Further information: Snake River Plain ecoregion. See also: Paleo-climate of the Snake River Plain. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
Marine Micropaleontology. Hidden categories: Coordinates on Wikidata. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Camps are usually arrived at by 4pm each afternoon, allowing time for more great bass fishing, hiking or relaxing. Breakfast is ready around am, relax in a camp chair with your favorite hot drink while gazing in wonder at this amazing canyon. Personal gear, tents and kitchen gear is loaded back on the boats and readied for a day filled with many great rapids, fishing, settler's cabins, and incredible mountain scenery.
Others are ready to catch a few more fish using top water lures or grubs. You'll welcome a splash from the river as the boats group back up and float downstream to more impressive scenery and historic sites, including the historic Kirkwood Ranch.
After lunch and more river fun we pass Pittsburgh Landing where some of the trip might depart early. Book trip Now. What Our Guests Say I want to personally thank you for the best fishing trip of my family's entire life! Ben Shuey Boise, Idaho. Micheal Beckish California. Scott Templin Mote Idaho. Shaun Bittick Reno, Nevada. Request a Brochure or Just Ask a Question? Wikimedia Commons. Add links. Snake River Canyon, Idaho. Twin Falls and Jerome.
This Idaho location article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it. The Lake Bonneville Floods and the Missoula Floods helped widen and deepen the Columbia River Gorge , a giant water gap which allows water from the Columbia and Snake rivers to take a direct route through the Cascade Range to the Pacific. The massive amounts of sediment deposited by the Lake Bonneville Floods in the Snake River Plain also had a lasting effect on most of the middle Snake River.
The high hydraulic conductivity of the mostly- basalt rocks in the plain led to the formation of the Snake River Aquifer , one of the most productive aquifers in North America.
Many rivers and streams flowing from the north side of the plain sink into the aquifer instead of flowing into the Snake River, a group of watersheds called the lost streams of Idaho. The Snake River is the thirteenth longest river in the United States. Most of the Snake River watershed lies between the Rocky Mountains on the east and the Columbia Plateau on the northwest.
However, precipitation in the Snake River watershed varies widely. At Twin Falls, in the center of the Snake River Plain, the climate is nearly desert, with an annual rainfall of just 9. In the upper parts of the watershed, however, the river flows through an area with a distinct alpine climate. There are also stretches where the river and its tributaries have incised themselves into tight gorges. Much of the area along the river, within a few miles of its banks, is irrigated farmland, especially in its middle and lower course.
Strike Dam. Aside from water from the river, water is also pulled from the Snake River Aquifer for irrigation. There are fifteen dams in total along the Snake River, which aside from irrigation, also produce electricity, maintain a navigation channel along part of the river's route, and provide flood control. The Snake River watershed is bounded by several other major North American watersheds, which drain both to the Atlantic or the Pacific, or into endorheic basins.
On the southwest side a divide separates the Snake watershed from Oregon's Harney Basin , which is endorheic. On the western extremity for a short stretch the Continental Divide separates the Snake watershed from the Bighorn River , a tributary of the Yellowstone River , which the Snake begins near.
The rest of the Snake River watershed borders on several other major Columbia River tributaries - mostly the Spokane River to the north, but also Clark Fork in Montana to the northeast and the John Day River to the west. It is of note that the northeastern divide of the Snake River watershed forms the Idaho-Montana boundary, so the Snake River watershed does not extend into Montana.
Runoff from several feedlots was dumped into the river until laws made the practice illegal. During low water, algae blooms occur throughout the calm stretches of the river, depleting its oxygen supply. Water diverted from the river for irrigation, after absorbing any surface pollutants, re-enters the ground and feeds the aquifer. Although the aquifer has maintained its level, it has become increasingly laced with contaminants.
Water in the aquifer eventually travels to the west side of the Snake River Plain and re-enters the river as springs. Pollutant levels in Hells Canyon upstream of the Salmon River confluence, including that of water temperature, dissolved nutrients, and sediment, are required to meet certain levels. The river's flow is also measured at several other points in its course. Canadian explorer David Thompson first recorded the Native American name of the Snake River as Shawpatin when he arrived at its mouth by boat in Others gave the river names including Shoshone River after the tribe and Saptin River.
Explorers misinterpreted it to represent a snake , giving the river its present-day name. People have been living along the Snake River for at least 11, years. Historian Daniel S. Meatte divides the prehistory of the western Snake River Basin into three main phases or "adaptive systems". The first he calls "Broad Spectrum Foraging", dating from 11, to 4, years before present.
During this period people drew upon a wide variety of food resources. The second period, "Semisedentary Foraging", dates from 4,— years before present and is distinctive for an increased reliance upon fish, especially salmon, as well as food preservation and storage.
The third phase, from to years before present, he calls "Equestrian Foragers". It is characterized by large horse-mounted tribes that spent long amounts of time away from their local foraging range hunting bison. Early fur traders and explorers noted regional trading centers, and archaeological evidence has shown some to be of considerable antiquity.
One such trading center in the Weiser area existed as early as 4, years ago. The Fremont culture may have contributed to the historic Shoshones, but it is not well understood. Another poorly understood early cultural component is called the Midvale Complex. The introduction of the horse to the Snake River Plain around helped in establishing the Shoshone and Northern Paiute cultures. On the Snake River in southeastern Washington there are several ancient sites.
One of the oldest and most well-known is called the Marmes Rockshelter, which was used from over 11, years ago to relatively recent times. West , the Lower Monumental Dam's reservoir. Eventually, two large Native American groups controlled most of the Snake River: the Nez Perce, whose territory stretched from the southeastern Columbia Plateau into northern Oregon and western Idaho, and the Shoshone, who occupied the Snake River Plain both above and below Shoshone Falls.
Lifestyles along the Snake River varied widely. Below Shoshone Falls, the economy centered on salmon, who often came up the river in enormous numbers. Salmon were the mainstay of the Nez Perce and most of the other tribes below Shoshone Falls. Above the falls, life was significantly different. The Snake River Plain forms one of the only relatively easy paths across the main Rocky Mountains for many hundreds of miles, allowing Native Americans both east and west of the mountains to interact.
As a result, the Shoshone centered on a trading economy. According to legend, the Nez Perce tribe was first founded in the valley of the Clearwater River, one of the Snake River's lowermost major tributaries.
At its height, there were at least 27 Nez Perce settlements along the Clearwater River and 11 more on the Snake between the mouth of the Clearwater and Imnaha Rivers. The Snake River's annual salmon run, which was estimated at that time to exceed four million in good years, supported the Nez Perce, who lived in permanent, well-defined villages, unlike the nomadic southeastern tribes along the Snake River.
The Nez Perce also were involved in trade with the Flathead tribe to the north and other middle Columbia River tribes. However, they were enemies to the Shoshone and the other upstream Snake River tribes. The Shoshone or Shoshoni were characterized by nomadic groups that took their culture from the earlier Bitterroot culture and Great Basin tribes that migrated north via the Owyhee River.
They were the most powerful tribe in the Rocky Mountains area, and were known to many Great Plains tribes as the "Snakes". Eventually, the Shoshone culture merged with that of the Paiute and Bannock tribes, which came from the Great Basin and the Hells Canyon area, respectively. The Bannock brought with them the skill of buffalo hunting and horses they had acquired from Europeans, changing the Shoshone way of life significantly.
The party later traveled north, descended the Lemhi River to the Salmon and attempted to descend it to the Snake, but found it impassable because of its violent rapids. They also referred to the Shoshone Indians as the "Snake Indians", which became the present-day name of the river.
Later American explorers traveled throughout the Snake River area and up its major tributaries beginning in , just after Lewis and Clark had returned. The first was John Ordway in , who also explored the lower Salmon River.
John Colter in was the first to sight the upper headwaters of the Snake River, including the Jackson Hole area. Even later, American fur trappers scouted the area for beaver streams, but Canadian trappers from the British Hudson's Bay Company were by now a major competitor.
The party of three traveled into the headwaters of the Owyhee River, a major southern tributary of the Snake, but disappeared. One crossing the trail made over the Snake River was near the present-day site of Glenns Ferry.
Several years later, a ferry was established at the site, replacing the old system where pioneers had to ford the wide, powerful and deep Snake. Another place where pioneers crossed the Snake was further upstream, at a place called " Three Island Crossing ", near the mouth of the Boise River.
Some emigrants chose to ford the Snake and proceed down the west side and recross the river near Fort Boise into Hells Canyon, continue down the drier east side into the gorge, or float the Snake and Columbia to the Willamette River , the destination of the Oregon Trail.
The reason for the Three Island Crossing was the better availability of grass and water access. One contemporary diarist crossing near Salmon Falls complains of "exorbitant" fees at the crossings that were a "constant drain" on the travelers purse. She writes that this particular route was controlled by Mormons who had "built bridges where they were not needed-most unmercifully fleecing the poor emigrants".
The diarist expresses regret at having made the crossing describing the landscape as "desolate country". Another writer similarly notes several days travel through "a desert so desolate and rocky that we almost regretted that we had not continued on the south side of that stream". Unlike the Columbia River, it was far more difficult for steamboats to navigate on the Snake. Still, from the s to the s, steamboats traveled on the Snake River from its mouth at the Columbia River to near the mouth of the Imnaha River in lower Hells Canyon.
By the s, the OSN Company, owned by the Northern Pacific Railroad , was operating seven steamboats for transporting wheat and grain from the productive Palouse region along the Snake and Columbia to lower Columbia River ports. Thompson , and Wide West , all of which were built on the Columbia River.Snake River Canyon is a canyon formed by the Snake River in the Magic Valley region of southern Idaho, forming part of the boundary between Twin Falls County to the south and Jerome County to the north. The canyon ranges up to feet ( meters) deep and miles ( kilometers) wide, and runs for just over 50 miles. Perrine Bridge crosses the canyon .