Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon River Adventures
Dory on the Salmon River

The Boats



The Whitewater Dory

A beautiful and unique way to travel down the river! Whitewater dories are a wonderful alternative to inflatable rafts! A dory is a beautiful rigid boat, that tracks gracefully through the river's currents and dances through whitewater for a thrilling ride. These strong handsome crafts are custom designed for river running and built with your comfort in mind! Each boat carries up to four passengers and is rowed by one of our SUNDOG EXPEDITIONS guides. Ask any of them and they will tell you that there is no substitute for the graceful maneuverability of the dory.

The modern whitewater dory has evolved out of a history of American river exploration and adventure. Major John Wesley Powell used rigid boats with round bottoms on hisDory Scott expeditions down the Green River and through the Grand Canyon in 1870's. In the 1930's river adventurer Buzz Holmstrom rowed light-weight decked crafts on his solo explorations on the rivers of the Northwest and Southwest United States. Martin Litton, environmental advocate and founder of Grand Canyon Dories, created the first modern dory when he adapted the McKenzie River Boat design for whitewater by decking it over. Litton rowed these hybrid boats on his early trips in the Grand Canyon and began to run them on rivers commercially in the 1960's. At 88, Litton is still rowing his boat the "Sequoia" and he recently joined us for a spring fundraising trip down Oregon's Grande Ronde River! The Dories of today are a link to the past and we are proud to be a part of this continuing history.

Our fleet of dories are named for stars in the summer sky! The Gallina, Myra, Shauka, and Rastabon were custom built by Sundog Expeditions owner, Lonnie Hutson. Lonnie, who is a graduate of the University of Washington Architecture program, an expert woodworker, and an artist, built his first dory in the 1980's. He has been at it ever since. These beautiful composite boats are made of wood or foam, fiberglass, and epoxy and finished with a custom automotive paint job. They are painstakingly crafted and one each takes several months to complete. If you have never experienced a dory we would love to introduce you to them on a very special trip through the Salmon River Canyons... and if you are returning for another ride, we know why!


Oar Rafts

Our oar rafts offer a lively ride down the river. These tough and stable inflatable boats bound over waves and their great momentum carries them through rapids and hydraulics with ease. Our 16-foot and 18-foot rafts are equipped with a rigid rowing frame and each carries three to five passengers. Your guide pilots you down the river rowing from the middle of the boat with oars made of wood or composite material

Copper River

Inflatable Kayaks

For an active experience, where it’s you and the water, try your hand at paddling one of our single or double inflatable kayaks, also called “duckies.” With no prior experience you can enjoy a thrill similar to real kayaking when you paddle alongside dories and rafts on our Salmon, Grande Ronde and Owyhee River trips. Your guides will provide instruction in kayak handling and safety.

Salmon RiverSalmon River