Lunch Counter Rapids on the Snake River

22 07 2010

There are a fair number of well known rapids in the Snake River canyon. The best known is the Lunch Counter Rapids. These rapids are at best early in the season during run off because the higher the water level, the higher the rapids. Lunch Counter Rapids consists of a wave train of swells that are normally 5- and 6-foot, including one massive wave that locals ride surfboards on. It is generally considered a class III rapid. When the water starts flowing above 16,000 cfs the wave height may exceed 10 feet and the rapid changes from a class III rapid to a class IV rapid. The turbulence can be incredible and at the end of the train there is a cycling wave that can flip rafts and engulf kayakers.

As you drive through the Snake River Canyon, there is a pullout where you can pull over and hike down to watch people float through the Lunch Counter Rapids. It is a great place to sit on the rock ledge and watch the action. There is also a fishing whole shortly after the rapid that can be accessed from the pull out as well.

Lunch Counter is the largest and best known rapid on the Snake River. Whether you choose to float the river or not, Lunch Counter Rapids are a place that you should at least stop by and take a look at.



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