Salmon, Idaho, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (for normal flows)|
|SALMON RIVER AT WHITE BIRD ID|
|usgs-13317000||1000 - unknown cfs||III-IV||00h48m||3900 cfs (running)|
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).
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|-111.9||Vinegar Creek Rapid||III+|
|-110.2||Carey Falls (aka Gold Hole)||II+|
|-109.8||Carey Creek Boat Ramp||N/A|
|-106.1||House Rock (aka Block Rock)||N/A|
|-97.8||Kelly Creek Rapids||II|
|-97.6||Van Creek Rapids||II|
|-93.0||Lake Creek Rapids||III+|
During higher flows this rapid is washed out. During lower flows numerous holes and rocks appear.
This rapid has a popular hole for kayakers.
This access is an popular alternative take-out for the Main Salmon.
A mid-river rock that creates a hidden hole at flows above 30,000 cfs.
This rapid gets bigger at lower flows.
Class II rapid near Van Creek Camgpround that is a small camping area with toilet facilities.
Forest service campground with water, toilets, and boat ramp.
Large irregular waves at high water.
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.
This short wave train is a popular location for kayakers at lower flows.
Shorts Bar is a BLM recreation site with toilets, boat ramp, and camp sites. The large beach is popular for day use.
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Plan includes management plan for Middle Fork Salmon and Salmon Wild and Scenic Rivers.
BLM river map and guide