Lower Salmon-March - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-27-2019   #1
 
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Lower Salmon-March

Howdy, I have a week off work and im deciding between skiing some pow in the mountains or rafting the Lower Salmon. The dates I would paddle would be putting in on March 4. Has anyone ran this river this time of year? Is it worth the travel and river days or should i just go find some peaks to climb and rip some pow?.. I work in the Arctic so all i can think about is warm days on the river. I paddled the main in Sept, i plan to paddle the Main again Early June pre permit and i was thinking the Lower Salmon would be a decent time in March.

Any thoughts?
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Heckles?

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Old 12-27-2019   #2
 
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ok, another thought. What about Hells canyon on the snake vs lower salmon in March?
How does the dam affect the release for this river?
Is it guaranteed water or could i get there and have it all dried up?
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Old 12-27-2019   #3
 
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
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I can't say about the appeal of getting out of the Arctic, but.......Boating is fun, but not as much as a great day in the powder.
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Old 12-27-2019   #4
 
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Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1979
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We did the Lower Salmon last March 11th through the 21st, Vinegar Ck. to Heller Bar.
Very nice trip--no crowds!
(Not very warm, though...).


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Old 12-27-2019   #5
 
Elko, Nevada
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Dec 2019
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Hells is good in mid-late March so lower Salmon should be too as the elevations are comparable. If your talking about the Lower Gorge, you might want to consider Hells as a back up in case flows at Slide Rapid on the Salmon are over about 20k cfs; not advisable to run then! Hells can be run at almost any flow. If the snowpack is large, they may be releasing a lot of water. Hells was about 50k cfs last time I did a March run and more typical is 10 to 20k cfs.
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Old 12-30-2019   #6
 
La Grande, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2001
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As others have suggested, Hells is a good alternative that time of year. It's all going to depend on weather the couple of weeks prior to launch. Warm temps and rain will put the Salmon out but not necessarily Hells if the precip forecast for the Snake basin isn't huge.
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Old 12-31-2019   #7
 
Pullman, Washington
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I never run the river that time of year but often go down to Hell's at Pittsburg for a boat up/run back trail run the third w/end of March. The weather can be a crap shoot, it can be gorgeous warm days and decent nights or snow level creeping down to river level and freezing nights in the canyon. Highly unpredictable but if you can go with the flow at late notice it could be a great trip. Two (?) years ago the water level was super high in March, the trail was underwater in several places.
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Old 01-06-2020   #8
 
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2017
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If you do the Lower, just watch the flows. Should be plenty low that time of year but if it gets warm early Slide rapid gets to be a V+ when flows get above 15-20K.
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Old 01-09-2020   #9
 
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Portland, Oregon
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Land of the Giants

Here's a decent video showing what Slide Rapid turns into above 20,000 cfs
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