turned out to be really awesome!  I was also super thrilled because we got to see a cute little baby bear cub, had two separate sightings of big horn sheep, saw some chuckers, and of course got to enjoy the amazing scenery. 

Our lunch stop was great because I'm not used to such a 'gourmet' lunch out in the middle of nowhere. I guess we can't make a super fancy lunch and take it with us on horseback for day rides. We even got brownies for dessert! Speaking of our lunch stop, we stopped at the historic Kirkwood ranch for lunch. I can't imagine living in Hells Canyon and trying to ranch. Well, actually I can image it. It would be a neat place to live. 
Dad & I on the jet boat
Mom on the jet boat
Once lunch was finished we headed back up the river to face the rapids we had previously come down. It was really fun until we hit the class four rapids. Normally the guide takes the boat up, looks for on-coming traffic, then roars through the rapids. However, there was some floaters in the way. Problem was that they weren't coming down the rapid or moving out of the way. After wasting some time, and fuel, our guide finally decided to go for it.  I don't know if it was frustration or low water levels, but we went crashing into a rock!  Everyone was ok, except one lady who ended up with a goose-egg on her head.  Sure makes for a good story though! Our guide said that is the first time he has ever hit a rock in the river.  I blame the floaters.

You'll have to watch the video that is below. I got some great footage of the river with my GoPro!
Hint: After hitting the play button you can click on the gear and it will say settings... change that to 720pHD for improved video quality! 

 Here's the video for you!

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