Lower Fork Salmon River

Rafting: Lower Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
Idaho's Lower Salmon meanders warm, wide, and mellow, making it a great getaway for young families. (courtesy, O.A.R.S.)
Lower Fork Salmon River at a Glance
Price: $$$
River Rapid Class: I-III
Trip in Miles: 52 to 75 miles
Trip Duration: 4 to 5 days
Season: July-October
Raft Types: Oar Raft, Paddle Raft, Inflatable Kayak, Dory
River Sections: Hammer Creek to Heller Bar on the Snake River
Nearby Towns: White Bird (ID)
Gateway City: White Bird (ID)
Driving Times: Lewiston (ID): 1.5 hours; Boise (ID): 4 hours; Missoula (MT): 4 hours

Praised as having an ideal mix of scenery, seclusion, and whitewater excitement, the South Fork of the Salmon river runs through a beautiful granite canyon and is surrounded by thick forests and open mountain sides. At low flow, the Canyon section of the river loses some of its whitewater characteristics, but it remains a gorgeous wilderness tour. When the water is running high, however, this run offers some challenging rapids. For an even more challenging day, try the secluded Goat Creek run on the South Fork. This Class IV run includes at least 20 good drops, one class V ledge, and lots of logs and sweepers. This river ends at its confluence with the Snake River, although many rafting trips continue down the Snake for an additional 20 miles through scenic Hell's Canyon. Lower summer flows can also make this an accessible option for families and seniors.

Published: 31 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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