Middle Fork Salmon River (ID) - 100 miles - July 2-8, 2013

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Trip Itinerary:
Day 	Camp 			Bank 	Miles 
Put-in	Boundary Creek 		Left	0.0
1	Scout Camp 		Left	12.7
2	Marble Creek		Left	31.6
3	Whitie Cox		Left	46.2
4	Johnnie Walker		Left	60.8
5	Survey Creek		Left	74.8
6	Otter Bar		Right	90.4
7	Takeout	Cache Bar 	Right	99.7

The traditional congestion at Boundary Creek as the 7 daily permit groups launch. Our permit was for 19 people and 12 boats.
Our trip was 7 days/6 nights. USFS charges a $4 per person/day recreation fee. Commercial outfitters charge $1900-$2300 (plus rec fee) for a 6 day trip. As I understand it there are 28 different commercial outfitters on the MF. 3 or 4 of the permits each day are commercial

My new 14' SOTAR Legend was in the 2nd tier, which required pass-along loading

Almost ready

Short stop after launch to tighten straps and reloop a stern line that deployed

The 2.46' launch stage is the lowest of my 7 trips. The waters started out clear

Tight upper stretches

Sliding thru the left side of Velvet Falls. Never thought about rocks being in the slot before...2

First group lunch stop at Big Bend RM 6.5

Only 1 boat with the umbrellas

Keith (permit holder) and Sarah

Next morning, launching from Scout Camp, after an overnight rain and hail storm turned the waters muddy (presumed upstream blowup)

Josh in foreground

Reminder of previous fire damage

The muddy waters make it harder to read and the heavier rafts sometimes get stuck

After Rapid River RM 18.2 the waters got even browner, like chocolate!

Thru Pistol Creek Rapid RM 21.4

Pistol Creek lunch stop

Pistol Creek adds a bit of cleaner water

Pistol Creek private buildings

Water stop at Indian Creek RM 24.7

Pack Bridge

Upstream eddy at Marble Creek camp

Large camping tier

Thru Marble Creek rapid

Greg was taking group pictures at the bottom

Thru Marble Creek. V-photo2

Many of us took the downstream walk from camp to 'bucket wash' in the cleaner waters of Marble Creek

Rock dodging req'd

Rendering of photo above by budding artist Diane

Approaching the popular Sunflower Flats

Mandatory stop at Sunflower Flats hot springs

The group is off and running again

River level above MF Lodge

USGS station

MF Bridge and Lodge RM 33.3

Jackass Rapids was nothing at this level and an outfitter occupied our planned lunch stop

Arriving at Whitie Cox camp

The umbrellas are up for the morning launch

Larry, Tara, and Marlee are the last to depart Whitie Cox

Mike and Nan in foreground

Eric gets training time while Phill fishes

Phill catches a fish

Looking at Big Loon ranch

Big Loon merges with the MF

Verification photo

Big Loon add more mud to the waters that had started to clear a bit

Looking up Big Loon and wading to cool off as well

Downstream from Big Loon

Possible pictographs?

Hospital Bar hot spring, the last one the MF

Rugged terrain

Nearing Tappan area

Tappan Falls in the distance. Most boats have cleared

Approaching Tappan Falls

Tappan Falls V-photo2

Tom and Lindsey, and Bill G. and Molly wait for the last boats to clear

Waiting for last boats

The river gods took a bit of Phill's oar. We are surfing in the same hole below Tappan Falls

Eric and Phill

Hands free surfin'

Just below


Greg below Tappan Falls

Johnnie Walker camp

Why a fire when it's still 90 degree?

Ralph does the nightly paper plate and garbage burn

Did a little tarp drying from the 1st night usage at Scout

Off and rowing again

More scenery

Looking back at Johnnie Walker camp

Verification #2



Pictograph site

Below Flying B Ranch. Got water and ice cream. Didn't like the T-shirt selection

Getting bounced around....

Rattlesnake cave

Rattlesnake cave #2

Morning at Survey Creek camp after brief shower, then the heat returns

Survey Creek bench from the boat

Tom and Lindsey rerigging

Ralph readies to leave

Bighorn sheep

Waterfalls Creek

Waterfalls Creek #2

Waterfalls Creek #3

Bridge closeup

Waterfalls closeup

Helfrich sweep boat (huge outfitter gear hauler)

Bill G. fishing

Shaded lunch area

Lunch at Elk Bar camp

Lunchtime pictographs and skeletons

Greg does some spelunking

Veil Falls approach

Veil Falls

Some took the hike; some who had done it many times opted out

More fishing

Not much water this time of the year

Migrating spray

Porcupine Rapids

Fun rapid

Fun rapid #2

Mist Falls below Weber and Redside

Floating along

Mist Falls closeup

Approaching Papoose Creek

Papoose Creek closeup

Parrot Cabin RM 87.9

Parrot Grotto

Group viewing

Top section

Mid section

Enjoying Parrot Grotto

Back to parking spot for grotto side hike

Otter Bar camp


Last evening camp

Getting ready for an 8am launch to beat the congestion at the Cache Bar takeout

Launching before the sun hits seems unusual

A little sunshine going into Rubber Rapid

Main Salmon in the distance, and the access road

Looking back to the confluence

Main Salmon scenery

Stoddard Pack Bridge

Looking back at the last of the rapids - Cramer Creek was probably the toughest of the trip. As a pleasant end the congestion at Cache Bar takeout was minimal. We were on the road out by 12 noon. Fun trip.....

This year's T-shirt from the North Fork ID stop, as well as some excellent huckleberry ice cream

USGS Stage at 07/02/2013 12:00 MDT 2.46'
07/08/2013 12:00 MDT 2.23'

USGS Flow at 07/02/2013 12:00 MDT 1,440 CFS
07/08/2013 12:00 MDT 1,180 CFS

  1. U.O.N., Olympus Stylus 770SW Digital Photography by William F. Smith (7.1 MP, 3072x2304 HQ, 3X optical 38-114mm)
  2. Nikon Coolpix AW100 or D200 Digital Photography by Greg Dorland
  3. More trip pictures: Link 1 or Link 2 or Link 3

Last Update 21-Nov-16