Wild and Scenic Snake River - Floater Guide Summary

  • THE PRIMARY SEASON extends from the Friday preceding Memorial Day weekend May 27nd through September 10th.
  • THE SECONDARY SEASON extends from September 11 through the Thursday before Memorial Day.
  • WILD RIVER RESERVATIONS – from Hells Canyon Dam to Upper Pittsburg Landing – are required for the issuance of a trip permit, seven days a week during the primary season. There are three private permit launches each day. These reservations can be obtained either through the 4 rivers Lottery or by picking up a cancelation once the lottery reservations have been allocated.  Both processes can only be done through the website www.recreation.gov or by calling Reserve America at 877-444-6777. 
  • SCENIC RIVER RESERVATIONS – from Pittsburg Landing and Dug Bar – are required for the issuance of a trip permit on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays during the primary season. These reservations can be reserved by calling 509-758-0616. Scenic River launches Monday through Thursday (except Holidays) do not require an advance reservation and can be self issued. Self-issue permits must be completed at a permit station at Pittsburg Landing or Dug bar.
  • SELF-ISSUE RIVER PERMITS are required for the entire river corridor during the secondary season, but do not require an advance reservation. They can be self-issued at any river portal. They cannot be used in place of a reserved launch in the Wild River between Hells Canyon Dam and Upper Pittsburg Landing during the primary season.
  • SPECIAL USE PERMITS FOR OUTFITTING AND GUIDING are required for all commercial float trips in the entire river corridor year round.
  • In 2016, the first non-motorized period will be June 6, 7, and 8. If the 4th of July holiday falls on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, that week will be skipped and the non-motorized periods will continue the following week and every other week thereafter. There are 18 non-motorized days in the 2013 primary season. The non-motorized section of the Wild River is from Kirkwood Historic Ranch to Wild Sheep Rapids. Powerboat access will not be authorized during those times in that section of the wild river.
  • MAXIMUM PARTY SIZE is 24 persons, including overnight use at river campsites. Multiple parties (float and/or power) may camp together as long as the maximum party size is not exceeded.
  • MAXIMUM NUMBER OF FLOAT CRAFT is 8 per party.  
  • All boats must carry at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device for every person on board.
  • Overnight camping is prohibited at the Hells Canyon Creek Recreation Site, Pittsburg Administrative Areas, Cache Creek Administrative Site and those areas under Special Use Permit – Sheep Creek and Temperance Creek.
  • Camping for one night only is permitted at either at Granite Creek and the Oregon Hole during the primary season. All other sites have a two-night stay limit in the Wild River and a three-night stay limit in the Scenic River during the primary season.
  • SOLID HUMAN WASTE carryout equipment and its use are required at all times in the river corridor.
  • The burning of wood in firepans is prohibited in the river corridor from July 1 through September 15 each year. Gas stoves and charcoal in a fire pan or barbeque are acceptable. Fire pans are required yearlong and open campfires are no longer allowed. All firewood for camp use must be packed in. The use of chainsaws is prohibited.
  • Fireworks are prohibited yearlong.
  • All garbage and trash must be packed out.  
  • Kicker motors may not be used in the Wild River but can be used in the Scenic River.
  • Cultural Resources are protected by law from vandalism, destruction or theft. Collection of historic and prehistoric artifacts is prohibited.
  • If you are planning to use an outfitter and guide, be sure that person has the proper license. Licensing is for the protection of the public.
  • Trip leaders are responsible for the conduct of the members of their party during the entire trip. Inappropriate behavior resulting in complaints from other river users can result in loss of access to the permit system.   For more information contact:

Recreation.gov toll free line: (877) 444-6777

Reservation info and general Hells Canyon info: (509) 758-0616

Hells Canyon Creek Launch: 541-785-3395

 Your cooperation and support in the use of the reservation system and on the river will be appreciated by everyone.

Thank you