main-salmon-river-attractions-things-to-do

Expand Yourself in a Whole New World

Enjoy exploring where few others have opportunities to walk. The remote 2.2 million acre Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness will allow just that. During your river vacation, you will raft, kayak and camp within one of the deepest gorges on the continent. The Salmon River Canyon is 1/5 of a mile deeper than the Grand Canyon and its walls are more than a mile deep for 180 miles. You will see for yourself why Congress designated 73 miles of this stretch of river as a "Wild" river.

Along with our water sports and recreational activities, Pro Rafting Tours offers Side Excursions that give you opportunities to expand your knowledge and spark your sense of awe. Side Excursions include exploring prehistory, history, geology, botany and the river's vast culture through nature walks and hikes.

 

SIDE EXCURSIONS:

LEGEND CREEK PICTOGRAPHS

Created by the Sheepeater Indians, known as the Big Game Hunters, the Legend Creek Pictographs, an at-risk cultural treasure are located in a rock shelter protected from the elements of sunshine, wind-blown sand and precipitation. The rock art was made by painting natural pigments onto stone. During an early-trip side-excursion, those who study and love geology, archeology, anthropology and history enjoy viewing the rock art located in the secluded and protected Salmon River Canyon.

SABE CREEK

Located about a mile down-river from the thrilling Black Creek Rapid, is Sabe Creek. The word "Sabe" is Spanish for "know." Sabe Creek flows 10 miles from Sabe Creek Mountain and it is one of the most scenic creeks in the canyon. A side-excursion to explore Sabe Creek is delightful because of the scenery, opportunities for bird watching and possibly seeing wild life. Numerous white rocks are scattered in the creek bed where its water merges directly into the Main Salmon River making it a strikingly beautiful sight.

BARTH NATURAL HOT SPRINGS

Accessible by climbing a short, steep trail, the large hot springs pool overlooks the Main Salmon River. The hot springs' water temperature is similar to that of hot tubs making a soak an enjoyable activity that is exclusive to those who float the river. Historical inscriptions are found on rocks below the hot springs near the river, including engravings from legendary John McKay who used the hot springs as a comforting stop during his numerous winter river trips.

MACKAY BAR PACK BRIDGE

Named after William B. Mackay, who first built a log homestead in 1899 and went on to acquire several placer claims in the river canyon by 1910, the pack bridge is a fun place to stop to view the river from above. The long, high suspension bridge was built in 1935 for pack stock crossings. There is a side trail leading from the bridge that parallels the river canyon. Extending for miles, the trail is perfect for a quick day-hike or an energizing trail run.

PACIFIC YEW TREES

Below the mouth of Indian Creek, a popular side-excursion is to hike 20 minutes on a lovely and shady creek-side trail that leads to a rare and unique stand of Pacific Yew trees. Yews are conifers native to the Pacific Coast ranges, not necessarily Idaho. Secluded in the river canyon, this stand of yews is believed to date back to over 500 years. Since yews are extremely slow growers and their bark is thin and flaky, it is hard to determine their age by their rings. Visiting these trees is worth the short hike.

HISTORIC BUILDINGS

With goals of becoming rich from fur trade and mining or from those wanting a life of seclusion, the Salmon River Canyon has stories to tell of recent human history. After Lewis and Clark's first visit to the upper reaches of the Salmon River in 1805, the river ebbed and flowed with pioneer activity. Early Main Salmon River occupants leave behind valuable historical dwellings that we visit and learn from during several optional side-excursions. A few examples are Jim Moore Place, Buckskin Bill's and Polly Bemis Ranch.

A man walking to a cabin at Jim Moore Place during a Main Salmon River whitewater rafting vacation in Idaho.
••• During your whitewater rafting trip, hike to historical sites in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Jim Moore Place, shown here has several dwellings just a 1/2 mile off the Main Salmon River. •••
A man walking in the water with a camera during a Main Salmon River whitewater rafting vacation in Idaho.
••• Enjoy photography tours along the Main Salmon River and in its river canyon. There are springs, creeks, beautiful canyons, rock art and countless areas to see & to capture in incredible photos of untouched wilderness. •••
A group hiking to rafts and kayaks along the river during a Main Salmon River whitewater rafting vacation in Idaho.
••• Mid-day, we stop for lunch and group activities. Guests enjoy exploring many interesting features along the river, such as viewing the variety of plants and trees that grow in the river canyon. •••