The Salmon River – Whitewater Fun And Beautiful Wilderness

Idaho river


Idaho’s Salmon River lies in the northwestern part of the state, and is one of the largest streams without a dam on the mainstem. It flows through the mountains of eastern and central Idaho from where it originates. These mountains include Salmon River Mountains, Lemhi Range, Bitterroot Range and Clearwater.

The first man believed to have inhabited the Salmon River around 8000 years ago, with the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805, is when the first white man came to the river. Previously, the land and river were inhabited by Indian tribes, which included the Nez Perce tribe, whose people still reside in the state.

The Salmon River is also known as ‘The River of No Return’ because of its dangerous whitewaters and difficult areas of navigation to boat through. Interestingly, this title given to the river is what attracts whitewater kayaking enthusiasts, and people who want to have river fun in general. They can face the water conditions in their Sun Dolphin Bali 10 SS, for example, and have an adrenaline packed adventure that will never disappoint.


kayaking in Idaho


The Salmon River passes through the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and its highest elevation is at the Sawtooth range where it rises to 9200 feet (2800 m) and above. The river also passes through several cities including Salmon, Stanley, Challis, Clayton, White Bird and Riggins. It receives its waters from two lakes, namely Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake, which flows through the Redfish Lake Creek.

Salmon River makes a broad range of activities for recreational purposes possible, which includes boating, kayaking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Its mainstem is a convenient habitat for a broad range of fish species. One of these fish species is sockeye salmon, which are known to pass through the Redfish Lake Creek terminus. It is there that the longest Pacific migration of this species takes place in North America.

Other species of fish include bull and rainbow trout, Chinook Salmon, Squawfish, steelhead, sturgeon, white fish and others. Sports fishing involving whitefish, cutthroat trout and steelhead (a kind of rainbow trout that live a few years in the ocean and then return to Idaho) are popular among the residents along the river.


Salmon River fishing


The river will take you to the extensive and famous Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The river and its surroundings also boast of several wildlife species such as black bears, antelopes, big horn sheep, mountain goats, elk and mule deers. There are also special and rare types of birds such as red tail hawks, osprey and bald eagles.

Salmon River provides a magnificent view of wildlife, especially when you wish to have a close experience. Unfortunately, hunting is allowed and no animals there are protected, like other national parks. The wilderness is connected to the Selway-Bitterroot wilderness and Gospel Hump to the north and northwest respectively.

There are abundant sandy beaches along the river which provide an excellent campsite experience to the visitors during the summer and fall. The tourists or residents are required to get a permit to float their boats and jet boats in the areas that are considered wild and protected. To pass through to this section, you will need excellent maneuvering skills.

There are many lodges with delicious meals and refreshing drinks along the wilderness which will make your trip more comfortable. Certain stretches of the river provide an opportunity for kayaking beginners and experts to develop and enhance their skills. It would be a good idea for people to read an Oru Kayak review, simply because the kayak itself folds and they can carry it in a backpack back to their camp.


lodging along the river


There are also other geographical spectacular views such as the metamorphosed volcanoes and ominous granite gorges. You can also float through the renowned Seven Devil’s canyon, which is a difficult landscape to pass by. If you are not a skilled sailor or kayaker, it is wise to cruise with experts instead of going at it alone.

With over 87 camping grounds along the Salmon River, it is among the top destinations in the U.S. where visitors can enjoy numerous activities including hiking, fishing, hunting, water sports and others. The wilderness along the river has one of the deepest gorges in the world and is deeper than the Grand Canyon by one-fifth of a mile.


up high on the Salmon RIver


A visit or vacation to Salmon River will guarantee you a fun adventure whether you are alone, with a partner, family or friends. In the summer alone, over 7000 people are said to float or boat through Class I to IV whitewater through the massive Salmon River wilderness. Many professional paddlers are friendly and provide affordable training services that will make your trip to the Salmon River worthy and memorable.