Every winter I get to enjoy the outdoors of Idaho on my skis while watching the snowpack build. I love the winters here in Idaho, we are usually very fortunate to have some of the best snow around. As winter starts to come to an end, my mind is drawn toward what that snow will soon become, water. With a little sunshine and warmer spring days the snow at lower elevation begins to melt, and green grass starts to show up in the valleys. As our local ski area recently closes and we pack up the Stateline Yurt for the season, the rivers start to call.
Living in Salmon, Idaho we are so lucky to have some of the best river trips in the world in our backyard. Sitting in the office on Friday, wondering what kind of fun could be found for coming weekend, I started looking at forecasts and river levels. With some sunny days in the forecast some friends and I called up Gem Air to see about flying into the Middle Fork Salmon, and after we given the go-ahead for the flights it was time to start digging out the dry bags and running through the mental river trip checklist switching mindset from winter recreation. The excitement builds as we get ready for the first river trip of the season.
From an afternoon beer with friends and fellow guides, the next thing you know we’ve been dropped in the 2.4 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. On the way to the river we enjoyed a scenic flight through the Big Horn Crags, and after flying through towering snowcapped peaks and over frozen mountain lakes, we arrived to crystal clear water and a sunny Middle Fork day! We lucked out with two sunny days in a row and a beautiful float out through the Impassable Canyon! Along the way we spotted bald eagles, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, river otters and wildflowers starting to bloom in the lower end.
I am always dreaming of my next adventure and rivers in far off lands, but it’s always great to remember what a special place we live in here in Salmon, Idaho. A small mountain town tucked in between impressive mountain ranges in every direction and one of the best river trips in the world right in our backyard! Sitting in the office a day later after our quick trip, watching a full-on blizzard out the window makes me happy knowing that a little more snow is being added to the mountains we will need to feed the rivers this summer. It also makes me smile thinking how lucky we are having snuck in an amazing sunny April river trip, and today winter is back, springtime in Idaho! One thing’s for sure, winter is coming to an end and the river season is right around the corner. Even though our first scheduled Middle Fork Salmon trip is over a month out, we are getting excited for spring boating and sharing our favorite rivers with old and new friends.
If you are considering a river trip this summer, now is the time to give us a call to see where we still have availability. Here at WRO we are definitely excited to get back on the river for another season!
Cheers to springtime in Idaho!