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Main Salmon River 5 or 6-Day

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The historic Main Salmon River or, River of No Return, is commonly viewed as one of the best river trips in America for its white water, camping, lodges, hot springs and scenery. This float through the lower 48 states largest wilderness has become the premier adventure at Orange Torpedo Trips, hailed by all who do it as a must-do life experience.

Days on the Main Salmon River are spent riding over big waves in numerous class II, III and IV rapids, where the guides lead you safely through the obstacles. Nights on the beach are spent with a glass of wine, a beautiful sunset and your closest friends. On lodge nights or full lodge trips grab a hot shower before a delicious home-cooked meal and a soak in the hot tub before bed. Not a bad way to see American wilderness at its best.

View Pictures Location/Details
2015 5-day All Lodge June 23
July 25th
2015 6-day 1-lodge July 1, 9, 17
2015 6-day All Camp August 2, 20, 18, 26
When Meet at the Salmon Air desk in the Boise Airport the day before your trip
Length 5 or 6 Days
Who Anyone 5 and older.
Cost
All Lodge
5-day
Adult $2349 | Youth $2349
Cost
One Lodge
6-day
Adult $1999 | Youth $1849
Cost
Full Camp
6-day
Adult $1849 | Youth $1749
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Trip Itinerary - All Trips

Arrive at the Boise Idaho airport the day BEFORE your trip launch by 1PM. We will have a charter flight to fly you from Boise to Salmon which takes about 1.5 hours and is a beautiful flight over the sawtooth mountains. When you land in Salmon a bus will be waiting to take the group to the trip launch point at Corn Creek. This is about a 2 hour bus ride paralleling the Salmon River the entire way. The bus will make one stop at the North Fork store for any last minute provisions and bathroom stops. The store does have a small liquor store for those last minute needs (liquor portion not open on Sundays) The group will drive past the point where Lewis and Clark left the river and headed north deciding the river was too treacherous.

When you arrive at Corn Creek the guides will be waiting for you and a jet boat will be waiting to pick up the group and ferry everyone across the river and to the lodge for the evening. A delicious dinner will be served at the lodge and there will be plenty of time for the groups first horseshoe tournament, card games, or swimming down at the beach. After dinner is the trip orientation where you will receive dry bags, ask any questions you may have, and learn about how you will be spending the next five or six days. The following morning the group will launch after breakfast and begin the journey downstream.

Trip Itinerary - 6-day 1-lodge

This is a great way to experience the river. Camp on nights one, two, four, and five. Smack dab in the middle get a hot shower and soft bed which feels pretty special after a couple days out camping. Below is a rough description of the trip as where groups will camp exactly varies on available sites, water levels, weather, group size etc.

Day 1: Launch from corn creek and look forward to a GREAT DAY of warm up rapids. Floating away from Corn Creek into the rugged and foreboding landscape of the Salmon River Canyon one cannot help feeling the excitement of heading into the wilderness and away from civilization. There is something special about this canyon that overtakes people at this moment. Around the first couple corners brings the group to Killum Rapid and the first whitewater challenge of the Salmon River. This class III is mostly down the big waves in the middle and leads to lots of hooting and hollering. This will set the tone for the thrilling river challenges for the next couple of days. Day one continues with Alder Creek, Lance Bar, Devils teeth and and a number of other thrilling whitewater challenges. Most trips break up the day with a stop at Lance bar to walk amongst the homesteader cabins and roam through the orchard. Try and picture living here, alone, 70 years ago. Look around and feel the isolation and the independence. It's an experience hard to picture in our modern world.

Sometime in the afternoon the group will float into a riverside camp on a big beach with opportunities for swimming, relaxing, and possibly hiking. Guides will show the group how to set up their tents and begin making appetizers and preparing dinner. Grab a beverage, kick back and enjoy just being away from your phone, your work, your tv. Enjoy being with your friends and family in the middle of the lower 48's largest wilderness area.

Day 2: Start off with some Native American pictographs and then more rapids and beautiful scenery. Probably just before lunch the group will arrive at Black Creek rapid in the heart of the black canyon of the Salmon River. This granite gorge is a beautiful part of the river that culminates in one of the premier rapids of the trip. Black Creek is a newer rapid created by a land slide in 2011 which damned the river and created what is now the steepest drop on the river. Shortly after everyone paddles this exciting rapid Barth Hot springs arrives on river left and it's time to soak for a bit.

When everyone is done soaking in this scenic hot springs it's down river towards camp. The afternoon likely includes a couple great rapids and maybe a few hikes if the group is up for it.

Day 3: Whitewater Day. Today may include a hike or two, but it's primarily about running rapids. Today will have some of the greats of the river including Bailey, Five Mile, Split Rock (A favorite rapid of numerous guides when asked for favorite rapid from any river) and the exciting Big Mallard. These rapids combine to make day three a highlight day on the Main Salmon combining great scenery with plenty of excitement.

At the end of day three the group will float into Whitewater Ranch and our lodge for the night. A small tractor will be waiting to take all the gear up to the lodge and it's a short 1/4 mile walk up the property. When we arrive you can hop into a hot shower before you head out to explore historic cabins, walk down to the pelton wheel and see first hand how they produce their electricity. Visit the garden and see where tonights veggies are coming from or relax with good book. Whitewater Ranch is a special place where you will quickly feel at home. The owners are hosts in a way that only folks living in the backcountry can be and you will quickly fall in love with them and their beautiful home.

After a delicious home cooked meal its out to relax around the bonfire and re-live the stories from the trip thus far. When you have seen enough stars and laughed enough with your trip-mates it's off to a soft bed for a great nights sleep.

Day 4: Today starts off with a bang. Another of the great rapids of the Salmon River is just around the corner. Elk Horn rapid is the longest rapid on the river at almost a mile in length. At any river flow this rapid is a highlight of the trip sure to challenge everyone in it's 3 different sections. Pass the elephant rock and it's home free and onto more relaxing rapids for the rest of the day.

The afternoon brings the group into a favorite trip stopping point, Buckskin Bills. Buckskin was one of the last great american mountain men this was his homestead on the river. The group will watch the short documentary highlighting the weapons he made by hand before taking time to sit in his cabin and climb his turret which he made to fight off the government. It's also a great place to grab an ice cream, sit in the shade and watch the river float slowly past. After buckskin bills it's probably not far to another great riverside camp.

Day 5: Into the heart of the Grand Canyon of the Salmon River. The second deepest canyon in the United States, deeper then the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The Salmon River canyon is an ideal place to put your feet up and float while taking in the steep rock walls and the mountain sheep climbing the pinnacles above you. Whitewater is reasonably mellow today but swimming holes are abundant as the group floats to a wonderful, white sand beach camp for the night. Tonight will be a delicious dinner to celebrate a wonderful trip down the beautiful Salmon River. Stay up late and take in the stars, because you won't see them anywhere else like you will see them on the Salmon River.

Day 6: End the trip with a bang. This morning is great! Rapids including Dried Meat, Chittum, Vinegar, and Carry Creek Falls to bring the group to the trip takeout sometime around mid-day for a late lunch. After transferring your gear from our drybags back to your suitcase it's into the van for the ride out to Boise. This ride takes a little over 5 hours, but the scenery is incredible. You will be returned to the Boise airport or a nearby hotel sometime typically between 6 and 7 pm.

Trip Itinerary - 6-day All Camp

The same itinerary above except no lodge on night three. This typically adjust things a little so camp three would be further down river, but the basic idea is the same.

Trip Itinerary - 5-day All lodge

This is the premier experience. Arguably the United States premier river, largest wilderness area, but with a soft bed and hot shower every night. The Main Salmon is one of two wilderness rivers in the United States that can be floated lodge to lodge. The other, the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, is an incredible and popular trip. This is simply it's bigger brother. Great lodges, beautiful wilderness and plenty of wildlife make the Main Salmon lodge trip a king of river adventures.

Day 1: After a night at Salmon River lodge preparing for the trip it's time to head down river. Floating away from Corn Creek into the rugged and foreboding landscape of the Salmon River Canyon one cannot help feeling the excitement of heading into the wilderness and away from civilization. There is something special about this canyon that overtakes people at this moment. Around the first couple corners brings the group to Killum Rapid and the first whitewater challenge of the Salmon River. This class III is mostly down the big waves in the middle and leads to lots of hooting and hollering. This will set the tone for the thrilling river challenges for the next couple of days. Day one continues with Alder Creek, Lance Bar, Devils teeth and and a number of other thrilling whitewater challenges. A quick stop to see native american pictographs and it's back to floating and running rapids until the group arrives at River or No Return lodge. A beautiful little retreat hidden in the pines just above the rivers edge, the welcome, and the food, will quickly make you never want to leave.

Day 2: Today is a big whitewater day with many of the trips larger rapids packaged into one action filled day. Just below the lodge he group floats into black canyon, a scenic granite walled gorge marking the approach of Black Creek rapid. Black Creek is a newer rapid created by a land slide in 2011 which damned the river and created what is now the steepest drop on the river. Shortly after everyone paddles through this exciting rapid Barth Hotsprings arrives on river left and it's time to soak for a bit and prepare for an exciting afternoon. The afternoon holds a number of rapids to satisfy your whitewater hunger, the Big waves series is great along with a handful of exciting class II's eventually lead to Bailey, five mile, split rock, little bastard, big mallard, and little mallard. All of these bigger class III and IV rapids are packed into the last 90 minutes leading into the lodge for the evening.

At the end of day two the group will float into Whitewater Ranch and our lodge for the night. A small tractor will be waiting to take all the gear up to the lodge and it's a short 1/4 mile walk up the property. When we arrive you can hop into a hot shower before you head out to explore historic cabins, walk down to the pelton wheel and see first hand how they produce their electricity. Visit the garden where tonights veggies are coming from or relax with good book. Whitewater Ranch is a special place where you will quickly feel at home. The owners are hosts in a way that only folks living in the backcountry can be and you will quickly fall in love with them and their beautiful ranch.

After a delicious home cooked meal its out to relax around the bonfire and re-live the stories from the trip thus far. When you have seen enough stars and laughed enough with your trip-mates it's off to a soft bed for a great nights sleep.

Day 3: Today starts off with a bang. Another of the great rapids of the Salmon River is just around the corner. Elk Horn rapid is the longest rapid on the river at almost a mile in length. At any river flow this rapid is a highlight of the trip sure to challenge everyone in it's 3 different sections. Pass the elephant rock and it's home free and onto more relaxing rapids for the rest of the day.

At the end of day three the group will float into Whitewater Ranch and our lodge for the night. A small tractor will be waiting to take all the gear up to the lodge and it's a short 1/4 mile walk up the property. When we arrive you can hop into a hot shower before you head out to explore historic cabins, walk down to the pelton wheel and see first hand how they produce their electricity. Visit the garden and see where tonights veggies are coming from or relax with good book. Whitewater Ranch is a special place where you will quickly feel at home. The owners are hosts in a way that only folks living in the backcountry can be and you will quickly fall in love with them and their beautiful home.

After a delicious home cooked meal its out to relax around the bonfire and re-live the stories from the trip thus far. When you have seen enough stars and laughed enough with your trip-mates it's off to a soft bed for a great nights sleep.

Day 4: Today is a shorter mile day so we usually start it with a scenic hike up the south fork of the Salmon River. This crystal clear river is the single largest tributary the groups sees on this trip and makes for a beautiful morning hike. After the hike the group floats into the Grand Canyon of the Salmon River and the second deepest gorge in the United States, deeper than the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The canyon is an ideal place to put your feet up and float while taking in the steep rock walls and the mountain sheep climbing the pinnacles above you. Whitewater is reasonably mellow today but swimming holes are abundant as the group floats towards tonight premier lodge. We often stop and take in lunch at a spot called, "the swimming hole" which is a great place to relax and swim for an hour or two before continuing on.

The afternoon brings the group into a favorite trip stopping point, Buckskin Bills. Buckskin was one of the last great american mountain men this was his homestead on the river. The group will watch the short documentary highlighting the weapons he made by hand before taking time to sit in his cabin and climb his turret which he made to fight off the government. It's also a great place to grab an ice cream, sit in the shade and watch the river float slowly past. After buckskin bills it's probably not far to another great riverside camp.

When we arrive at Sheep Ranch the caretakers (some of the greatest people on earth) will meet us with their tractor to load the luggage and take it up to the ranch. A 200 yard walk from the boats brings you up to a grassy oasis with fresh lemonade and chocolate chip cookies waiting in the main house and lounge chairs ideally positioned under the big shade tree overlooking the river. You will quickly find this is the kind of place you never want to leave.

Day 5: End the trip with a bang. This morning is great with rapids like Dried Meat, Chittum, Vinegar, and Carry Creek Falls to bring the group to the trip takeout sometime around mid-day for a late lunch. After transferring your gear from our drybags back to your suitcase it's into the van for the ride out to Boise. This ride takes a little over 5 hours, but the scenery is incredible. You will be returned to the Boise airport or a nearby hotel sometime typically between 6 and 7 pm.

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