Main Salmon – Sample Itinerary
*Please note: Daily itineraries, campsites, rapids and miles traveled per day vary with the Forest Service’s campsite assignment for each group. Approximate total trip miles: 80 Approximate miles traveled daily: 12 – 20
Day 0: Depart from Missoula, MT (Holiday Inn Parkside parking lot) by bus at 9:30 am. We will have a bagged lunch on the way to the Main Salmon. Then get a short, mellow afternoon paddle in and get an idea of everyone’s skill and comfort level. We will meet the rafts and our personal dry-bags at Corn Creek where we will have appetizers, eat dinner and camp for the evening. Our 7 day Main Salmon trips have a “Day 0” Our 6 day trips, start on “Day 1” and we travel from Missoula at 6:30am and actually begin our journey down the Main Salmon River Day 1. (No camping at the Corn Creek put-in).
Day 1: Have breakfast, optional yoga. Break into paddling groups and begin the journey down the Main Salmon. Paddle six to eight miles and run Killum and Gunbarrel rapids Stop for lunch, take a short side hike to see pictographs at Legend Creek. Paddle some more exciting miles and enjoy Rainer, Lantz, and Devil’s Teeth Rapids. Work on skills and tune up your roll. Check-out nesting Golden Eagles at Little Squaw Creek. Camp at Chukar Beach.
Day 2: Yoga, breakfast, chalk talk, and 11:00 am launch. Enter the ‘Black Canyon’, a beautiful area of exposed granite cliffs on the Idaho Batholith. Great waves abound! Work on your surfing skills! Rapids: Salmon Falls, Hancock, Sabe Creek. Stop for a soak in Barth Hot Springs. Camp at Magpie Creek.
Day 3: Spend another half-day in the amazing ‘Black Canyon’. More time is spent working out the subtle techniques of wave surfing, stern squirts, and hole riding. Take a beautiful side hike up Elk Creek. Camp on the sandy beach at Ludwig Bar.
Day 4: Continue to work on paddling techniques based on your individual needs. Opportunities abound for stroke work, roll tune-ups, and hand roll practice. Rapids: Bailey’s, Five Mile, Split Rock, Big Mallard, Elkhorn, Growler. A big whitewater day!! Camp and evening festivities at Rhett Creek.
Day 5: A day to put some river miles under your belt. Enjoy the paddle amidst the beautiful scenery of the Gospel Hump Wilderness. Rapids: Ludwig, Jackson Bar, Five Mile, Boise Bar. Camp at Basin Creek.
Day 6: Leave camp early and paddle to the take-out at Carey Creek. Take-out in the early afternoon and relax on the drive back to Missoula. Arrive in Missoula, check into hotel rooms, shower and enjoy a group dinner and celebrate a wonderful trip on the Salmon!