Salmon River Idaho Fishing, Camping, Rafting

Bitterroot Valley Montana
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Salmon River

Known as the River of No Return, the Salmon River runs through the Frank Church Wilderness Area in the middle of Idaho. It offers great whitewater, fishing, and jet boating.

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What can I do and see along the Salmon River?

  • Rafting: Whitewater rafting is the primary activity along the Main and Middle Forks of the Salmon River. These longer stretches of water require multi-day trips and you can either outfit your own or join a commercial trip. The Middle Fork is known for its many Class III and IV rapids but has a shorter rafting season, while the Main Fork has more mellow stretches and can be rafted pretty much all summer and fall.
  • Jet Boating: One of the most unique ways to explore the Main Fork of the Salmon River is via jet boat. These boats literally hop the rapids on the Main. Take a jet boat trip to sightsee, fish, or to access one of the many Salmon River backcountry lodges.
  • Fishing: The Salmon River is ideal for catch and release fly fishing.
  • Backcountry Lodges: There is a series of backcountry lodges along the Salmon River that can be accessed by raft, jet boat, or bush plane. These lodges offer a variety of accommodations, meals, activities, and a very unique way to experience the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area.

Where is the Salmon River?

The Main Salmon River begins near Galena Summit, just north of Sun Valley. It runs north through the towns of Challis and Salmon, Idaho before heading west to Riggins, Idaho. Below Riggins, the Lower Fork of the Salmon continues on until it eventually merges with the Snake River along the Oregon-Idaho border.

From the Bitterroot Valley, the easiest access to the Salmon is via Lost Trail Pass to a very small town called North Fork, Idaho.