Hammer Creek To Heller Bar (Lower Salmon)


The Lower Salmon Canyon is a great multi-day trip. The very beginning of this section can be run as a day run (just outside of Riggins).  Most will choose to take 5 or 6 days and take out at Heller Bar on the Snake river.  This can be run in three days by either packing along a motor to run "snake lake" after the confluence to heller, or arrange a jet back from the confluence to Pittsburg and take out there.  Recommended flow is under 20K (usually after June).

Suggested river levels for paddling this section of the Salmon River are between a bare minimum of 3,000cfs and a high of 20,000cfs. River conditions sourced from USGS 13316500, the Little Salmon River At Riggins Id Remember only watercraft are permitted at Hammer Creek to Heller Bar (Lower Salmon).

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Whitewater Rapids

Obstacles on the river run
Rollercoaster Rapids
Class II
Big Foot Island Rapids
Class II
Green Canyon Rapids
Class II
Wright-Way Drop Rapid
Class III
Demons Drop Rapid
Class II+ to III
Pine Bar Rapids
Class II+ to III
The Maze Rapids
Class III-
Long Class II Rapids
Class II
Unnamed Rapid
Class II
Packers Creek Rapids
Class II
Cougar Canyon Rapids
Class II
Cliff Rapids
Class II
Pipeline Rapids
Class II
Lorna’s Lulu Rapid
Class II
Bunghole Rapids
Class II to III
Lower Bunghole Rapids
Class II to III-
Harm’s Hole Rapids
Class II
Bodacious Bounce Rapid
Class III to III+
The Gobbler Rapid
Class II
Unnamed Rapid
Class II
Snow Hole Rapids
Class III to IV
Unnamed Rapid
Class II
Unnamed Rapid
Class II
Deep Creek Rapid
Class II
Maloney Creek Rapids
Class II
China Rapids
Class III to III+
Billy Creek Rapids
Class II
Unnamed Rapid
Class II
Cottonwood Creek Rapid
Class II
Eagle Creek Rapids
Class III
Chine Creek Rapids
Class II
Skeleton Creek Rapids
Class II
Wapshilla Rapids
Class II
Flynn Creek Rapids
Class II+
Blue Canyon Rapids
Class III- to IV
Slide Rapid
Class II to V
H-hole Rapids
Class II
Sluicebox Rapids
Class II+
Checkerboard Rapids
Class II+
Eye of the Needle Rapids
Class III- to III
Half and Half
Class III to IV-

Area Hydrology

Gauge Streamflow Stage
Clearwater River At Spalding Id
USGS 13342500
19,000 cfs 7.4 ft
Sf Clearwater River At Stites Id
USGS 13338500
1,060 cfs 4.1 ft
Lapwai Creek Nr Lapwai Id
USGS 13342450
149 cfs 3.5 ft
Sweetwater Creek At Mouth At Sweetwater Id
USGS 13342340
8 cfs 3.7 ft
Big Canyon Creek Nr Peck Id
USGS 13341140
21 cfs 3.8 ft
Clearwater River At Orofino Id
USGS 13340000
10,100 cfs 6.3 ft
Imnaha River At Imnaha
USGS 13292000
150 cfs ft
Clear Ck At Kooskia National Fish Hatchery
USGS 13337099
120 cfs 12.5 ft
Salmon River At White Bird Id
USGS 13317000
7,870 cfs 14.5 ft
Potlatch River Bel Little Potlatch Cr Nr Spalding
USGS 13341570
555 cfs 6.4 ft
Snotel Site Snowpack 24hr Change
Brundage Reservoir
SNOTEL 370
52" -2"
Secesh Summit
SNOTEL 740
55" -1"
Bear Basin
SNOTEL 319
42" 0"
Sherwin
SNOTEL 752
3" -3"
Shanghi Summit
SNOTEL 747
50" -3"
Big Creek Summit
SNOTEL 338
56" -1"
Pierce R.S.
SNOTEL 1142
18" -1"
West Branch
SNOTEL 855
28" -1"
Squaw Flat
SNOTEL 782
26" -1"
Moscow Mountain
SNOTEL 989
36" -2"
Elk Butte
SNOTEL 466
78" -2"