Any boat that you can comfortably spend long days in will be fine. Depending on the level, there is some decent play. Depending on where you camp you might hike and do an easy creek run (not class 5), on either loon, Camas or Big creek. We did a layover near Loon and hiked a few miles up it. It is beautifuyl and has a few decent drops. Not sure if it is worth hiking up further or not. Nice hotsprings there though.
I did this run last week at 2.5 to 3.5 at the MF Lodge gauge and it was never harder than III. We also ran the lower couple of miles of Big and Loon Creeks and both were a blast. Camas looked fun, too, but it was snowing the day we camped there (sunny and 70 the rest of the days) and the hiking-to-rapids ratio wasn't as good as the other creeks.
I would take a playboat as long as you're physically comfortable in it. My buddy couldn't take his playboat 'cause it's too uncomfortable and he was getting tired of missing out on the surf. The first day we ran 40 miles from Marsh Creek to Indian airstrip where we met the raft that had to be flown in because of low water (the warm weather quickly fixed that though). The rest of the time we never did more than 20 miles a day. Expect outstanding scenery, but only moderate whitewater unless the flows are above 5 or 6. We portaged Dagger Falls. Velvet falls is run on the left. Everything else is read and run. I'll try to post a few picks once I get everything downloaded off my camera.
Have fun. I would definitely take the time to do this run.
:wink: I'm very jealous! Back in the day (I'm talking way back...), I use to guide on the Salmon before the *Snake* scared me out of kayaking for 10 years. Growing up in Idaho, it was my favorite river. All the hotsprings, no people, no funk in the water... have fun. I look forward to seeing your pictures.
What boat to take and what the rapids will be like depends on what the water will be. The high water early in the summer is pushy. Later in the summer, it's an easy run. The snow pack was about 70-80% this year, and dropping fast.
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