Snake River: Flagg Ranch to Jackson Lake


GRADIENT - 15 ft/mile

LENGTH - 12 miles

FLOAT TIME - 5 hours

BLM QUAD MAPS - Yellowstone, Jackson Lake

PUT IN - below South Entrance to Yellowstone

PUT IN - Google Map

TAKE OUT - Lizard Creek Campground on Jackson Lake

Snake River

USGS Gage Station CFS at Flagg Ranch.

Snake River



Snake River

The Snake River begins near the Teton Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park Boundary. After looping west through Yellowstone, the Snake turns south through the Rockefeller Parkway to Jackson Lake in Teton National Park. After leaving the lake, the Snake continues south (leaving the Park and entering sections of private land and the Bridger/Teton National Forest) for another 50 miles to Hoback Junction. Below Hoback Junction, the Snake swings back to the west to Palisades Reservoir and the Idaho border. The 100 miles or so of floatable river in Wyoming is almost all Class II (Class I in the Oxbow area). The two whitewater sections on the Snake is a two mile float just downstream from Yellowstone in Flagg Canyon, and a ten mile stretch above Palisades Reservoir in Snake River Canyon (Grand Canyon).

Permits are required to float the Snake River in Teton Park and may be obtained at the Moose and Buffalo Fork entrances. Maps and additional information on landings, flows, and problem areas are located at registration boxes at the various landings in the Park. You can call 307-733-5452 for flow information at various points.

Flagg Ranch to Jackson Lake

Access to the whitewater section running through Flagg Canyon is at a small parking area and landing a half-mile downstream from the South Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Just below the landing, the river makes a sharp turn to the south and enters the canyon. This run is a Class II during flows around 1000 cfs, and turns into a Class III with some good sized standing waves around 2000 cfs. Above 4000 cfs, the waves become very large and may rate a Class IV. The whitewater stretch lasts about a half mile, and after leaving the canyon, the river calms down to a Class II. Float time to the Flagg Ranch Landing is about one hour.

The stretch running from the Flagg Ranch down to the Lizard Creek Landing on Jackson Lake is an easy Class II. However, you do need to watch for an occasional snag or logjam and there are a few channel selections. About one mile from the put-in is the confluence with Polecat Creek and the river turns back to the south. You then have a five mile float to Jackson Lake (where you leave the Rockefeller Parkway and enter Teton National Park) and four miles of paddling to the Lizard Creek Campground and landing. Float time is about four or five hours.

Photo Caption (image not shown): The Oxbow Bend below Jackson Lake offers tranquil waters and great views ot the Tetons.