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Idaho Rafting
Lower Salmon River

Lower Salmon River 5 Day Trip Itinerary

The Lower Salmon River adventure is the only Idaho trip that begins and ends in the same town; namely Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston takes its name from the early 1800's explorers Lewis & Clark that spent some time mapping the rivers that converge there. Spend your first night before and your last night after the river trip at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel.

Be sure to arrive at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel by 6:30 pm for the 7:00 orientation meeting the night before your trip.

There is a free shuttle from the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel to the Lewiston Airport (LWS) for your convenience.

Lower Salmon River Map

Day 0: Lower Salmon River »

Travel from your home to Lewiston, Idaho and meet ROW's Team Leader at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel at 7:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (MST) for a one-hour orientation meeting to answer last-minute questions. You'll also receive your waterproof gear bags. Dinner on your own.


Lower Salmon River Rafting Girl Pose

Day 1: Lower Salmon River »

Begin the day at 7:30 where you'll meet your trip leader and board the bus. Enjoy interpretation of the surrounding area's historical markers and mountain scenery as you make your way toward the river launch site. An orientation at the river's edge on safety will take place while personal gear is loaded from bus to boat. After a few miles of fun roller coaster style rapids a tasty lunch stop on a sandy beach will help you take in the Lower Salmon River. A camp spot will be located several miles downriver. Your tent will be ready for you as you arrive. Bring your personal gear from the beach to the "river home" of your choosing.

Lower Salmon River Rafting Camp

Day 2: Lower Salmon River »

Breakfast is served around 7:00 am, preceded by an earlier call of hot coffee or tea. Pack up your personal gear while the guides make the kitchen disappear into magical compartments on the boat. Enjoy a leisurely morning at camp, soaking in the morning sun as it cascades through the canyons. At about 9:30 am, the boats depart for a day of fun on the river. Learn about more historical sites, the geography of the river and enjoy several exciting rapids. Indian rock art is interpreted for you by the guides at a stop just before entering "Green Canyon." Enjoy the wildlife and scenery through the afternoon before camping for the night on one of the largest sandy beaches in the canyons. A campfire after dinner and an astronomy lesson are the perfect bedtime rituals to create the magic for which this trip is known.

Lower Salmon River Rafting Name Games

Day 3: Lower Salmon River »

"Cougar Canyon" and "Snowhole Canyon" are filled with lofty waves and rapids with names like "Lorna's Lulu, Bunghole, the Gobbler, and Bodacious Bounce. The memories made on this day filled with rapids, will last you a lifetime. Add to it the prospect of seeing Bald Eagles soaring over the rustic cabins of early settlers set against the backdrop of mountain vistas and you've got your own little paradise. At camp, you'll see the familiar sandy beach set with tents as you arrive. You may have games on the beach like horseshoes, volleyball nets, baseballs and flying discs. Or you can choose to join a hike up a mountainside for another perspective of the river and canyon. Dinner, a crackling fire and alpine air will fill your senses in this unique setting for a family rafting vacation like no other.

Lower Salmon River Rafting Rafts Gorge

Day 4: Lower Salmon River »

Wildlife along Idaho rivers include the playful river otter, reminding you to ask that kid inside of you if it wants to "come out and play." At Cottonwood Creek, you'll be asked if you want to play "otter" and swim a gentle rapid with the kids. After the swim, you'll enter Blue Canyon" where indigo colored igneous rock constricts the channel. The pace of the river picks up as it enters the "Devil's Slide", Sluice Box and Eye of the Needle. Nearing the Snake River confluence, camp is made on yet another wide sandy beach.

Lower Salmon River Rafting Tents

Day 5: Lower Salmon River »

The Salmon "River of No Return" you've been riding along joins itself with the mightier flow of the Snake River at the lower end of colossal Hell's Canyon. Riding on twice the flow, there are some big waves on the Snake River, but during the flat water flows, we lash the boats together and make a party barge. Oregon and Idaho share the Snake River as a boundary line between the two states. A final big lunch is shared, along with group photos. At about 3:00 pm the take-out point is reached, where personal gear is gathered for the 45-minute ride back to civilization.

Lower Salmon River Rafting Camp Night 2

Please Note »

This is a sample five-day itinerary. While this is a typical itinerary, every trip is unique. This is meant to give you a snapshot of the trip and examples of the things you'll see and do, but should not be considered an exact itinerary.

Permit Holder and Trip Operator: ROW Adventures

Lower Salmon River Rafting Smile Paddler
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Before your Lower Salmon River Rafting Vacation...

There are many travel options to consider in planning your Idaho rafting vacation. Simply give us a call and we'll discuss your options and help with any arrangement questions.

Where and When to Meet

Arrive in Lewiston, Idaho and meet ROW's Team Leader at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel at 7:00 PM Pacific Standard Time (PST) for a one-hour orientation meeting to answer last-minute questions. You'll also receive your waterproof gear bags. Dinner on your own.

Where to Stay

Before AND after your river trip:
Hells Canyon Grand Hotel
621 21st St
Lewiston, ID 83501
(208) 799-1000

The Hells Canyon Grand Hotel offers free airport shuttle service to and from the Lewiston Airport (LWS). Contact the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel at (208) 799-1000 to set up your complimentary shuttle.

The Spokane, Washington Int’l Airport (GEG) is also an option just 1.5 hours from Lewiston.

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After your Lower Salmon River Rafting Vacation...

If you drove, your car will be waiting for you at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel when you return.

If you're flying, the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel offers free airport service from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County (LWS) Airport, Idaho from 8:00am to 9:00pm. Contact the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel at (208) 799-1000 to set up your complimentary shuttle. Otherwise, taxi service is available to the Lewiston Airport at a reasonable rate. If you are flying out of Spokane, WA, you can take a taxi two hours north to the Spokane (GEG) Airport.


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