Main Salmon information

The Main Salmon River, also known as, “The River of No Return” is easily one of the premier wilderness river trips in the U.S.  Great whitewater combines with incredible scenery, history, wildlife and camps to make this trip simply something apart from everything else.

The Main Salmon is a lottery access river from the mid June until early September.  So if you are going to try to run this section during the core season you will need enter in the lottery in December/January through


  • Launch at Corn Creek


  • Carrey Creek - most common
  • Spring Bar - Add another night and avoid the crowds.


  • 81 miles Corn to Carrey, typically done in 5-7 days


If you plan on having your vehicle shuttled from Corn Creek to Carrey we suggest calling All River Shuttles out of White Bird.  They are a great shuttle operation.

On the Main Salmon another option prior to mid/late July depending on river level, is to get a jet back.  You can meet at the takeout at Vinegar creek, load all your gear on a jetboat and catch a ride up stream to the put-in before floating back to your car.  You can also do it the other way, jetting after your trip, but there is something fun about seeing everything before you have to raft back down it.  To investigate this option we suggest calling Whitewater Expeditions. It is about the coolest way to start or end a river trip.


The Main Salmon has some significant whitewater with a good number of class IV rapids and dozens of class III rapids at standard river flows.  We would strongly suggest having a good guide book


One of the things that makes the Main Salmon so incredible is the quality of the camps.  After a trip here everywhere else you go will be a let-down.  The campsite system on the Main Salmon is a partial reservation system, meaning that some of the camps are reserved and some are not. Prior to your trip you will go through a camp selection system with the rangers where you can choose camps you want on specific nights.  Most trips will have some nights with reserved camps and some without.  

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