55 Foot Keelboat 152 Foot M/V Sea Bird

Daily Itinerary

The Willamette and the Lower Columbia

Eastern Washington's Wine Country

Clarkston and Hells Canyon

Palouse River

Columbia River Gorge


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Wednesday, October 2 - Clarkston and Hells Canyon

When we woke up, we were anchored in the Snake River near Clarkston, Washington. After breakfast, we had a short video about the geology of Hell's Canyon and then went on jet boats for a trip up the Middle Snake River to Hell's Canyon. This stretch of River forms the border between Washington and Idaho, and further along between Oregon and Idaho.

It was a beautiful and exciting wilderness ride, going over several rapids, with sightings of golden eagles and big horn sheep along the way. The boats go very fast through these rapids - 30 to 45 mph with a draft of only twelve inches.

After passing the sign marking the Washington-Oregon border, we stopped for coffee and a snack at Cache Creek, which is the official northern entry to Hell's Canyon. We then went on to China Gulch for lunch, passing the mouth of the Salmon River, and stopping along the way to see big horn sheep grazing on ledges near the riverbank. This was our furthest extent up the Middle Snake, but it gave us a vivid sample of the Wild and Scenic corridor of the river. On the ride back we stopped at a private ranch at Buffalo Eddy to see petroglyphs that are very old.

When we got back to the ship, it was docked at Clarkston. After a brief pit stop we boarded a bus for the Nez Perce National Historical Park visitor center near Spalding, Idaho. There we had an informative talk and saw a small museum with Nez Perce pictures, clothing, etc. Tomorrow's destination is the Palouse River.

Related Links

Driving from Seattle to Portland and back

Tour of Portland

Lindblad Log

Harry Fritz on Lewis and Clark

River Basin Map

Columbia Basin Hydroelectric Projects

The Batterman's Web Site