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Old 09-28-2015   #1
white salmon, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
Lower Salmon (Hammer Creek to Heller Bar) Trip Report

2 boat trip - 1 16ft 1 18ft
6 people - 2 kids, 4 adults
9/18 - 9/23
3600cfs and rising (USGS Whitebird)

This trip is absolutely awesome. What a great way to wind down the summer. Thanks to those who chimed in and helped answer some of my questions that I posted earlier. I really appreciate it. This was the first overnight trip for my kids (5 and and I couldn't imagine a better one. We had perfect weather, no rain and highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s.

As the book says, there are plenty of big sandy awesome beaches to choose from. I imagine that in the summer time when there are more folks out there that some smaller groups might have some doubling up to do if they were to take some of these beaches, but man there are some huge spots out there. Wickiup Beach was the only one where we didn't just plop and drop the kitchen.

Plenty of firewood out there. no real hang up rocks to speak of, read and run everything or boat scout except for Snow Hole and China. We didn't scout China but if you watch a couple of YouTube videos you'll understand this one in about 1/2 a second. But beyond that, man there are some nice wavetrains, big hits to make to get the kids soaked and amazing scenery.

We saw only one other group out there and they were on a 'cast and blast' kinda trip. Something to consider if you are heading out there late season is that there might be some hunters out there. No big deal for us, but something to think about.

There is Power and Water at the put in (Hammer Creek).

The SCAT machine in Asotin, WA was broken. My friends say it is always out of order.

Most of the Jet Boats on the Hells Canyon Jet Boat Preserve don't slowdown for you.

We took an 8hp Honda outboard for the Snake River part of the trip. That thing was awesome to have. There are some big pools with virtually no current and plenty of headwind to piss my kids off. We didn't put it on until we couldn't take the head winds any longer.

Here is a link to my instagram where I posted some pics

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Old 09-29-2015   #2
Caw! Caw!
AlanS's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 62
It sure sounds like you had a fun trip! You had better weather than we did a few weeks ago; we got rained on every day (but we didn't let that get us down). Even with the jetboats and all the private land, it really is a great float.

After having run it, the main reason I would recommend scouting China rapid is in case there's a new hazard (e.g. a log, or a deployed throwbag, or a boat or something) caught up in the lower section. It's like Pistol Creek or Blossom Bar that way -- even if you know the line you need to take, there's no way to tell what may be waiting down below until you go look. That being said, I only scout Pistol pre-season, and I'm not sure I'd *always* scout China.

But, China does look awesome from the scout. I really want to see what it looks like at higher flows now.

Anyway, I'm glad you had fun.

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Old 09-29-2015   #3
white salmon, Washington
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 4
you are probably right on about scouting China.

having run it once and seen that bottom pour over I totally agree.
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