There’s no denying that Hell’s Canyon in Idaho is one of the most spectacular places on earth. With immense canyon walls, a roaring river, lush vegetation, and ancient animal life, there are few places like it. The opportunity to travel up and down Hells Canyon on one of Killgore Adventures jet boat tours is a chance to see a beautiful landscape in a unique way. But because the jet boat allows visitors to see parts of the canyon that are nearly inaccessible via non-motorized boats or by foot, it is important that visitors do their best to care for these wild spaces. In today’s blog post, the crew at Killgore Adventures will outline some ways that you can be a good steward of nature while you travel with us.
MAKE A PLAN BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
While we’re happy to cover the logistics of your jet boat tour or adventure fishing expedition of Hells Canyon, it’s always a good idea to create a travel plan before setting out. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the area you’re traveling too, and review any maps that are available to you. Take a look at the weather forecast, and prepare appropriately. Keep in mind when you plan to visit Hells Canyon and consider avoiding times of the year that are known to be busy. If you’re traveling in a large group, don’t be afraid to split into smaller groups and explore different parts of the area. Finally, think about how you’re bringing food with you, and repackage it if need be to avoid food waste.
TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES
On your jet boat tour, this is less of a concern, but if the jet boat lets out at a small picnic area or campsite, this is good to keep in mind. Travel along established trails and only pitch your tent in established campsites. If possible, camp on dry grasses or packed snow. You can help protect the riparian zones along the river by camping at least 200 feet away from the river’s edge.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF YOUR WASTE
When nature calls, be considerate of where you do your business. While the river might seem like the ideal outdoor bathroom, resist the urge to relieve yourself in the river. On our jet boat tours, we make sure there are plenty of stops at pit toilets and improved campsites you can take care of business without degrading the river’s ecosystem. In general, make sure you urinate or defecate at least 200 yards away from a water source, and bury your excrement in a cathole at least six inches deep if you aren’t near a toilet. When it comes to cleaning up after a meal, don’t wash your dishes in the river. Instead, use biodegradable soap and disperse your dishwater across some rocks.
TAKE NOTHING BUT PHOTOS, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS
The temptation to bring home a shiny rock or a huge pinecone can be overwhelming when you’re immersed in such a pristine wilderness such as Hells Canyon. But it’s best to leave everything you find right where you found it. To ensure that everyone can enjoy Hells Canyon in its entirety, you’ll want to minimize your impact, creating the illusion you were never there. If you really want to bring home a piece of Hells Canyon, it’s best to take photos that can be shared with friends and loved ones. In fact, taking compelling photos of the immense river is easy if you follow the tips we offered in a recent blog post.
REDUCE THE IMPACT OF CAMPFIRES
If you’re just taking a jet boat tour up Hells Canyon, this won’t be an issue, as we’ll have you back to our campsites before you ever feel cold. But if you’re using our jet up and back service for backpacking, this is a good tip to keep in mind. Use a camping stove instead of starting a fire. If you want to make a fire, make sure to use the established fire rings, pans, and pits at your campsite. Burn down the wood to ash and make sure you put the fire out completely, then spread the ashes around the campsite. This way, you’ll lessen the likelihood of creating a forest fire and remove any trace of your campfire.
TREAT THE WILDLIFE WITH RESPECT
It’s best to remember that when you travel in Hells Canyon that you are in someone else’s home. When you see wildlife of any kind, leave them be, enjoy them at a distance, and make sure to listen to your guide when near animals. For instance, we can catch sturgeon and lift them up, but we can’t take them out of the water. Don’t feed the animals, as this can make them ill. Be aware of where you store your food while traveling, as you don’t want curious critters getting into your rations.
BE POLITE TO OTHER TRAVELERS
Hells Canyons is plenty big enough that you may never see another traveler outside of your group. But if you do, treat them with the same kind of respect that you expect as well. Give them space while traveling, and avoiding making loud noises so that they can enjoy the serenity of the canyon as well.
Ready to experience the majesty of Hells Canyon for yourself? Sign up for your jetboat tour today! Killgore Adventures takes you up and down some of the most amazing rapids in Idaho, offering an experience like none other!