Guide to Idaho’s Rivers – Salmon River Location Map
Idaho’s Salmon River Location:
Idaho is known for potatoes-due to a very aggressive marketing campaign many years ago. A topographic map, though, shows that Idaho is mostly mountains and more mountains, with only a small amount of flat land. Most of that flat land is high desert. It is said that if Idaho was flattened out it would be bigger than Texas. Potato land is only a small portion of the state. About two thirds of the state is public land. In the back-country central Idaho counties, public land exceeds 90%. The Salmon River is the primary drainage of central Idaho, a little over 400 miles long. The river flows mostly within a canyon-said to be the longest undammed, free-flowing river within a single state. It heads in the Sawtooth mountains, near Sun Valley, flows north, then west, joining the Snake River on the Oregon border about 50 miles south of Lewiston, Idaho–losing over six thousand feet of elevation. Some sections of the Salmon River canyon were too rugged for roads and development, and became the present River of No Return Wilderness. It is the largest wilderness area in the lower 48, over two million acres. It is separated from the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness Area, which is a million and a half acres, by only a summertime dirt road, and from the Gospel Hump Wilderness Area, which is another half-million acres, by only the width of the Salmon River. In this mountainous terrain roads usually follow rivers. There are three long road-less sections of the Salmon River: the Middle Fork, the Main Salmon(River of No Return), and the Lower Salmon Gorge. Aggipah River Trips provides 3-6 day whitewater rafting trips on all three wilderness sections of the Salmon River, and can combine these sections to create a 300-mile trip lasting three weeks.