Difficulty III-IV
Length 7.9 Miles
Flow Range 3500 - 6000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 23 minutes ago 144 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 02/28/2020 9:18 pm

River Description

The Idlewild Run on the NF Salmon River is an easily accessed class III/IV run through a beautiful canyon. Because it is higher up in the Salmon River system, this run is often a good option when downstream sections are high. At lower flows, this run is pool-drop but as flows increase, its pace increases significantly and some sections become nearly continuous. The pace of the run is always faster for the section below the White's Gulch bridge about halfway through the run. The action continues all the way into Sawyers Bar then mellows somewhat as the river runs through the backside of this historic Gold Rush mining town.

The official put-in can be difficult to find due to the unmarked access trail that is also only lightly used. Park near the restroom and public phone located just outside the campground. Look for a trail that departs the parking area to the right of the restroom and continues toward the river, meandering slightly upriver before descending onto a lower bar that will take you to a tiny gravel bar not far upstream of the Sawyers Bar Road bridge.

There is only one public access point in Sawyers Bar for the take-out and it is on the far downriver end of town near the historic Catholic church. Any other access in Sawyers Bar is on private land; please don't trespass as this is an ongoing issue (this includes the bridge and the post office). The public access is actually also the nicest place to take out.  To park at the take-out, use the open area that is just upstream of the historic church on Sawyers Bar Road. The trail to the river is across the road diagonally in the downstream direction. The trail leads through the mine tailings to a nice, sandy beach. This is the take-out.  It's a good idea for someone in your group to walk to the take-out and take note of how to identify it so you don't paddle past it and miss the take-out.

Rapid Descriptions


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Directions Description

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Craig Irwin


Scott Harding


Thomas O'Keefe


Scott Harding


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1213845 10/31/19 Craig Irwin updated image position
1213846 10/31/19 Scott Harding updated description
1202999 01/14/14 Craig Irwin 20140114
1214398 02/25/20 Scott Harding updated image position
1214399 02/26/20 Scott Harding updated description
1214436 02/26/20 Thomas O'Keefe updated name
1214400 02/26/20 Scott Harding updated description
1214438 02/27/20 Scott Harding updated description
1214463 02/28/20 Scott Harding updated image position
1190074 02/10/02 Scott Harding n/a