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Difficulty III-IV
Length 28 Miles
Flow Range 1000 - 100000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 27 minutes ago 49500 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 07/08/2016 10:51 pm

River Description

This is a wonderful section of river immediately downstream of the more well-known Main Salmon which is the classic multiday trip. This river segment flows for 28 miles among pine forests and granite walls with the Salmon River Road (Forest Road 1614) paralleling the river. It provides great opportunities for day trips with easy logistics and good camping and no permits are required.

While the high flows of spring can create hazardous conditions (experts only), mid-summer brings more moderate flows and classic pool-drop rapids with good flatwater recovery sections in between. Some nice beaches provide places to hang out for lunch or engage in water play.

Commercial trips are avaialble for those interested in a day trip (check with outfitters in Riggins).

Rapid Descriptions

Vinegar Creek Rapid

Class - III+ Mile - -111.9
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During higher flows this rapid is washed out. During lower flows numerous holes and rocks appear.

Carey Falls (aka Gold Hole)

Class - II+ Mile - -110.2
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This rapid has a popular hole for kayakers.

Carey Creek Boat Ramp

Class - N/A Mile - -109.8
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This access is an popular alternative take-out for the Main Salmon.

House Rock (aka Block Rock)

Class - N/A Mile - -106.1
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A mid-river rock that creates a hidden hole at flows above 30,000 cfs.

Kelly Creek Rapids

Class - II Mile - -97.8
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This rapid gets bigger at lower flows.

Van Creek Rapids

Class - II Mile - -97.6
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Class II rapid near Van Creek Camgpround that is a small camping area with toilet facilities.

Spring Bar

Class - N/A Mile - -96.9
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Forest service campground with water, toilets, and boat ramp.

Ruby Rapids

Class - III+ Mile - -94.1
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Large irregular waves at high water.

Lake Creek Rapids

Class - III+ Mile - -93
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Easily recognized by the large yellow bridge over the river just below the rapid. There is a large rock on the top left side of the rapid. At flows above 60,000 cfs this rock creates a large wave called the "Big Easy" or "Haystack." At flows below 20,000 cfs, the wave disappears and a large hole forms.

Cat's Paw

Class - II Mile - -92.1
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This short wave train is a popular location for kayakers at lower flows.

Shorts Bar

Class - N/A Mile - -87.8
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Shorts Bar is a BLM recreation site with toilets, boat ramp, and camp sites. The large beach is popular for day use.


Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
2015-05-17 n/a Fatality Cold Water Read More



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Idaho Proposes Registration Fee for Non-Motorized Boats

John Gangemi

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.

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Can You Taste Victory?

American Whitewater

FERC revokes Preliminary Permit for
hydropower project on Boundary Creek in
Northern Idaho.

Thomas O'Keefe


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1206705 07/08/16 Thomas O'Keefe rapids mapped
1191258 02/04/04 n/a n/a