Riding the Snake: spring river runs highlight a lazy Idaho day in Hagerman.
Tucked in a bend of the Snake just 32 miles northwest of Twin Falls, Hagerman is the start for two types of river trips. Downriver, a 10-mile stretch of water delivers a four- to five-hour run that's a great introduction to whitewater rafting. "People are surprised by it," says Olin Gardner, whose Idaho Guide Service offers early-season trips here. "We've got so many rivers in Idaho that it's just not as appreciated as it should be." Most of the water is lazy, with glimpses of deer and blue herons, but a half-dozen class 2 and 3 rapids add excitement.
For a more mellow ride, motor up-stream on a pontoon boat operated by 1000 Springs Tours. Riley Creek Falls and smaller springs cascade over dark canyon walls, providing drama on this two-hour cruise.
Tiny Hagerman does offer a few diversions for confirmed landlubbers. At the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument visitor center (open Thu-Sun; 221 N. State St.; www.nps.gov/bafo or 208/837-4793), get a feel for the city's prehistoric denizens from fossils found during several digs sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service (the monument itself is across the river). Shops like Prism Stained Glass (open Tue-Fri; 220 S. State; 208/837-6097) and Snake River Pottery (555E River Rd.; 208/837-6527) anchor a growing local art scene.
The Snake River Grill (corner of State and Hagerman Streets; 208/837-6227) is the area's best restaurant. Chef and owner Kirt Martin serves a hearty breakfast and features fresh local trout and sturgeon at lunch and dinner--a satisfying end to a day on the river.
RELATED ARTICLE: On the river
WHERE: From -84 coming from Boise, take the Bliss exit (U.S. 30); coming from Twin Falls, take the second Wendell exit. CONTACT: Idaho Guide Service, $60 including lunch; www.idahoguideservice.com or (888) 734-3246. 1000 Springs Tours, $24 cruise only, $40 brunch/dinner cruise; www.northrim.net/tst or (208) 837-9006.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||Hagerman, Idaho, company provides whitewater rafting trips on the Snake River|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2003|
|Previous Article:||Get a glimpse of paradise: at open days, sneak a peek at glorious private gardens. (Travel).|
|Next Article:||Artful loafing: the rise of New Mexico's artisan bakeries is bringing back a farming tradition. (Travel).|
|White-knuckle rafting on Idaho's Salmon and Snake.|
|Idaho's whitewater highways: a rivertrip is the only way to get into some great country.|
|Whitewater without the wait.|