Salmon River Recreation & Idaho Wild fires

"With over 100 winding miles of river—and more than 100 sets of rapids—there’s no wonderwhy the journey along the Middle Fork Salmon is considered unparalleled. One of the continent’s premium rafting destinations, the Middle Fork’s legendary waters churn through high country forest, granite canyons, swirling seas of grassland and some of Idaho’s most storied spaces."

"The Salmon is also known as The River of No Return. It flows for 425 miles through central Idaho, draining a rugged, thinly populated watershed of 14,000 square miles."

"It drops more than 7,000 feet between its headwaters near Galena Summit above the Sawtooth Valley in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and its confluence with the Snake River."

"Measured at White Bird, its average discharge is 11,060 cubic feet per second. It is one of the largest rivers in the continental United States without a single dam on its mainstem."

"Because fires are a naturally occurring phenomenon in many of the forests of the U.S. West, fire managers sometimes allow forest fires to burn within certain limits in some areas to improve natural resources. Fires can improve the ecosystem by destroying non-native plants, as well as by thinning brush and grass in the forest understory, reducing the severity of future fires."

As wildfires burn along the river banks, boaters are required to exercise caution and take safety precautions as fatalities have happened due to falling trees

The river’s banks speak of the state’s proud heritage, its Native American history, pioneer sites and natural habitat for a wondrous world of wildlife. While there are private residences along the river, exploration is encouraged where permitted.

While fires may be burning miles away, wind patterns and changes in weather can cause smoke to flood the ravines.

While smoke may irritate the skin and eyes, a wet bandana provides an effective mask to breathe a little easier.

When the weather permits, sleeping under the stars provides a pleasant experience. Some days the air is clear and the night pleasant, but smoke can cover an area in a matter of hours making breathing uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

A difference of several hours.. From sunset

To sunrise

..Putting things in perspective, life is good.

On large group trips a dinner schedule is created, where groups of three or four will pick a night to cook dinner and do dishes. With enough space on the rafts for coolers, there is no excuse to skimp out on the quality of the food. Fajitas and margaritas are a great ending to a clear day on the Main Salmon.

The River of No Return warms to a very comfortable temperature in July and August that might invite you to enjoy swimming, water fighting and other fun activities.

Many prefer to just relax in the serenity and beauty of the forested canyons and granite walls.

The Main Salmon will amaze you with many great white sand beaches and camp sites surrounded by Ponderosa Pine's.


Paul Kurnick O.A.R.S. Idaho earthobservatory.nasa.gov

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