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“Great trip made even better by a great pilot”

Snake Dancer Excursions
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Clarkston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Hells Canyon Jet Boat Tours on The Snake River provided by Snake Dancer Excursions. Full or Half Day trips available. Discount Kids Rates Snake Dancer Excursions has been family owned and operated since 1970. We are the only tour operator that takes you the furthest from Hells Canyon Resort and Marina all the way to Hells Canyon Dam. You can choose Full or Half Day Scenic Tours, or Fishing Charters for Bass, Trout, Sturgeon and Steelhead.Snake Dancer is famous for our homemade buffet style lunch and cookies, smaller tour boats for a more personalized tour.We are proud to take friends, family and visitors from all over the world into Hells Canyon "The Deepest River Gorge In North America"."Treating You Special is Our Speciality"Snake Dancer Excurions
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Sterling, Kansas, United States
1 review
“Great trip made even better by a great pilot”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Our full day trip to Hells Canyon Dam was easily the highlight of our trip this summer. We researched several companies and were very happy that we chose Snake Dancer. Gabe has grown up on the river and it showed. All along the way, we met up with locals who told us that he was the best pilot on the river. He shared fun historical facts along the way, and balanced the 240 mile trip with laid back relaxation and the excitement of the rapids. He never rushed the trip - stopping to let us watch a fawn swim within feet of the boat, pointing out petroglyphs, bald eagles, and other wildlife, and even holding the boat steady as we pointed upstream in the roar of the rapids so that we could take photos of the water cascading over the boulders. He kept us fairly dry in the cool of the morning, but we were soaked and having a blast in the heat of the afternoon.

We stopped at a beautiful spot for breakfast, and at lunch, while the other boat companies had their tours eat in the boats, we enjoyed fried chicken under the giant canopy of a maple tree at a historical site along the canyon. Gabe served homemade cookies on the way back.

If you are considering this trip, we highly recommend the all day ride. There is a lot of excitement past the half day turnaround point. Also, consider the ways that the tour company will add to your experience. We passed larger boats that were PACKED with people. I remember thinking to myself how thankful I was for the smaller boat with room to move around. Several other boats had "windows" protecting the riders, but we much preferred the openness of the Snake Dancer. We could reach out and touch the water, see the canyon clearly, and of course, get wet! Who wants to take a trip like this and feel like you are riding a bus?

The canyon is beautiful - just a great trip.

We can't speak too highly of Gabe and his support staff. This is a great company and they offer a great experience. After watching the video, our children want a shot at this trip. We would hire Snake Dancer again without a second thought.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sarah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TravelerForFun1999, Owner at Snake Dancer Excursions, responded to this review, February 9, 2014
Thank You for your feedback/compliments! The Canyon Speaks for itself but we strive to give the best experience of Hells Canyon along with great food.
We would enjoy taking more of your family.
Thank You!

Snake Dancer Excursions
Since 1970
"Treating You Special is Our Speciality"
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59 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Snohomish
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A Great Day on the Snake River”
Reviewed July 14, 2012

We were suppose to take the all day trip to the Hells Canyon Dam but the upper part of the river to the dam was closed to powered water craft. Certain days of the week in the summer the upper part of river is open to kayakers and rafters only. So be sure to ask about this when making reservations if you want to go on the all day trip. We didn't find out about this until someone from Snake Dancers called us but it was too late to change our excursion because we were driving and almost to Clarkston, WA by then.

However, the trip we ended up taking was great. Gabe was a good captain, knew the area well so could provide detailed information along the way and stopped the boat to point out sights of interest. The buffet lunch and cookies were excellent. We much preferred the smaller boat with fewer passengers. We would recommend this trip.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank kakeeter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TravelerForFun1999, Owner at Snake Dancer Excursions, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Snake Dancer Excursions would like to thank you and appreciates you taking the time to write about us on Trip Advisor. We are glad that we did get to take you into The Hells Canyon and you enjoyed it! Yes, jet boat tours are available 7 days a week............although The United States Forest Service closes the very upper end of Hells Canyon to non- motorized "Floaters" every other week (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday ONLY thank goodness) Memorial Weekend through Labor Day.
We would love to have you again and lets plan around those days so you can experience the big class IV and V rapids!
Snake Dancer Excursions will still be serving the best buffet style lunch and the cookies of course.
Thanks again for Choosing Snake Dancer Excursions with us and taking the time to review our company.
Snake Dancer Excursions
"Treating You Special Is Our Speciality"
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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best river trip with the best tour guide”
Reviewed July 13, 2012

Took the half day tour. My husband andI enjoyed our day so much and we want to come back again. Gabe was agreat captain and host and he really knows how to ride the rapids. We will return to Snake Dancer for our next river trip.It was a great day...:-)

Helpful?
2 Thank spdracer1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TravelerForFun1999, Owner at Snake Dancer Excursions, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
You are one of many that come on our 5 Hour "Dug Bar Tour" and get a 120 mile round trip and want to come back for more. We are so glad that you enjoyed your day with us and hope to see you again on "The Ultimate" Hells Canyon Dam Trip.
Snake Dancer Excursions appreciates the time you took to review and rate us.
Have a great rest of your summer!
Sincerely,
Snake Dancer Excursions
Bill, Gabe, Julie, Laura, & Clayton
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Daphne, Alabama
Level Contributor
80 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Fun Up-River Trip”
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Beloved and I quite enjoyed the 1/2 day trip. It has been well described by other reviewers.
While there were children on the boat, we were happy that we left our 11y.o. behind. Boredom did set in with the kids, though our pilot, Gabe, did a good job trying to keep them interested.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank alwaysamber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TravelerForFun1999, Owner at Snake Dancer Excursions, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Thank You so much for taking the time to write about your trip with Snake Dancer Excursions. We are glad that you had a fun and enjoyable time in Hells Canyon.
We are fortunate to be able to provide safe and fun jet boat tours to all ages. The Question pops up often........"Kids or no Kids?"
We have lots of children on our tours and they enjoy the rapids, scenery, wildlife, swimming, cookies and seem to have a funfilled trip. We do have a lot of parents that leave the kids at home too. We don't believe you could go wrong on a jet boat tour in Hells Canyon.
We love to hear I had a FUN RIVER TRIP!
Thanks Again,
Snake Dancer Excursions
Quality Tours since 1970
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Casa Grande, Arizona
2 reviews
“Wonderful Trip”
Reviewed June 22, 2012

Was suppose to do the full day trip to the dam (11 hours ) but they didn't have enough people and we got switched to the half day trip to Dug Bar (5-6 hours), turned out to be a great trip. Gabe owner and captain of our trip was very friendly as was the staff at check-in. He had knowledge of the river and history to make for one exciting trip. Did get to go thru some class 2-3 rapids. Lunch was served buffet style but all the food except the fried chicken was home made and absolutly delicious. This is a must do if your in the area.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
Thank jgrassoiii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Snake Dancer Excursions, responded to this review, June 25, 2012
We are glad you enjoyed your tour into Hells Canyon! Thanks for the compliment on the lunch, we are known for one of the best buffet style spreads and have to keep our cookie recipe handy for requests. Your compliments have been passed on the the captain, reservation clerk and of course the cook! Again we are sorry that you had to move to another tour, but tis the season when we are just getting busy. We hope for full boats on our tours the rest of this summer. Hope to see you in the future and we will take you all the way to The Hells Canyon Dam!
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