Ahhh…the beautiful Salmon River in Idaho. Warm, crystal clear waters, beautiful white sand beaches, deep pools, and exciting class III and IV whitewater provide the perfect setting for a whitewater rafting vacation. We raft the 53-mile lower section of this river known as the “Canyons” of the Salmon River. Exquisite geologic formations are revealed as the river flows through four spectacular canyons: Green, Cougar, Snow Hole, and Blue Canyon. Large white sand beaches figure prominently on the semi-arid riverscape. They provide the ideal setting for excellent camping, relaxation, and the whitewater rafting trip of a lifetime. Smallmouth Bass fishing opportunities are available during our rafting trips.
The pool and drop characteristics of the Canyons make it a perfect river for a rafting vacation. The pools are long, calm stretches punctuated by steep drops. These pools allow time to prepare for the upcoming whitewater, practice paddling skills, swim, relax, enjoy the beautiful surroundings, and have stimulating conversations with boat mates. The drops provide exhilarating whitewater punctuated by calm pools.
Natural and cultural history in the canyons is abundant. As the “River of No Return”, the Salmon River has a long and fascinating river running history. Pictographs created by early inhabitants and sites of human activity as far back as 8,000 years ago bring to life the stories of the Nez Perce Indians, as well as Chinese miners looking for gold and early settlers. Lewis and Clark navigated part of the Salmon in August of 1805. Clark named it “Louis’ River”, but the designation did not stick. The historic abundance of salmon runs, both Chinook and Sockeye species, helped the Salmon earn its name. The Salmon River watershed is also home to an abundance of other wildlife species, including Bighorn Sheep, elk, River Otters, Bald Eagles, a myriad of songbirds, and more. Explore archaeological sites discovering stories of the past inhabitants of the area while catching glimpses of the wildlife in the region.
This river’s history of “rafting” extends deep into geologic time, long before humans started roaming the landscape. This region of western Idaho formed as volcanic islands (exotic terranes) near the present day Aleutian Islands some 300 million years ago. Eventually through plate movement the chain of volcanic islands eventually “rafted” onto North America (Idaho was the coast then) between 120 and 80 million years ago. When this collision occurred, the exotic terranes were “glued” to North America. The section of the Salmon River we float forms the suture zone between North America and these exotic terranes. The terrane, named the “Wallowa Terrane”, extended from the present day Salmon River Canyons west to the Blue Mountains.