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Old 07-09-2014   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 429
SF Salmon Flows

Anyone have any beta on the south fork salmon flows? I know that when it's high, it's big and when it's low, it's less big. I'm guessing a normal season is June=big, Late June early July = medium, Late July= low

Is it like the Middle fork where you could scrape down in August though?

Just trying to get an idea of what to expect and when to plan our trip in the future.

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Old 07-09-2014   #2
mongopush's Avatar
Upper Idaho, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 25
Its boney but doable in a kayak. At 2 foot it starts getting real low. Under 2.5 there is a river wide class 3 drop a couple miles above lawman that is a hard scout but there is a slot 1/3 river left that you can boat scout.

Then all clear to Devils creek. Below is a link that I filmed of my cousin running it at 2.3 feet. Scout river left port river right.

Devils Creek, South Fork Salmon River, Idaho - YouTube

Then all boat scout read and run to surprise run 1/3 to tight river left. Scout river left- port river left if you want to.

Then around the corner is elk creek. There are two lines. Left and right. If too low port right. If you want to run the hard line - scout left. Left is a mine field of shallow med size boulders followed by a couple 4'ish drops. The right route is a much easier shallow bench with a step drop to a pool. Easy route could be scouted river right.

Elk creek low h2o
South Fork Salmon River - YouTube

Then all boat scout read and run to Gray hound where you just go 1/3 river right between the big ass boulders. Scout river right - port river right.

Then boat scout read and run to fall creek. Nice trail on river right for scout or port. First drop river left, second drop down the center

Center drop
South Fork Salmon River, Fall Creek 2012 - YouTube
and bottom drop is bigger than one would think a 2'. Just make sure to stay off the river left wall. This is the toughest drop and if you had any issues with any above rapids, think about porting. Just above the 3rd drop river right you can sneak to the lake portage and save a bunch of packing.

Bottom drop
Fall Creek Rapid, South Fork Salmon River, Idaho - YouTube

If you got solid class 3 skills and know your limits I think this run is awesome at low water

Nice write up
South Fork of the Salmon River, ( River of No Return Wilderness section )
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