| Four Days, Class II —
July 6, 14, 22, 30 - All Designated Family Dates
$907 adult / $771 youth
Five Days, Class II
August 7, 15, 31; September 9 Designated Family Dates: August 7, 15, 31
$1115 adult / $948 youth
• If you're seeking a low-intensity whitewater
adventure, this trip will really float your boat! Plenty of fun Class
III rapids alternate along the river with long stretches of calm,
pristine water that provide the perfect opportunity to sit back, have a
quiet conversation, and marvel at the stunning scenery. The swimmers
amongst the group will appreciate the ample opportunities to cool off
in the river's calm pools; they might also experience a swimmable rapid
or two! For the more adventurous, the Lower Salmon offers great
conditions to try out our inflatable kayaking.
• Beach lovers will find themselves in heaven on the
Lower Salmon. Because of its free-flowing state, this river has created
an unusual number of huge sand bars along its shores. The Lower
Salmon's plentiful white sand beaches make for ideal campsites and
venues for horseshoes, volleyball, and soaking up the warm sunshine.
National Wild & Scenic River
• The Salmon River
received federal protection in 1968 following the passage of the
National Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. This legislation recognized
the Salmon as having “unusual scientific, aesthetic and
recreational value” and mandated that it “should be
allowed to remain in a free-flowing state and natural setting without
manmade alteration.” It was one of the original eight rivers
to be protected under this act, and thankfully, its crowning attributes
are well preserved to this day.
• For the history buffs
among you , the Lower Salmon is a veritable treasure chest of
intriguing stories and relics from the regions past. Human history
dates back to a mind-boggling 10,000 years ago, when the first humans
inhabited the river canyon. For thousands of years, Native Americans
lived and prospered along the river, some in semi-subterranean pit
houses, remnants of which still exist today. Many centuries later, the
Nez Perce tribe made its home along the Lower Salmon, leaving behind a
wealth of tangible and intangible history. The Native American rock art
that decorates the rock, mostly in the form of pictographs, dates back
to prehistoric times. There is also plenty of mining, boating and other
Old West history captured in this fascinating canyon.
• The Lower Salmon is
one of the best family trips offered by O.A.R.S. Warm weather, pleasant
water, easy-going rapids, and famous beaches make this a great vacation
for kids, parents, and grandparents of almost any age. TV, computers
and telephones are replaced with campfires, tents and time spent in the
rafts – memorable moments that you'll always share with your
kids. They'll have a great time camping, kayaking, spotting wildlife,
swimming, fishing and playing beach games like volleyball and frisbee
– even your teenagers won't mind spending quality time with
mom and dad in a place like this! Since we take care of all the details
of the trip, from meal planning to camp chores, your time is 100% yours
to enjoy. Ask about our Family Friendly departures: trips specifically
designed with your children in mind.
• Are you looking for a
real hands-on river experience? We offer two instructional courses on
the Lower Salmon: whitewater kayaking and whitewater dory instruction.
This unique “moving classroom” atmosphere of these
trips, combine with expert guides and spectacular surroundings to
create a fun but informative adventure. Beginning or intermediate level
kayakers are given the opportunity to take their skills to a higher
level in O.A.R.S.' Wilderness Kayak School. Or, join our Whitewater
Dory Instruction and learn how to row the beautiful, hard-hulled dories
that have been a river-running tradition since the days of John Wesley
Powell. The newfound skills, friendships and memories that you'll gain
will be immemorial.
We at O.A.R.S. pride ourselves in running a
relaxed and always flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending
upon the group, other trips on the water and sometimes the weather. The
following is a sample of what your trip may be like.
The Day Before Your Trip
• We'll meet at 7:00 PM
in the lobby of the Red Lion Hotel for a pre-trip meeting. This is an
opportunity to meet your fellow adventurers and guides and to ask any
last-minute questions. Your trip leader will provide you a thorough
trip orientation, and then pass out your waterproof river bags so that
you can pack your belongings that evening. If you are not able to
attend the meeting, please let us know in advance and check in with our
warehouse (208-743-4201) upon your arrival in Lewiston.
• We'll depart Lewiston
at 8 AM for the scenic 2-hour drive to our launch spot at Hammer Creek.
Along the way, we may stop to visit the Nez Perce museum in Spalding.
The fascinating exhibit of Native American artifacts, including hand
woven baskets and colorful headdresses, teaches us about this tribe
that is such a part of western history.
• Reaching the river, we see
our guests excitement grow as we they see the colorful boats waiting
for us and meet the rest of our O.A.R.S. crew. After an informative
safety talk and brief paddle raft/inflatable kayak instruction, we set
off on our river adventure! Those of us ready to get wet may take a
swim through Rollercoaster rapid, which marks our entrance to Green
Canyon. We'll stop to visit some ancient pictographs, and then continue
our whitewater action with rapids like Wright-way, Demon's Drop and
Pine Bar rapids.
• As we meander along the
river, we'll keep an eye out for the wildlife that inhabits the canyon.
Golden eagles, ospreys, and river otters make frequent appearances; if
we're lucky, we may also see beavers, cougars, and Rocky Mountain
• The first day of the trip
generally sets the pace for the following week on the river. Typically,
we spend a few hours on the water in the morning, sometimes stopping
for a short hike, a swim, or a visit to a historical site. Come
lunchtime, we take a break at a sandy beach and enjoy an afternoon
picnic. After feasting and relaxing on the beach (or perhaps swimming,
a game of Frisbee or a nature walk), we get back in our boats for more
exciting whitewater. Take this opportunity try your hand at the
paddleboats and inflatable kayaks! Mid- to late-afternoon, we stop and
make camp. Before long you'll be savoring pleasing hors d'oeuvres and
the beverage of your choice – as fantastic as the food is, it
always tastes better after a day on the river! Read, nap, or just sit
back and laugh with friends and family as we prepare your dinner.
Following another satisfying feast, the evening is yours to spend
however you wish. Perhaps music, stories or jokes will bring the group
together tonight; or the popping of the fire, the whisper of the river
and the clarity of the immense, star-filled sky will encourage silent
reflection on the amazing wilderness that is, for now, our home.
Days 2-3 or 4
• Our journey down the
Lower Salmon takes us through Green Canyon, and into Cougar and Snow
Hole canyons, each offering a new perspective on the striking scenery
that surrounds us. All the while, the river slowly unfolds its long and
colorful history, providing glimpses of old mining and ranching sites,
geological displays, remnants of ancient Indian cultures, and the
remains of old Chinese stone houses.
Day 4 or 5
• Slide Rapid marks the
entrance to Blue Canyon; perhaps the most spectacular of the four
gorges this trip will take us through. Hikers in the group can enjoy
climbing to a vista for an impressive bird's-eye view of the river
winding through the steep and slender canyon. Further downstream, as we
meet the Snake River, we may have the chance to swim a rapid. After
passing through the confluence with the Grande Ronde, we arrive at our
destination, Heller Bar. A 45-minute ride is all it takes to get back
to Lewiston, though we might feel like we have been worlds away during
our memorable time in the wilderness.
• 4 (3) nights camping
and 5 (4) days rafting
• Meals from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 5
(4), with limited beer & wine at dinner
• Skilled professional rafting guides
• Expedition equipment, including tent,which can be
shared between two people, a sleeping bag and pad, life jacket,
wetsuits for paddlers when required and waterproof bags to hold your
What's Not Included?
• Items of personal
nature (an equipment list will be provided)
• Transportation back and forth between Lewiston
• Pre / Post- vacation meals and accommodations
Family Vacations - Gorges of the Lower Salmon River: Pages: 1