The Wild and Scenic California Salmon River, although still somewhat unknown even in its home state of California, is one of the most incredible class V whitewater rafting trips in the country. This is our signature spring trip and, for most of us, the "Cal Salmon" is our favorite river in the U.S. It combines beautiful, lush coastal scenery, an intimate, marble-smooth, granite inner gorge, a seemingly endless number of waterfalls cascading in from above, emerald-green waters, tons of wildlife, and unequaled class IV-V pool-drop whitewater. This is truly a world-class, high-adventure whitewater run. When combined with the Class V Scott River and/or the spectacularly beautiful Clear Creak on a 3 or 4 day trip it becomes one of the ultimate class V adventures in the country.
The Salmon has become our signature spring trip and we run more people down this river then all other companies combined. This is our "back yard" river. Please call if you have any questions about this amazing adventure!
A major tributary of the Klamath, the Cal Salmon is located in one of the most isolated areas of California. Cutting between the Salmon and Trinity Alps, the river drains moderate-elevation, high-precipitation areas. Included in the drainage is the Sawtooth Glacier, the only glacier in California's coastal range. The California Salmon river is also dam-free from its source to its confluence with the Klamath.
The lushness of the canyon is a refreshing change from the dryer, more desert-like landscape of many California rivers. Also outstanding is the abundance of wildlife; it is not uncommon to see black bear or the occasional mountain lion, and meeting up with deer and a wide range of birds is almost a given. The combination of stunning scenery and remote location lends itself to creating a feeling of being set down in a different part of the world. You quickly become immersed in the area and the experience.
Even if you took away the scenery and location, the whitewater would still make the river more than worthwhile. The rapids are an amazing combination of crashing waves, big holes and boulders, and clean steep drops over smooth granite. Best of all, there are a ton of them!
The California Salmon's whitewater lends itself to paddlers of all experience levels. For adventurous beginners and intermediates in good physical condition, the various river stretches allow you to start with one (or two) days of class IV before moving on to the class V. For experienced rafters – even those who have boated all over the world – the rapids are more than challenging enough to keep the adrenaline going. Most importantly, they are incredibly fun!
Please note: Depending on water levels you may be asked to participate in a class-V paddler's test. These tests are not competitive or macho. They are done to emphasize teamwork, confidence, and to help you judge your ability to tackle this incredible stretch of river. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.