Hunter Verde guides a raft through Lunch Counter rapid in the Snake River Canyon on Tuesday as the wave trough obscures many of the 14 persons on his craft. Flows in the river rose to 30,200 cfs measured just above Palisades Reservoir. (Petru Baraghin/Elevation Imaging/Float-O-Graphs)

As the Snake River surged to 30,200 cfs this week, whitewater guides and river runners took advantage of the spring runoff to jet through the river’s famous rapids.

Boiling brown and carrying washed-down trees, the raging river overwhelmed many otherwise dramatic features like Big Kahuna rapid, but created new ones as well. At Double Draw, a landslide constriction, the river boils back on itself in a keeper hole best avoided by living things that need air to stay alive. At Cottonwood rapid, a Grand-Canyon set of haystack waves is said to entertain.

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A cool, calm, and collected Hunter Verde, the guide in the back of the Dave Hansen Whitewater and Scenic Trips raft pictured here, has dampened his handlebar moustache in exotic waters like the Karnali River in Nepal, according to his company bio. A volunteer firefighter and EMT with Jackson Hole Fire EMS, he attended Ole Miss where he studied political science.

Photographer Petru Baraghin with Elevation Imaging/Float-O-Graphs took the shot at Lunch Counter rapid in the Snake River Canyon in Lincoln County. What you don’t see, because of the wave trough, is the entire crew in the raft, which numbered 14.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

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