Whitewater Rafting on the Upper Salmon

Summer in Sun Valley means spending time on a river. Today we ventured north on Highway 75, beyond Stanley, to a small enclave called Sunbeam, home to White Otter Outdoor Adventures. The drive is about 75 miles, and done at the right time (we traversed early a.m. for our 9:30 a.m. start) offers some of the most incredible views of American wilderness.

sawtoothsThe Sawtooth Range stands majestically above the town of Stanley and offers an amazing backdrop as the highway winds the Salmon River. There are beautiful mountains lakes along the way (Redfish, Alturas, Pettit) which I hope to cover in future posts.

WhiteOtter_BstWe parked at the White Otter cabin and proceed to the Sunbeam Cafe for some freshly baked cinnamon roles and coffee. We met our guide, Amanda, who epitomizes the young female adventurist serving as a great role model for my girls. Amanda is a rock-climbing, back-country skiing, kayaking, outdoors enthusiast who spends the summer in a tent along the Yankee Fork that feeds the Salmon.

The half-day excursion covers a ten-mile stretch of the Salmon River, floating thru several Class II rapids and two Class III rapids (Piece of Cake and The Narrows). The pictures attached capture our jaunt thru Piece of Cake. Overall, the trip is fun, beautiful and relatively mild for a whitewater trip; the perfect intro for rafting novices. Needless to say, my oldest daughter is pining for more Class IIIs and the move up to Class IVs. Everyone had a ball, and hopefully we’ll be venturing back soon to find more excitement on Idaho’s whitewater.

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