Flat water rafting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming was not really on itinerary when we left on a cross country auto trip that took us, among other places, to the magnificent Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Wyoming. We had arranged to stay at the park over four nights before moving on south in our quest to reach Grand Canyon. Jackson Hole offered a respite from the car travel, a chance to regroup, stretch and hopefully see some wildlife. We did all of those things but added in some horseback riding and decided to give flat water rafting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming a try.
We toyed with the idea of white water rafting and then decided that it was a little more ambitious than we were ready for and got consensus on trying a flat water rafting expedition instead. Through the Grand Teton Lodge, website at http://www.gtlc.com we found we could make arrangements to take our first flat water rafting trip ( unless you want to count the Congo River Rapids Amusement Ride at Great Escape, NY ). You can arrange for flat water rafting trips on the Snake River that run morning or afternoon or if you want to pay a little more you can engage a flat water rafting experience that develops into a luncheon or supper event.
With five of us involved we opted for the less expensive, no meal thank you, voyage and correctly guessed that we would in fact see pretty much the same scenery as the supper and lunch crowd what we didn’t plan on was how incredible the scenery really would be. Signing on for flat water rafting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming meant putting yourself in a whole new relationship with the Park around you and seeing the mountains and surrounding wilderness from a very unique and unobstructed perspective.
We had totally enjoyed the opportunities afforded us to hop out of our car and observe nearby wildlife on the park roads in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park but somehow floating along the Snake River through the wilderness was something so very much more intimate. From our own little boat perch we were perfect positioned to take wonderful pictures. Relieved from the need to control the raft, a task managed nicely by our guide, we had both hands free to point out the beauty of the wilderness to one another as we floated past.
The territory that surrounds the gentle sections of the Snake River is alive with bird life and our guide was expert and spotting, pointing out and naming the birds we saw. Our quiet approach made it possible to catch sight of many birds that were brand new to us. Especially memorable was seeing our first bald eagle, perched above us on a near dead branch, quite visible and quite impressive. . Besides all the wild life and the beauty of the nature around us we also found that all of us were enjoying the rafting portion of the program for itself. The raft moved along at a nice pace giving you plenty of time to spot wildlife but not moving so slowly as to put you to sleep. For the kids there were even occasional mini rapids that gave them a thrill but not making their parents too crazy either.
We discovered after the fact that there are other outfitters that you can retain that offer combination trips on the Snake River. You can spend a whole day on the river if you choose with the morning spent on flat water, followed by lunch and then spend the afternoon dealing with the trills and chills of white water action on the Snake. For our family, flat water rafting proved to be a good mix of what we could afford and what we felt comfortable with. For us as a family our flat water rafting at Jackson Hole Wyoming was an adventure that serves as a permanent bond and something we will never forget. For me, it continues to stand out as a trip I hope to repeat one day, perhaps with some grand children along for the ride.