Country’s Best Whitewater Self-support? Consider Idaho’s South Fork Salmon

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Want wilderness and whitewater? Set your sights on the South Fork Salmon. Forget for a second that Idaho’s coveted South Fork used to harbor 25% of the entire Columbia River watershed’s Chinook salmon run. Consider its whitewater stats: Located at the confluence of the Secesh, just below the East Fork, it drops 1,600 vertical feet in 40 miles, before dumping you into the Main for an 18-mile paddle to the take-out. En route it serves up action-packed Class V bookending miles and miles of unnamed Class IV. For us 3-feet was the perfect level — not too beefy, not too boney.