Whitewater Rafting on the Salmon River
3-6 Days Class II, III, and IV whitewater rafting
2-5 Nights luxury beach camping with fantastic river meals
Pristine white sandy beaches, beautiful Salmon River Canyon and wildlife scenery
Native American Indian pictograph and historic pioneer homestead site viewing
Optional hiking, fishing and kayaking
Appropriate for ages 7 and up
1 Day ................
Salmon River Trip Overview
Flowing unencumbered from its source high in the mountains of central Idaho to its confluence with the Snake River, the Salmon River offers a unique and exhilarating experience to adventurers. The Salmon is the last major Western river that has not been dammed, which means its pristine environment and ecosystems remain intact. Lonely wilderness is punctuated by huge sandy beaches refreshed each year by spring floods. Salmon, steelhead, trout, and small-mouth bass all thrive in its waters.
Quiet pools glisten between canyon walls only to be interrupted by the thunderous roar of powerful class III and IV rapids. Each of the river’s three canyons, Green, Cougar and Blue provide stunning scenery as you navigate rapids like Bodacious Bounce, Snowhole, Devil’s Tooth, Slide, Checkerboard and Eye of the Needle. Leaving the last of the canyons, Blue Canyon, is a transcendent moment as you float into the confluence of the Salmon and Snake Rivers.
Our Salmon River camps are set on beautiful white sandy beaches nestled among the massive canyon walls. Quiet pools provide perfect swimming holes for the kids to cool off on a hot summer day. There is plenty of time to enjoy a game of beach volleyball or to hike among numerous ancient Indian petroglyph sites. Our guides will be hard at work preparing another fine dining experience America’s Rafting Company style. Relaxing beneath the glistening Idaho sky and roasting marshmallows is the perfect way to end a peaceful and exciting day on the Salmon River.
The Salmon River adventure is rated EASY, and considered appropriate for any physical ability, including children ages 7 and up. Most physical activities are optional. The trip may require walking on uneven terrain for short distances. From relaxing on the beach to hiking steep terrain the choice is yours to make enjoy the Salmon River in the way that suits you best.
The Salmon River is a Class II, III & IV river - mostly Class III’s with a few Class IV’s. It is a big volume, pool and drop river. While most rapids are not technically difficult, they’re a lot of fun with a big ride and big waves. The classification system is not a “fun-meter”, it is rather a measurement of how technically difficult the rapids are, and how bad the consequences of a mistake could be. We are fortunate that our rapids are great fun, but not particularly technically difficult or dangerous.
During the spring run off (typically May & June), snow melt floods the Salmon River and the whitewater can be less predictable and considerably larger than in the summer. Spring high water is often only appropriate for older children and more adventurous adults, in extreme conditions, we may require participants be at least 18 years old. Call America’s Rafting Company for the most up to date river conditions at 208-630-4364.
Detailed Trip Itinerary
Evening before Departure: Stay in New Meadows or McCall, where we’ll have a pre-trip meeting
Day 1: Prepare for an 8:00 a.m. departure. About an hour later, we will arrive at Hammer Creek, the starting point of our river adventure. Each day we will face an abundance of Class III rapids with the occasional Class IV. We typically arrive at our riverside camp between 4:00 and 5:00. The camp is already set up, which means your only job is to enjoy the surroundings. You can relax in camp, swim, fish or play bocce ball. Each evening we’ll prepare a delicious riverside meal from our well-stocked kitchen.
A Typical Day (Days 2-4): After resting peacefully under a remarkable Idaho night sky, you will wake in the morning to the enticing aroma of hot coffee. After a scrumptious hot breakfast, we are back on the water to experience, learn, relax and enjoy.
These days have the same flow as Day 1, stocked with awesome whitewater, calm swimming pools, interesting history, great food, and great fun. Soon enough, you will start slipping into what we call “river time”, no clocks, no cell phones, no computers, just you and all the time in the world.
Our last night camping is usually spent on the Snake River, enjoying one last evening of fine food and company.
Day 5: We typically arrive back to civilization at 2:00pm, where we quickly load our boats and head back to town. You can expect to arrive in New Meadows at 5:30 p.m.
The Salmon River features excellent fishing. Opportunities are available to fish from the bank during lunch and in camp. You can often fish from the oar boats during the day. You will need to obtain a valid Idaho fishing license.
Fly fishing recommended gear:
• 5-6 weight fly rod
• 5-6 weight floating line w/ medium to fast sinking tip-Bass flies: Varies. Try purple, green and white poppers. Streamer patterns.
• Trout flies: Caddis patterns, midges.
Spinning Gear recommended:
• Average sized trout rod with light tackle, or ultralight rod
• 2-4 pound test line
• Lures: Spinners, meps, spoons, jigs
Recommended Reading List General:
Indian Creek Chronicles Pete Fromm
River Tales of Idaho Darcy Williams
Water – The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource Marq De Villiers
Roadside Geology of Idaho David Alt
Myths of Idaho Indians Deward Walker Jr.
River of No Return Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley
Spirits of the Salmon River Kathy Deinhart Hill
Last of the Mountain Men Harold Peterson and Sylvan Hart
The Lower Salmon Sourcebook: A Guide’s Guide Caroline Tan
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