Budget Travel - July 2007


Hells Canyon Rafting, 2 Nights, $877

Take in 31 miles of white-water rafting through Idaho's backcountry.

The Real Deal: Two nights of lodging, all meals, and round-trip airfare from Lewiston, Idaho, to Halfway, Ore., on a charter jet, from $877 per person
When: Aug. 29, Sept. 6, 14, 2007; add $191 for July 28, Aug. 5, 13, 21
The Fine Print:Three meals daily, tents, and other equipment included. Airport taxes are included. Single supplement is $30; fee waived if you are paired with a same-sex tent mate. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.
Book By: No deadline; by availability.
Trip Details: This package offers a chance to explore Hells Canyon, North America's deepest gorge and a haven for campers in the untouched wilderness of Idaho (and Oregon, too), while being shepherded by reliable guides. Expedition sizes run an average of 16 people.
The trip includes two runs of Hells Canyon's largest rapids, a hike to see Native American pictographs, a hike to see an early-1900s homestead, a visit to the Kirkwood Historic Ranch and Museum to see prehistoric artifacts, and a white-water rafting expedition over class-three rapids. There's time set aside for trout fishing, too. The O.A.R.S. website offers a detailed, downloadable itinerary.
You can extend the trip by two nights, starting at $248 per adult.
Cancellation Policy: If you cancel 59 days or less before your departure date, there is no refund. Earlier cancellations are refundable minus a fee of $100 per person.
Getting there:A recent search on kayak.com for flights into Lewiston, Idaho, in late August yielded a lowest round-trip airfare from Los Angeles of $374. Fares from other major U.S. cities included $449 from Chicago (Delta) and $478 from Houston (Delta). However, not all cities have affordable service to Lewiston. In such cases, consider flying into nearby Spokane, where you can rent a car and take the two-hour drive.