Idaho’s legendary Salmon River remains one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the lower 48. As it reaches its confluence with the Snake, the river flows through a section known as the Canyons, or Gorges, of the Salmon. The landscape here is more wide open than other stretches of river, and the sandy beaches are big. In several of the canyon sections there are also some fun big water style rapids!

Similar Trips: Middle Fork Salmon Main Salmon Lower Owyhee

Departure Month: August, July, June, September
Region: Idaho
Rating: Beginner, Intermediate
Pricing: Between $1500 and $2000, Under $1500

On the Canyons of the Salmon, it’s all about the beaches and family time. Big beaches–even bigger than those you will find on the Main Salmon–make for easy camping and great family trips. Join the kids as they play in the swimming hole at camp or enjoy a cold drink and watch them from the shade tarp. Roomy beaches make for plentiful games, and the camp eddy is an excellent spot to cool down on a hot summer day or try your hand at paddle boarding!
The Canyons of the Salmon gets its name from the several canyons you will float through on this stretch of river: Green Canyon, Snow Hole Canyon, and Blue Canyon. Unlike some of the other Salmon River trips offered by WRO, this float is not through a designated wilderness area. But despite the signs of humans and roads you will encounter, the scenery in this section is still beautiful–you will cruise through narrow canyons, camp on sandy river beaches, and watch the Ponderosa forests of the upper Main Salmon begin to give way to the grasslands of the Snake River region.
The whitewater is big water pool drop class III. This big water style means great wave trains for inflatable kayaks, along with many sections perfect for standup paddle boards! We bring an assortment of boats on this section….oar boats, paddle boats, inflatable kayaks, paddle boards, and a wooden dory on certain launch dates. Some of the big rapids to be ready for are Bodacious Bounce, Half and Half, China, Snow Hole and Eye of the Needle!
The lower Salmon also offers some fishing–small mouth bass during the summer, and Steelhead in the fall as they migrate up the river and provide a sport fishery. During the peak of the summer, the water is a great temperature for swimming, but is a little warm for good trout fishing.
As you float the 50 miles of the Lower Salmon River through several impressive canyons, you reach the confluence of the Snake River. Once on the Snake, the currents slow and you start to encounter more signs of civilization as the trip comes to an end.
  • Great Family Trip
  • Big Water Class II-III whitewater
  • Refreshing water for swimming and paddling kayaks
  • Huge sandy beaches for great games, comfortable camping, and star-gazing
  • Great Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Book the Canyons of the Salmon

2021 Schedules and Prices

Lower Canyons of the Salmon

August 9th – August 13th
August 16th – August 20th

August 24th – 28th
September 1st – 5th

*More dates available upon request

5-day trips ~ $1450.00

Transportation to the river from Lewiston and from the river back to Lewiston.  All meals starting with lunch the first day and ending with lunch the last day.  We provide the use of our sleeping gear and tents.  We also provide you with Type V life vests, dry bags for your clothing and night gear as well as a small dry bag for use during the day.

Not included: Prices do not include motels before and after the trip, alcohol and guide gratuities.

Charter trips
are available for groups of 6 or more. This means your group has reserved the entire trip. Ask for details.
Group discounts
based upon the number of people in your party.
are also available for children. Please contact us for details.

Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your trip with the remaining balance due 45 days prior to the trip.

Cancellation and Refunds: Operating quality trips is a costly operation with no margin for losses resulting from late cancellations. The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away. Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides engaged, supplies bought, rafts and vehicles assigned. If notice of cancellations is made more than 45 days prior to departure, you may transfer to any other trip in the same season without penalty. Otherwise the cost is non-refundable.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a short-term traveler’s insurance policy.  In the case of an unexpected cancellation, traveler’s insurance will cover your losses on a variety of non-refundable trip costs.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather, or water conditions. In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given. If possible, we will offer the option of a different trip of comparable type.


This trip is relatively simple logistically for your travel plans as it starts and ends in Lewiston, Idaho.
Before the trip:
Fly commercially into Lewiston, Idaho (LWS), or drive, for those living in the region. We recommend staying at the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel (208-799-1000) in Lewiston the night before the trip. We will meet there the night before the launch at 6 pm for orientation. Here we will hand out dry bags and answer any last minute questions. The hotel has a free airport shuttle or parking available to leave your car if you plan on driving to Lewiston. The first morning we will depart Lewiston from the hotel early to head to the Hammer Creek put in.
After the trip:
We will provide transportation back to Lewiston the last day of the trip. Once we reach the confluence of the Snake River we will strap the boats together and motor the trip to Heller Bar and provide ground transportation from Heller Bar take out to the Hells Canyon Grand Hotel in Lewiston. We usually arrive back to Lewiston in the late afternoon the final day of the trip.

Salmon River Suggested Gear


This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Having the right gear is important to making it the best possible experience for you. Most of the gear listed you will have or you can use it year-round on any outdoor excursion (football games, boating, skiing, etc.) We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy.

Please: no stereos, radios, cell phones or watches

GEAR PROVIDED- SLEEPING BAG, PAD, GROUND CLOTH, AND TENT, LIFE JACKET, 2 WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAGS (one for sleeping bag, pad and ground cloth and one for clothing), WATERPROOF DAY BAG for items you would like accessible during the day (dry shirt, sunscreen, camera, etc.).


RAIN GEAR …2 piece with hood is best (avoid cheap plastic, vinyl, or poncho styles).

3 LIGHTWEIGHT SHIRTS …one long sleeved for sun protection.

2 PAIRS OF LONG PANTS…one lightweight and one warm

LONG UNDERWEAR…synthetic is much better than cotton!

SHORTS…lighter material dries fast, good to wear over swimsuit

SWIMSUIT…nylon is best because it dries fast.

CAP & WARM WOOL OR SYNTHETIC HAT …a must for everyone.  In case of wind attach with a clip or croakie.

WARM JACKET…some evenings are cool. Synthetic piles are popular because they are warm even when damp.

SOCKS, 3-4 PAIR…One pair of wool for wearing in cool spring weather and several for hiking.

RUNNING SHOES OR HEAVY WALKING SHOES…For hiking and wearing around camp.

RIVER SANDALS or additional running shoes for wearing in the water.  (Neoprene socks helpful on spring trips).

SUNGLASSES, TIES FOR GLASSES, an extra pair of prescription glasses even if you wear contacts.


SMALL DAY OR FANNY PACK… nice for side excursions.



LOTION…the arid climate of the west can dry your skin out

ZIPLOCKS…good for all kinds of things including personal trash and organizing.


INSECT REPELLENT(occasionally there can be mosquitos in the early season)

FLASHLIGHT…small one works fine.  Headlamps work great.

CAMERA…Many people choose to bring additional batteries as one is not quite enough for a whole trip.


ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE, if desired (plastic or aluminum containers please).

Optional:  small pillow, pillowcase or mesh bag for dirty clothes, book, journal or musical instrument, and fiesta-wear.

Wilderness River Outfitters provide a MAJOR FIRST AID KIT, however we do recommend you bring your own preferred personal medication and accessories (Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, Band-Aids, and cold medicine).

Reviews from the Lower Canyons of Salmon River Trip

Take care of you, that’s what the guides at WRO do (and enjoy doing!). If you’re looking for an off-the-grid adventure that includes sweeping sandy beaches, wildlife, sun (lots of sun) and delicious eats, a multi-day trip down the Lower Salmon River with Wilderness River Outfitters has it all.

The crew (shout-out to Seth, Dove, Tessa and Matthew) have the entire experience dialed. They expertly balance the thrill of running rapids with safety and will gladly cater the experience to your level of thrill-seeking. From rafts to duckies to SUPs, you can customize your on-water experience. At night, pitch your tent and relax, as the river runners turn into camp chef masters. From salmon to fajitas, pork chops to made-to-order steaks, every meal is delicious and every dinner is capped with a dutch oven delicacy (think chocolate chip cookies, upside down pineapple cake, brownies…).

On top of everything, the guides have a great mix of personalities, from storytellers to jokesters, amateur historians to geologists, their individual backgrounds makes the entire experience that more unique.

WRO has been taking people down rivers for more than 40 years. To say river running and the guest experience is in their genes isn’t even hyperbole! Book a trip with them, you won’t be disappointed.