Floating the Snake River

General Information
Floating the Snake River offers a chance to experience an outstanding natural area. Flowing west from its source in the Teton Wilderness, the river enters Yellowstone National Park, then flows south through the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway, and into Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. Regaining its free-flowing character at the Jackson Lake Dam, the river winds through the park.

The Snake is a complex river to float. The beauty and lack of whitewater often lull floaters into inattentiveness. A tangle of channels and constant shifting of logjams present difficulties found on few whitewater rivers. Accidents occur often. Use caution whenever you float.

Information on flow rates and additional caution areas are posted at river landings, visitor centers, the Rockefeller Parkway and Buffalo Fork Ranger Stations. Reports are updated weekly or whenever significant change in river conditions occur. Even boaters frequently floating the Snake should check conditions before every trip, as the river can change overnight. River flow varies greatly throughout the summer. Water depths average 2 to 3 feet, but exceed 10 feet in a few locations. Boulders and bottom irregularities cause standing waves up to 3 feet high. Typically, spring flows will be muddy, extremely cold, and very high, increasing the difficulty of all river sections. As snowmelt diminishes, volume decreases and waters clear. In spite of reduced flow, the current stays deceptively strong. Logjams and tight turns remain. Always set up maneuvers well in advance and make decisions early. Take into consideration traditionally strong upstream winds, especially when canoeing.

Click here for Snake River Floating Map

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