Rafting trips on the California Salmon or Cal. Salmon River are only recommended for experienced rafting clients who are in good physical condition, and very capable swimmers. There are numerous Class IV and substantial Class V rapids on these runs.
The Cal. Salmon River should definitely be on your bucket-list if you are looking for some great Class 4/5 whitewater. No crowds and great scenery add to its charm..
There is very limited on river camping in this steep canyon. A late night 13.5 mile drive up the narrow and winding Salmon River Road from Hwy 96 to Nordheimer Campground is not always desirable. So there are options for meeting for this trip at a private camp off Hwy 96 on the Klamath River nearby and arrangements can be made for optional cabins the night before the trip, and breakfast in the morning. That is usually welcome after a drive to this remote NW corner of California.
On the first day you are shuttled up to the Butler Creek River Access. You will get plenty of Class 4 and 4+ action at Butler Creek Ledge, Double Hole and the Gaping Maw. Often this 1st day run is extended to include the Ikes on the Klamath River and a take-out on Hwy 96 at Dolan Bar. The Ike’s run can be huge during spring run-off. Big Ike is likened to Crystal rapid in the Grand Canyon and can be a powerful Class 5 rapid at flows above 12,000 c.f.’s. Super Ike is a Class 4 with a series of big standing waves.
We return to the meeting location for camping overnight and dinner and breakfast are prepared by the river guides.
On day 2, we shuttle further upstream on the Cal. Salmon to the put-in at Nordheimer. The action starts quickly and you will be challenged with the Class 4 Bloomer Falls and another three class 4 and 4+ drops in 2 miles. After a brief break, you then have to negotiate the tough class 5 boulder mazes of Cascade, Last Chance and Freight Train , with a few Class 4+ rapids like Achilles Heel and Whirling Dervish thrown in.
We take-out at Butler Creek River Access and return you to your cars.
Tributary Whitewater Tours operates under permits issued by the Six Rivers National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider.