The Main Salmon cascades through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area, the largest Wilderness in the lower United States.The Shoshoni Indians called the river "Tom-Agit-Pah," or "Big Fish Water." In the past they lived along the river during the annual salmon run and fished for this important pan of their diet. These native peoples considered the river too dangerous for canoe travel and developed an extensive trail system to provide access to the canyon. The Nez Perce tribe used the lower river, and the Sheepeater Shoshoni lived upstream. The Main Salmon features big waves, numerous campsites with clean sandy beaches and plenty of excellent hiking opportunities in the Salmon Canyon. The river corridor is not part of the Wilderness and jet boats are permitted. You can apply for a permit between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31. Outfitters run this river.
Campsites along the Main Salmon are not designated and are all first-come first-serve.
Getting There: At North Fork on U.S. 93 north of Salmon, drive east on Forest Service Road 030 west about 50 miles to Corn Creek.
LOCATION: Corn Creek to Vinegar Creek, Central Idaho
RECREATION: Kayaking, Rafting, Jet Boats
FACILITIES: Boat Ramps, Parking
FISHING: Bull Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Lake Trout, Steelhead, Rainbow Trout, White Fish
PUT-IN: Corn Creek
TAKE-OUT: Vinegar Creek
PERIOD RUNNABLE: Spring, Summer, Fall
DIFFICULTY: Class III-IV
LENGTH OF TYPICAL TRIP: 5-7 days
PERMIT NEEDED: June 20-Sept 7
REGULATIONS: Permit, Fire Pans, Carry out waste, Party limit 30
LENGTH OF SHUTTLE: 385 miles
OPTIMAL FLOW: 9,000 CFS
SIZE: 79 miles
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication