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Old 06-03-2012   #11
Avon, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 38
Whip, IDfloater, king....can you fellas enlighten me about this stretch? I'm just looking for some simple do's and don'ts. Campsites, side hikes, stops, etc. Local tips, knowledge, etc. Whatever you think a guy like me should know from guys like you. Never been on this stretch and would love some more beta. -ad

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Old 06-04-2012   #12
bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
Will be hot - spend a lot of time in the water. About 40 class II to IV rapids - pretty straightforward (read and run) maybe scout China and Snowhole. Great white sand beaches - not much for side hikes. I ran it for the first time last year. My son (Whipster) has done it 4 or 5 times past 15 years so maybe he will see this and give u more info. Oh, yeah - nice to have a motor on last day on the Snake.

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Old 06-04-2012   #13
whip's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
Here's the shuttle link:

All Rivers Shuttle Service :: Shuttles and Transportation for The Lower and Main Salmon River
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 06-04-2012   #14
Angel Fire, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 48
I certainly recommend All River Shuttles. They are great!

The last stretch on the Snake is pretty slow and there are 100 jet boats a day. Lots of people try to camp right at the confluence of the Snake and Salmon. We usually try to make it 6 miles or so leaving a quicker last day.
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Old 06-05-2012   #15
The Russian
kazak4x4's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Powdawg, I just posted the same question to idahowhitewater yahoo mailing group and got great responses with a lot of details. You can check the archives there for the posts titled "Lower Salmon"

The key thing everyone told me: "right at 1/2 & 1/2 and HARD left at China Bar", I guess those are the biggest rapids.

Some of the other things I picked up:

1. All River Shuttle - most recommended, costs $135 per car, unless you are a teacher
2. Plan on at least 5 day trip.
3. Map: Boater Guide - Hammer Creek to Heller Bar
4. You will need Invasive sticker and Day Pass for Washington state, both sold at All River Shuttle. I think they also sell the printed map.
5. Find a camp no later than 3pm, better on the West side (shade comes earlier)
6. No fresh water fill up, bring lots of water
7. Bring lots of shade, hardly any shade at camps, but plenty of sand beaches
8. Get ready for a long lake rowing on the Snake Lake (last 19 miles after confluence)
9. Permit is self assigned at put in, regular river regulations apply (groover, firepan, take out trash/ash)
10. Watch out for rattle snakes and poisen ivy at camps
11. Do not launch if river is higher than 15,000 or 20,000 cfs (mixed reviews), the Slide rapid becomes a class V rapid, lower than that flow it's a riffle.
12. Dogs are allowed, pick up after your own dog
13. Firewood can be gathered in eddies

Hope this helps,

PS: We are launching on July 18th.
-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ ]
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Old 06-05-2012   #16
Avon, Colorado
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 38
Thanks everyone, all great beta. Have a great trip Alex! Anyone else with's greatly appreciated. ad
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Old 06-05-2012   #17
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Salida, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 516
We're gonna tie off and motor the flat water last day.
No amount of money is worth your free time!
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Old 06-05-2012   #18
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
Hey powdawg: put on at 16K at whitebird and be prepared to the best run the lower has to offer. Wave trains all the way down. Right Center @ Snow. Left center @ China and hit the meat of the Slide and ride the 3 huge standing waves. Flush out of the canyon Left Center. Some hiking around china creek. A "warm" spring near deamons. A sweat shack near China creek. If there are alot of ppl on the river, I get on by 9am and find a camp spot early. The guidles motorboat gear boats and score the best spots. There are a few camps tucked in on the south side of the river that I like, but bring your own shade and sunscreen. Smallies hit on 2 1/2 to 3" grubs in the eddy lines. Salmon and steelies in winter and fall. not much for trout. A full moon lights up the cayon and you can boat at night. Enjoy.
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Old 06-06-2012   #19
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 102
All good info...just wanted to contribute a few things:

Get the boater's guide!

There is a fun log jump about 7 miles downstream from Hammer Creek on river right, just across from Schwartz Bar 1 mile before going into Green Canyon. Look for a big driftwood pile and one huge log sticking out from the pile and over the river like a diving board. Great fun!!

Just downstream from the log (less than 1 mile) on the same side of river there are the pictographs you can walk to. It's not a beach but the last eddy before going into Green Canyon on river right there is a small trail (100 yds or so) that goes up to the pictographs from a cobble shoreline.

You can fill up water at mile 22 at Pipeline Rapid in Cougar Canyon but you'll need a pipe or something to stick into the spring to get it out

First eddy river right after half and half there is a neat Chinese stone house up the bank a bit (200ft). Watch for rattlesnakes though, it seems they are always at that spot! There is another one on the scout of China Rapid

You can scout Snowhole and China from river left if you want.

At mile 44.5 you can hike 3/4 mile up Wapshilla Creek to the F&G historic ranch and meet the caretakers. They are interesting people, always welcome visitors (daytime) and usually have some kind of freshly baked goodies to share (His mail order bride is a great baker). Plus it is a beautiful ranch..

I don't recommend camping between Eagle Creek Rapid and Wapshilla Rapid (mile 39-45). There is a dirt road that follows the river during that stretch and the local rednecks come down in their ATV's and blast their guns all night.

At the entrance to Blue Canyon there is a short hiking trail that goes up to where you have great views and can even see the beginning to Slide. Camp at the first beach on river left once you enter Blue canyon, walk to the downstream end and look for the trail that goes up the draw.

Finally, when on the Snake, about 3 miles down from the confluence on river left there is a neat waterfall with a nice pool for swimming. Cherry Creek is the name.

For me with a 5 hp motor takes about 2.5-3 hours to motor out from the confluence. With no motor - 5-6 hours of constant rowing...

Hopefully some of this is useful. I've done the Lower countless times and thought I'd share some info...
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Old 06-06-2012   #20
The Russian
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SLC, Utah
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,380
Check out this link, if you guys see anything needs updating, don't hesitate to change/add stuff:

Salmon River - Hammer Creek to Heller Bar (Lower Salmon) - River Brain

-ALEX [ youtube ][ my boat ][ ]
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