Main Salmon Beta - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-13-2015   #1
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Main Salmon Beta

Hello friends,
I recently posted the question on Snake or Salmon as my group had the choice between the two this summer. The unanimous decision was Salmon! So with it being my permit, I now have the pleasure of TL duties and I know very little about the stretch of water. So.....

Am I correct that the normal put in is Corn Creek and the normal take out is Vinegar??

Also any other beta that you have to offer would be greatly appreciated...recommended guide books, favorite camps, hikes, must do's, must don'ts, really anything you've learned that you are willing to pass on!! We launch on June 29th...


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Old 03-13-2015   #2
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
Hopefully someone in the group (you) has some solid multi day experience.

Corn creek is the launch. Don't let the map trick you. The corn creek road is long and windy and dusty. After you leave Salmon you stuill have like 90+ minutes of driving to the ramp. It is REALLY helpful to arrive the day before and get the gear sorted. be at the ranger camp meeting in the morning. Blow past Vinegar and go at least to Carey Creek. Vinegar launches a lot of jetboats. Carey is quieter and you get a few more miles and a couple OK rapids. Vinegar can be harder to catch at high water, not that you will have that problem.

Pro tips:
Have all the mandatory gear pulled out and ready for inspection. It is a bummer to unstrap a load to locate the strainer at the bottom of a drybag.

Maybe I am lucky but camps have never been an issue. Get 1 reserved near the bottom and don't worry too hard about the rest. I find a short first day helps for some reason.

Barth Hot springs is a fine lunch stop
Mackay Bar is no longer a good stop IMO
Bucksin bills is fun, just to tour around
Polly bemis Ranch is worth a lunch stop. Bring a volleyaball.
Most of the camps have decent hiking, though river & beach play usually dominate my trips.
Fishing the main channel isn't great for me. Big side creeks are fun though.

Don't stress too much.
Miles are easy to make
there will be another camp around the next bend
jetboats aren't a big deal
take a good camera
Enjoy Idaho.

PS Riggins can be HOT. top off your toilet with water at the ramp and get the job done quickly at teh SCAT machine.
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Old 03-13-2015   #3
Idaho Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 189
Thanks! and yeah, I have been TL on several easy 2-4 day trips and a Grand Canyon trip...most of my group was on the Grand with me so I know we work well together and I'm familiar with the ranger stuff...

Thanks for the camp info and put-in/take-out info...this is the stuff I'm looking for!! This is also my first experience on Idaho whitewater so I'm really looking forward to it!
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Old 03-13-2015   #4
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p.c., confused
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 186
You should bring a screened shelter for cooking and or at least bring some bee and wasps traps. The wasps have been quite bad the past few summers so be prepared. If anybody is allergic to bees make sure they have an epi pen and bring benadryl tablets and cream also to help relieve any bites or stings.
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Old 03-14-2015   #5
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 163
Go all the way to Riggins, another 20 miles or so, and there's a couple of good rapids. Otherwise you just have to drive the same stretch, so why not float it ?
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