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The Boathouse Blog

Glacier National Park and Rafting

Is it time for you and your family to experience the natural wonders of the Western UnitedChina Bar States? Combine a whitewater rafting expedition with a visit to one of the west’s National Park treasures. We have helped many families plan their trips out west and have found this itinerary to work really well. Spend 4 or 5 days floating through Hells Canyon on the Snake River or the Canyons of the Salmon River, two of the west’s premier wilderness rivers, with 3 or 4 days exploring one or more of our spectacular national parks.

Itinerary: Western Rafting and National Park Adventure

Glacier National Park, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa Mountains

Airport Portal to Adventure: The Lewiston, Idaho airport has daily flights on Delta and Alaskan airlines. The Delta flights are most convenient for travelers coming from the east as your connection is through Salt Lake City for these flights. Lewiston is the perfect jumping off point for this adventure. You might also consider Spokane, Washington as an option.

After spending your arrival night in Lewiston, ID we suggest you beginGLACIER-NATIONAL-PARK your trip north to Whitefish, Montana. This is a very scenic 6 hour drive through Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and past Flathead Lake. Driving directions: Whitefish is a beautiful little mountain town located on the banks of Whitefish Lake. Begin to plan your stay in Whitefish by visiting Explore Whitefish. Whitefish is the perfect jumping off point for your visit to Glacier National park. You might also consider staying in the park at 1 of their lodges.

Glacier is full of wonderful day hikes and spectacular drives fun for the entire family. This is a park that should be on everyone’s not to miss destination list. After spending a few days exploring the park it will be time to head toward “The River”.


Next Stop on your travel plan will be beautiful Joseph, OR.  You will retrace your path back to Lewiston, ID and then continue south for another 2 hours to Joseph. Click here to begin planning your time in Joseph, OR. Take a look at our Joseph Insiders guide to learn more about all of the wonderful activities there are to do in town, on Wallowa Lake and up in the Wallowa Mountains and Eagle Cap Wilderness.

After a few days exploring Joseph and surrounding areas it will be time to get ready for your joseph_or_main-smfloat down the Snake River in Hells Canyon. There will be a pre trip meeting at the Winding Waters Boathouse in Joseph, OR the night before your scheduled launch date. When the much anticipated launch day arrives you will park your car at the boathouse, lock your phone and valuables in our safe and load up in the van for the trip over the mountains to the Hells Canyon launch site. Once on the river you will be free from all outside distractions and be able to fully immerse yourself in the wilderness and in your family and friends who are joining you on this adventure.   After spending 4 or 5 days rafting, camping, eating amazing food, hiking, exploring and simply slowing down, it will be time to leave the river behind and head back to Joseph, OR. We always recommend spending 1 more day in Joseph after the trip allowing you to ease back into life.

After your final night in Joseph you will load up and head back to Lewiston, ID to catch your flight back home. This trip will be the western adventure that you have dreamed of taking your family on. Be prepared for these memories to dominate your family conversation at Thanksgiving and Christmas for many years to come.

Lewiston to Whitefish Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Lewiston,+ID/Whitefish,+Mt/@47.5625913,-116.9688482,7.97z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x54a1ac07f2a390b7:0x5abfd839e364a42e!2m2!1d-117.0011889!2d46.4004089!1m5!1m1!1s0x536669ab14afecb5:0xccca7a6b8837463e!2m2!1d-114.3352652!2d48.4106373