Park Bench Chat

Idaho: Whitewater Connection on the Main Salmon

Paddlers of all ages are invited to join The Trust for Public Land for an unforgettable whitewater adventure on the Main Fork of the Salmon River. We’ve partnered with ARTA River Trips to craft a special trip highlighting the personality of the Main Salmon and the triumphs of TPL.

The Main Salmon is what every good friend should be: welcoming, tolerant, supportive, and just a little unpredictable. Everyone who travels down this magnificent river falls in love with it; with the grand scenery, the big waves, the soothing hot springs, the gentle hikes, the diverse wildlife, the giant sandy beaches, and the fascinating history. As we float along you will hear about TPL’s long and successful history of conserving the Northern Rockies landscapes. TPL State Director, Deb Love, gives a first-hand look at how using conservation easements and the purchase of private development rights have safeguarded trout habitat in river valleys and wild and scenic areas that are increasingly under pressure from unprecedented population growth. Many of the scenic river stops and vistas along the way are TPL projects—with names reminiscent of a bygone era – Campbell’s Ferry, Painter Bar, and Shepp Ranch to name a few. Today the river provides a reflective pathway through a beautiful canyon and a glimpse of American history. With the perfect mix of exhilarating whitewater and meaningful excursions, you’ll bring home personal stories of your own new—or renewed—connection to the land.

Cutting due west across the heart of the Idaho backcountry and through the center of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area, (the second largest Wilderness Area in the lower 48 states), the Main Salmon has long been an alluring place. Native Americans inhabited the canyons for thousands of years and left behind mysterious reminders of their presence; William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) started down the river in 1805, then turned around and looked elsewhere for the fabled Northwest Passage; Polly Bemis, a Chinese immigrant, found solace from a cruel life (as described in A Thousand Pieces of Gold) at her homestead and in her gardens along the river; white settlers, some more successful than others, left a variety of cabins, homesteads, ranches and even a fort (“Buckskin Bill” built a gun tower to protect himself from invading government bureaucrats!).



    Dates: July 24-29, 2012
    Days/Nights: 6/5
    Price (Per Person): $2,250