An Overnight Trip with Barker-Ewing Rafting!
945 West Broadway
Jackson Hole, WY 83001
National Park: Grand Teton
I just had the pleasure of embarking on an overnight scenic and whitewater rafting combination trip with Barker-Ewing Rafting! Founded in 1963, Barker-Ewing has been giving visitors the opportunity to venture down the Snake River for nearly 50 years. Experience is important when picking a rafting outfitter and the company provides skilled and engaging guides that help you explore the Teton wilderness from the water.
Our trip began in the late afternoon at the Barker-Ewing headquarters right in downtown Jackson. After being handed our fleece and wetsuit (Snake River whitewater isn’t particularly warm in June!), we took a quick bus ride to the set-in point just south of town. Then, all we had to do was sit back and relax as our group of 8 travelers meandered down miles of scenic float water while our guide, John, explained the unique geology and animals we encountered. Right off the bat, we spotted multiple bald eagles and their nests!
As the day begins to wind down, you stop by the side of the river at Barker-Ewing’s private backcountry camp, only accessible by boat. It’s here that you get the true backwoods experience without having to “rough” it. Before we arrived, our cook, Hillary, had nearly finished preparing our delicious meal of steak, salad, corn on the cob, cornbread and calico beans. We’d barely finished when Hillary brought out peach cobbler for desert and announced she was preparing a fire so we could cook our smores. Needless to say, the crew does not let you go hungry. After being mesmerized by a moose wandering through camp, our group sat around the campfire talking and joking for hours. Finally, we head to bed in our forest-nestled cabins, all outfitted with lanterns, rustic beds and thick sleeping bags. It’s hard not to fall asleep to the soothing sounds of their nearby creek.
The next morning you’ll be treated to some more extraordinary cooking for breakfast before embarking on a series of blood-pumping rapids that carve through the Snake River Canyon. We each got paddles and listened intently to John as we all worked to navigate the class III whitewater. Even though it’s clear the water has only recently been released from its glacial origin high up in the peaks, Barker-Ewing’s gear keeps you warm and comfortable no matter how much water you take on. There’s even a period of flat water where you can take a dip in the River, which, regardless of the season, I highly recommend!
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After docking and changing into a dry set of clothes, we were taken back to the office to return our gear and say goodbye to the great new friends we had so quickly made.
Barker-Ewing offers more than just the opportunity to see and experience the Snake River. They connect you with other adventurous travelers who are passionate about seeing our country’s wild places. While you can take a sunrise, sunset or midday rafting trip with this company, I think the overnight combination of scenic and whitewater offers visitors an entirely unique experience. It would be perfect for a family in the middle of their vacation, where a nice balance of social interaction and privacy can re-invigorate the excitement and energy of traveling outdoors.
To learn more about Barker-Ewing and the excellent trips they offer, visit their website at Barker-Ewing.com. They are a legendary local business that offers trips which boast an impressive combination of fun and professionalism. They’ll be happy to talk to you about your trip any time of the year!