Description: The Main Salmon River "River of no Return" is part of Idaho's River Lottery Permit System. From the put-in at Corn Creek to the take-out at Vinegar Creek, this 79 mile stretch combines good whitewater with great scenery (V- shaped canyon with predominately pine forest), accessible beach camping, and a few hot springs along the way. Add in a few stops of historical significance. Wonder why this is a popular trip?...
The major rapids include Rainier, Lantz Bar, Devils Teeth, Salmon Falls (IV), Hancock, Bailey Creek, Split Rock, Big Mallard Creek (IV), Elkhorn, Growler, Ludwig, Dried Meat, and Chittam. Normal stops include Buckskin Bill Cabin and Mackay Bar Resort.
This trip can be done 2 ways: Pre-arrange to have a jet boat take you and equipment from Vinegar up to Corn Creek or have your vehicles shuttled from Corn Creek. A better take-out is actually several miles downstream of Vinegar at Carey Creek, especially if you can coerce your passenger to run upstream to retrieve the vehicle at Vinegar. For those who are fortunate (or diligent enough) to have permits, this trip can be combined with the Middle Fork to give you 10-14 days on the river.
Directions: Allow 8-10 hours from Seattle depending on how you go. The take-out is up stream of Riggins ID, while the put-in access is thru Montana south to North Fork, ID and into the Put-in (several miles downstream of the Middle Fork Cache Bar take-out).