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. The Red Lion Hotel will be your host both before and after your river adventure. Arrangements will be made and included in your trip price. Join your guides on the last evening for a complimentary farewell dinner the night before flying out.
Be sure to arrive at the Red Lion by 6:30 pm for the 7:00 orientation meeting the night before your trip.
There is a free shuttle from the Red Lion to the Lewiston Airport (LWS) for your convenience.
Travel from your home to Lewiston, Idaho and meet ROW's Team Leader at the Red Lion 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.SEE BELOW FOR MORE DETAILS ON HOW TO GET TO LEWISTON, IDAHO
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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. Take a hot shower and meet for a hosted dinner with ROW's guides at the Red Lion Hotel at about 7:00 pm.
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
Arrive in Lewiston, Idaho and meet ROW's Team Leader at the Red Lion 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.
Before AND after your river trip:
Red Lion Hotel
621 21st St
Lewiston, ID 83501
For your convenience, pre and post trip lodging can be booked for you at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston for $110+tax per room/night. For more than 2 guests per room, there is an additional $10+tax fee.
The Red Lion offers free airport shuttle service to and from the Lewiston Airport (LWS). Contact the Red Lion 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.
If you drove, your car will be waiting for you at the Red Lion Hotel when you return.
If you're flying, the Red Lion offers free airport service from the Lewiston-Nez Perce County (LWS) Airport, Idaho from 8:00am to 9:00pm. Contact the Red Lion 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.