June 12, 2007

Salmon River; Idaho (The Main) (III - IV)

Just another day in paradise...looking down at Big Mallard rapid
Day one, missing the takeout...bummer

Barth Hot Springs...party!

Seal launching to catch the waves at Salmon Falls

Surf's up, Idaho style

1 comment:

Sparky said...

Idaho's Salmon River is one of the last remaining, major free flowing rivers in the country, and is certainly one of the most beautiful. "The Main" section flows through the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and contains beautiful wilderness scenery, superb beach camping, one of the best hot springs in Idaho, and some great whitewater. If you have not yet made this journey, you truly must make the time to do so - you won't regret the decision. There are also some great play opportunities including one of the best waves I have ever surfed, at Salmon Falls (pictured above), which is in at most medium flows.

Don't go to The Main expecting the whitewater thrill ride of your life; go for the camping and good times in the wilderness with friends - life just doesn't get much better. This is one of my favorite stretches anywhere.

The Main logistics: Class III/IV.
Permit-controlled year-round, but the lottery doesn't take effect until June 20. Check in with the ranger at Corn Creek when you arrive to get your permit. The put in is located at Corn Creek (head west out of the town of North Fork, turning off U.S. Highway 93, to get to Corn Creek) and the takeout is at Vinegar Creek (head east out of Riggins following the river until the road ends at Vinegar Creek). You can float all the way into Riggins to experience some bigger water action in rapids like Ruby, but this adds a lot of sun-exposed flatwater to deal with. I highly recommend paying one of the numerous outfitters to run your shuttle; this shuttle is the longest in Idaho.