Salmon River, Idaho

The Salmon River, which is the second largest tributary of the Snake River, is also known as The River of No Return. ©Clint Elliott


“The Salmon River Canyon is one of the deepest gorges in North America, deeper even than the famous Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Arizona. But in contrast to the Grand Canyon, the Salmon River Canyon is not noted for sheer walls and towering heights, but instead for the variety of landscapes visible from the river; wooded ridges rising to the sky, huge eroded monuments and bluffs and slides, picturesque castles and towers, and solitary crags. The United States Congress designated the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in 1980 and it now encompasses a total of 2,366,757 acres.

The name of this Wilderness has two roots. The Main Salmon River was called “The River of No Return” back in the early days when boats could navigate down the river, but could not get back up through the fast water and numerous rapids. The romantic name lives on today even though jet boats can navigate upstream. Second, the name Frank Church that was attached to this Wilderness in 1984, after it’s designation, is a memorial to honor a man who did so much to help preserve this wild central core of Idaho.”

United States Forest Service

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1 Response to Salmon River, Idaho

  1. I was just looking at some very old photos of the Salmon and Snake I took, I need to get back out there! Thanks for yet another reminder.

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