Originally Posted by STD*
Got a Sept 4 launch, will have a small group(less than 10) going from Hells Canyon Dam to Heller Bar over 6 days.
I did order the USFS Boaters Guide, but am looking for more detailed info and advice on good/preferred camps, side hikes, must do's, etc.
I recommend staying above Pittsburg Landing as long as practical, best if you get a no motor week in that stretch.
One year we had our first camp at Square Beach, less than two miles from the dam and had a perect afternoon observing some sheep navigate the rock wall across the river from us.
Check out the pictographs while scouting Granite rapid river right and another panel above Bernard Creek Camp.
Kirkwood Ranch is an interesting stop with a museum cabin of sorts, a nice creek, and real bathroms. We used the furthest downriver campsite there for a layover last year which worked well with a nice hike back up to Suicide Point for some world class views. Only downside was a resident turkey that adopted us - was a curiosity at first but a real pest after a while.
Some camps in the lower end that worked well for us were Tryon Creek (pull in at the lower end of the creek fan) and China Bar for a last stop before Snake Lake. The next stretch of river takes you through two confluences (Imnaha and Salmon) which to me are always spectacular.
Stop at Cherry Creek Falls for a photo-op in the shower, the lower end of Geneva Bar has a great jump-off point that will make your knees shake, and the Cottonwood Creek camps are a good target for a last camp before leaving the designated Scenic River.
The Coon Hollow Flotsam Museum used to be worth a detour, but was in such a state of disrepair last year that I no longer recommend stopping.
Enjoy the trip!
- Jerry Malloy