Salmon River of No Return

Idaho’s Wild & Scenic Salmon River of No Return is perfect for those looking for the ultimate family adventure or a small private trip with family and friends.

2024 & 2025 Salmon River Trip Dates & Rates

Why the Salmon River of No Return?

The River of No Return offers the perfect alternative to Rocky’s famous Middle Fork of the Salmon River trips. Due to its proximity to the Middle Fork, the Main Salmon could be the most under-rated river in the United States. The mighty River of No Return, named by Lewis & Clark, cuts through the deepest canyon in the US through the Frank Church Wilderness. This massive canyon boasts pristine white sand beaches, massive Yellowpine trees, summer-long whitewater, history and the best natural hotsprings in Idaho!

The River

The Salmon River area has been home to people for at least the last 8,000 years. Much of the area was inhabited by several tribes, including the Nez Pierce.  The river was a rich source of food for the indigenous people of the area, who relied on the abundant salmon and other wildlife.  Today the Wild & Scenic Main Salmon basin contains most (up to 70 percent) of the remaining, prime salmon and steelhead habitat in the entire Columbia River basin. In 1805, Lewis & Clark ventured down the Salmon River, only to turn back after they deemed it too rough to be navigable. Hence the name…River of No Return.  Since the time of Lewis & Clark, hundreds of people homesteaded along this majestic river creating a very unique and impressive history.  Today the Main Salmon is designated as one of the nations Wild & Scenic Rivers and provides recreational opportunities and likelihoods for countless visitors, homesteaders, guides and wild river characters.

The Ride

The mighty Salmon River of No Return is schizophrenic with multiple personalities.  During the spring thaw, the mighty Salmon is a huge rolling freight train carrying copious amounts of water and sediment through the deepest canyon in the US.  Big, fun, Class III and IV rapids are the norm.  As the water recedes, huge pristine sandy beaches emerge offering the best river camping in America.  As the water drops, numerous II and III rapids emerge offering the perfect rafting vacation for families with young children.  The river starts at 3000 ft at Corn Creek and drops 1000 ft over the next 85 miles.  The south bank of the Salmon represents the Rocky Mountain West timezone and the North the Pacific Time Zone.   Depending on the day, the Salmon River might feel like the dry desert of the Rocky Mountains or the lush, green, temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest.  The Wild & Scenic Salmon runs through the huge Frank Church Wilderness, in fact, at mile 51 you will find yourself further away from civilization than any spot in the lower 48.

The Experience

Guests will intimately experience the Frank Church Wilderness and Salmon River of No Return. You will become part of the RMRT river family. Your days will be filled with laughter, rapids, wildlife, sun, sand and pure wilderness. Guests can expect to lose track of time, experience great food, comfortable camping and professional guides. On the last night it is more common than not that guests claim their Salmon River Adventure as their favorite all time vacation.