Make the Most of Your
Salmon "River of No Return" Rafting Trip
Although the 2014 season is still a Winter and some Spring away, we're already getting a good number of bookings for our five-to-six-day Main Salmon "River of No Return" trips. So, in the interest helping our guests to make the most of their vacation, we've put together this list of the 5 best things to do on either end of a Main Salmon River trip.
1. Hang out in-and-around Salmon, ID
Salmon, ID is the meeting and departure point for our Main Salmon River trips. More than that, it is a great place to spend a day or two before putting on the river.
"Located along the Salmon River, 'The River of No Return', the City of Salmon is proud of its rich history that includes strong traditions of mining, lumbering and family ranching. Lewis and Clark crossed the Continental Divide in 1805 into the Salmon Valley during their expedition to the Pacific Ocean and received essential supplies and information from Sacajawea's people, the AgaiDika Shoshone."
Spend some time taking in the rich cultural history of the region and its inhabitants at the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Educational Center, go horseback riding or mountain biking along one of the many conveniently situated trails, visit a local hot springs, enjoy the hearty fare and local brews at one of the town's dining spots (we recommend: Bertram's Brewery and Shady Nook, as well as the Owl Club or Salmon River Lounge for an after dinner drink), or else just take in the authentically western, small town feel with a walk down Salmon's old-style Main Street.
2. Explore the Seven Devils Wilderness Area
For those looking for something to do on the tail end of a Main Salmon River trips, we recommend exploring the unsung majesty of the Seven Devils Wilderness Area.
"The Seven Devils Mountains extend along the Idaho-Oregon border for roughly 40 miles between the Idaho towns of Whitebird and Council. They are bounded by the Snake River on the west and the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers on the east. Seven Devils Mountains are part of the Hells Canyon Wilderness. The range is rugged and scenic; it is the state's most precipitous range, with elevations varying from just above 1,000 feet at the Snake River to 9,393 feet on the summit of He Devil."
The Windy Saddle Campground makes for an ideal base in the areas, and can be accessed from Forest Rd. 517 off Hwy. 95 near Riggins, ID, the nearest town to our Main Salmon take-out. This access route offers campgrounds, fire rings, picnic tables and toilet facilities (but no water, so plan ahead).
3. Get the Birds Eye View
There may be no better way to round out the experience of a trip down the Main Salmon River than by taking in the landscape from above, with a Bell 47 helicopter tour of the Seven Devils, Hells Canyon, and best of all, the Frank Church Wilderness and its Salmon River canyon, which will have you looking down on the river canyon you will have just floated through on your Main Salmon trip. (Operated by Salmon River Helicopters.)
4. Go visit Yellowstone National Park (Glacier is nice, too)
With abundant natural wildlife, the world's largest collection of geysers and one of the last, nearly intact, natural ecosystems in the Earth's temperate zone, a visit to Yellowstone National Park, just only 3-4 hours drive from Salmon, ID (near our Main Salmon River put-in point), makes for a great precursor to a Main Salmon River trip. (If you have the time, and can't quell that scenic itch, you might combine your Yellowstone visit with a jaunt up to Glacier National Park (~ six hours drive from Yellowstone).
5. Take a Scenic Drive and a Dip (…in hot springs)
If you're able to tack an extra day onto the end of your Main Salmon River trip, the Warren Wagon Road Backcountry drive (or bike) offers a great combination of goods: backcountry scenery, the ghost town of Burgdorf and a hot springs to loosen up those paddle-weary muscles.
This road begins on Highway 55 on the west side of McCall, ID (45 minutes drive from Riggins, ID) and continues along past Payette Lake, Upper Payette Lake, Burgdorf Hot Springs, then literally ends at the mining era town of Warren, ID, which is just west of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness (through which our Main Salmon trip floats).
In closing, any one or combination of these 5 options make for great additions to one of our Main Salmon River trips--and if you're one of those to have already booked a Main Salmon for Summer 2014, and you have a bit of extra time on either end, we heartily recommend considering one of these add-on activities. But whether or not any of the 5 aforementioned add-on suggestions appeals to you, the Main Salmon "River of No Return" stands as a full-fledged adventure of its own, without adding anything to either end of it--and we guarantee that a trip down the Main Salmon River with Orange Torpedo Trips will stay with you as the adventure of a lifetime. So if you haven't already, check this trip out on our website (here), and book soon, as spaces are limited.