Scenic USA - Idaho

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

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Middle Fork of the Salmon River - Stanley, Idaho

Photos by Rob Jones
Rob's Sawtooth Trip Report

   Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon River originates just outside of Stanley, and flows 106 miles to meet the main Salmon River. This swift river passes through portions of three national forests, drops 3000 feet, cuts across one of the largest wilderness areas in America, and thrills thousands of whitewater enthusiasts every year.
   A Salmon River trip is the only way to see portions of this wilderness land and its wild inhabitants. Salmon River Rafters Guests in this land may spend up to 12 days on a rafting trip, enjoying photography, fly fishing, the wildlife, hot springs and an unforgettable whitewater adventures.
   While rafters enjoy a water propelled excursion down the Salmon River, its namesake struggles against the currents and dozens of man-made obstacles to spawn hundreds of miles from the sea. The salmon's return has become an uphill fight for the fish and its advocate groups, witnessing a constant Congressional effort to undermine resolutions to save the salmon. Despite protection under the Endangered Species Act, only four sockeye salmon have made the 900 hundred mile journey (in 2007) to spawn at Redfish Lake. Once thousands of sockeyes made the trip upriver, but today eight dams and slack-water reservoirs have made the journey next to impossible.

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