Originally Posted by blind mango
Hi - Since you've done this several times.. how many days with leisure paddling and camping for the Vinegar to Heller stretch? Or is it better to just do Vinegar to Hammer? Currently the flows are around 33K - we will be going sometime late July maybe early August so lower flows? Is the motorized traffic thick on this stretch or just until one hits the Snake? Lastly what are the rapids like? I appreciate any tidbits of info. I've been to the BLM site and see they have the river maps for downloading. Experienced boaters looking for some down time. Thanks again.
I would do Hammer Creek to Heller Bar. Vinegar Creek to Hammer Creek is next to the Big Salmon Road and Hwy 95 the WHOLE time. Hammer to Heller leaves the highway and only a few miles of back roads are along the river on that section. Late July the flows will probably be 8-12K and Vinegar to Heller is about 135 miles. If you did it in 8 days (17 miles/day) you would not have much leisure time. You can do Hammer to Heller in 4 or 5 days comfortably. 6-7 days with a layover or two. You will see a few Jet boats but mostly on the Snake. Rapids are pretty much read and run at that time of year. You can scout a few of them but it is all pool drop, there isn't a single rapid where you don't have enough time to clean up a mess.