The Salmon River is the longest free-flowing river in US and slices through the largest Wilderness Area in the US called Frank Church Wilderness of No Return. The canyon is also the second deepest in the US and 500 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon. The Salmon River
originates in the Sawtooth and Lemhi Valleys of Central and Eastern Idaho.
Snows from the Sawtooth and Salmon River Mountains in the South and the
Clearwater and Bitterroot Mountains in the North feed this wild Un-Dammed
river. Its total length is 425 miles long and drains 14,000 square miles. From
elevations above 8,000 feet, the Salmon cascades to an elevation of 905 feet
before it joins the Snake River.
The river is historically known as
"The River of No Return." For more than 150 years after the first white men
came to this valley, only one-way trips down the Salmon River were possible.
Most early boats were constructed in or near the town of Salmon Idaho and
floated down river bringing people and supplies with them. Once the boats would
reach their final destination they would often be disassembled and used for
The Salmon flows through a vast wilderness in the second
deepest gorge on the continent. Only the Snake River Canyon is deeper. The
Salmon's Granite-walled canyon is one-fifth of a mile deeper than the Grand
Canyon, and for approximately 180 miles the Salmon Canyon is more than one mile
deep! The section of river between North Fork and Riggins is 151 miles long. In
this section the river drops 1,910 feet, for an average of 12 feet per mile.
Naturally this makes the Main Salmon on of America's premier whitewater rivers,
but there are other thrills as well.
One moment it might be a moose coming down to
drink quietly. Wildlife thrives in this pristine wilderness, and you'll see
eagles, otters, deer, mountain goats, big horn sheep, black bear and more. Two
bends later you might find us hiking up to explore one of the early homesteads
that dot the shore. Fruit orchards (still flourishing), rustic cabins, and
historical artifacts offer glimpses into the lives of the intrepid folks who
once challenged the river and made it their home.
themselves vary from fun riffles to impressive and breath-taking Class III+-IV.
The water volume is directly related to the previous winters snow pack. Peak
flows occur from the middle of May to the middle of June, and rapids like
Bailey and Split Rock turn into virtual roller coasters. From the middle of
July thru September the water warms up and the rapids are a very manageable
class III+. At all levels, the river offers fun and challenging rapids. The
lower the water gets in the summer the bigger the beautiful sand beaches become
and the better the camping gets. To add to floating fun, Middle Fork River Expeditions brings
along all sorts of "toys" - Small Paddle Boats, one-person & two person inflatable kayaks
and we even bring along an Inflatable Stand Up Paddling Surf Board to play around in camp on our July and August trips- and we are happy to help you learn to use
Middle Fork River Expeditions is happy to customize trips
to meet your individual needs. Have a group of beginner kayakers? The Main
Salmon is a great river for all levels of kayakers and we can set up trips so
that you will have instructors in the water with you. If your kayakers are
intermediate or expert you will love the great "play" and water volume of the
Salmon. Want to fish while you're on the river? The Main Salmon is amazing
habitat for Rainbow Trout, Bass, Sturgeon and the list goes on, including a great Steelhead run in teh Spring and Fall. Almost the
entire length of the river has a trail for those hiking enthusiasts.
There is no other river like the Main Salmon that offers such a complete
wilderness experience. Come discover it for yourself!
©Middle Fork River Expeditions INC.