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Difficulty III-V
Length 12 Miles
Flow Range 300 - 1000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 day ago 68.9 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 09/24/2013 5:43 am

River Description

This run is more difficult at the top and gradually gets easier, making it suitable for a variety of skills and water levels. It starts out class V (IV at low levels) and ends as class III (II+ at low levels).


The run begins with two long class V rapids called Flight Simulator. The first is near the road and starts out easy and gets harder. The second is far down in the canyon and is hard to see from the road. In fact it is just plain hard. The class IV put-in is just above Caton Creek at Sheep Creek Trailhead. The road is nearby for the rest of the run and roadside scouting is easy. The river is active and some of the drops can be IV+ with enough water in them. Four miles below Caton Creek, after six miles of class IV, Deadman Campground makes a good take-out, put-in, lunch spot. The next five miles to the take-out are gradually easier class III, but you may chose to portage once or twice. You can continue down the South Fork Salmon to the end of the road for another four miles of class II if you like.

Shuttle: Road Map

To get to the take-out: From the South Fork Salmon Road (paved) go up the gravel road toward Yellow Pine less than a half mile, cross the bridge and park.

Intermediate put-ins: Deadman, Caton Creek, and SheepCreek Trailhead are marked by small wooden signs.

To get to the put-in: From MP 47 continue upstream three quarters of a mile past the ranch/development to a dirt side road and park up the road (away from the river). This road is two and one half miles below the intersection of Yellow Pine Ave and Stibnite Rd.

Be careful at high water:


Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
3 years ago

Ugly, barely submerged log blocking usual Rt Center channel in ExLax rapid, 3 miles below Castel (?) Creek, below flight simulator. Will take you under the log. Hard to see log, pinned with about 15' extending out from pyramid rock in center of rapid. Left channel open as of 4/17/16.

Gage Descriptions

The flow on the Johnson Creek gauge is about half of the flow on this run.

Dave Garrity testifies:
800 cfs is a lot of fun. 500 - 600 is probably minimal. (Gauge times two.)

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  
2008-07-04 Medium Fatality Other Read More



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Tell Us Why You Love the South Fork Salmon River!

Evan Stafford

The South Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho is under threat from a massive mining proposal. As many of you know, the South Fork is a magnificent river with an incredibly wide range of whitewater opportunities on numerous stretches, including the East Fork, all the way through a Wilderness multi-day run that takes you to the confluence with the Salmon River at Mackey Bar on the Main Salmon wilderness run. We're collecting stories and photos of the South Fork for use in ours and our partners campaign to raise awareness about the imminent threat that this classic whitewater river faces. 

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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.

john almassy


Bill Hunt


Todd Hoffman


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190409 02/03/04 john almassy n/a
1202754 09/24/13 Bill Hunt
1199672 03/20/11 Todd Hoffman Removed outdated hazard info.