Photos from our recent trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon river in Idaho have been posted.
The Middle Fork is a protected “Wild and Scenic’ river, with headwaters near Stanley, Idaho. It begins in a high alpine forest, and in a desert canyon with its confluence with the Main Salmon. We took 8 days and 7 nights to paddle the 115 miles from Marsh Creek (an early season put-in required to circumvent the typical snow-bound put-in road).
During the course of its run, the Middle Fork continually gains in volume, with feeder “creeks” dumping water into the flow. Weather can be notoriously bad, especially the first few days. But the camping is awesome, with hot springs almost strategically placed along the river. Each passing day on the river brings changes in scenery, and the promise of warmth and dryness of lower elevations.
This trip, we were extremely fortunate and had great weather all the way down!
Following the course of a river for 8 days is an amazing experience. The Middle Fork is a free flowing river: no dams, channels, jet boats, pollution. The flows were amazing, ranging from 5 to 5.83 ft on the gauge (which was the peak for the year). Sitting on the bank, it’s mesmerizing to watch that much water flow past. At high water, the river exudes a sense of violence, urgency, and power. Oh yeah, it also creates some amazing surf waves!
This trip I really tried to keep a more detailed journal. I got in about four days, then just lost interest. Why write about something when it’s happening right in front of you? Too many things to see and watch. I’ll save the nostalgia until I’m home.