June Pre Season Main Salmon - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-19-2019   #1
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 79
June Pre Season Main Salmon

Never won a lottery, so time to figure out plan Bs. I see that for Main Salmon you can launch as late as June 19th with unlimited launches allowed. What is the downfall of just securing, maybe even a Monday launch rather then weekend? Just less solitude and crowded campsites?

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Old 02-19-2019   #2
 
Riverwild's Avatar
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 208
A monday launch would be less crowded than the weekend. The main consideration that time of year is high water. It can still be running pretty high and if Idaho has a cold spring it can be peaking around then on big snowpack years.
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Old 02-19-2019   #3
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
Paddling Since: 1999
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I ran the Main Salmon in early June 2011. We were the only group that day, and no group after us for a few days.

We started on like 15,500 CFS, and six days later we took out at Spring Bar at 40,000+ CFS , (56,000 at Riggins gauge). The drift wood becomes a huge factor. Nothing more scary than rafting side by side with a 30 foot pointy limb ponderosa bobbing along. Chittum rapid was fun.... good luck
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Old 02-19-2019   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 465
I got a reservation for June 19 (Wednesday) launch on the Main Salmon as a back up to the lotteries, which I guess was wise since I got skunked this year.

My big concern is that the water levels will be too high for a family trip and maybe too high for me period. I guess I have a little while to see how the snow totals end up.
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Old 02-19-2019   #5
 
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Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 66
I have gone pre-season (18th or 19th) 2 of the last 3 years, and probably will again. Last year there were 14 groups scheduled when we did; I think only 10 groups launched, most were smaller sized groups though, and the boat total may be less than a permit day. Ramp conditions not crowded, campground sites available, parking was sort of tight. You can still reserve downstream camp sites. Flow likely to be high enough to limit camps somewhat, about 17kcfs for us last June. Gives some of the normally smaller rapids some kick.
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Old 02-19-2019   #6
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhusbands View Post

My big concern is that the water levels will be too high for a family trip and maybe too high for me period. I guess I have a little while to see how the snow totals end up.



I am in the same boat. If its epic water it just wont be a good idea. I have 7 and 9 year old boys. Maybe I should reserve the 19th as well, and if its looking to be too much just cancel at some point....
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Old 02-19-2019   #7
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I did an early June Middle Fork Trip last year and about half of the group turned the corner and did the Main. It was a lot of fun doing the transistion between the more technical medium sized Middle Fork and the Big Water "down the middle over the big waves" Main.

There were surprisingly few people on the river too. We saw a few groups, but only once or twice a day. It felt WAY more crowded during the permit season trips I did. On one of them we did the Jet Boat option where you get picked up and driven back to the top with all of your gear...and you really get a true idea of how many people are on the river. It felt like most camps were used and we passed groups on the water a lot too.
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Old 02-19-2019   #8
 
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DidNotWinLottery View Post
I am in the same boat. If its epic water it just wont be a good idea. I have 7 and 9 year old boys. Maybe I should reserve the 19th as well, and if its looking to be too much just cancel at some point....

The good thing about the preseason trips is that late cancellations are fine, we've run preseason at really low (less than 2 foot on the ramp) and close to 7 feet (the top of my comfort zone) in that week before permit season kicks in. It can be really cold that time of year with possible cold longish swims if things go South. If you have the flexibility just watch the gauge (& weather) carefully.
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Old 02-20-2019   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 79
What do you think a family friendly water height limit is?
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Old 02-20-2019   #10
 
Pullman, Washington
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by DidNotWinLottery View Post
What do you think a family friendly water height limit is?
Trying to attach the Corn Creek ramp sign, not sure if I succeeded. I don't think we have ever had kids on an early season, we've had a couple of darn cold, wet trips. Then again we've had July trips when its rained every day too.... Idaho


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