The Northwest's Premier Class V Whitewater River
The California Salmon River is one of the Northwest’s premier class 4 / 5 spring river rafting runs. This challenging and beautiful river offers class V whitewater rafting, plunging through a narrow steep-walled gorge of glistening marble and granite. The California Salmon flows out of the Marble Mountain and Salmon-Trinity Wilderness Areas down into the Klamath National Forest, offering amazing whitewater rafting adventures.
Country Expeditions offers one, two, and three day trips on this river.
Generally, the first day of multi-day trips is on the lower run flowing
through a magnificent gorge with waterfalls gracing the marbled granite
cliffs. This run starts with class III and IV rapids preparing us for
the highlight, class IV+ Gaping Maw. This lower section is filled with
plenty of exciting whitewater, but is only just a prelude of what’s to
come on the infamous Nordheimer Gorge upriver.
The upper run through the Nordheimer Gorge (the second day of multi-day trips) is a continuum of raftable waterfalls with long turbulent rapids, somersaulting waves, enormous sucking holes, and plenty of boulders to maneuver around. The run begins immediately with class IV+ rapids such as Bloomer’s Falls, Lewis Creek Falls, and Airplane Turn. Along the way you’ll also be challenged with the rapids Achilles Heel and Whirling Dervish. The thrills continue with the class IV+ Cascade Falls, Last Chance, and the grand finale of class V Freight Train.
High Country Expeditions does recommend previous paddling experience. Although this river may seem extremely challenging, it is very family friendly. With the various choices of river sections to raft, the California Salmon River does have something for everyone! We do have a 14 yr age requirement on the California Salmon, but you are offered a choice when it comes to which section to raft, from a class 2-3 section, to a class 3-4 section or the class 5 section. The class 5 section over the years has been downgraded by our guides due to the number of trips they have guided there. Your guides may also decide on which river section to raft depending on a variety of factors such as; the water levels, weather, client group make up and such. As always safety and your enjoyment are our number one concern on every excursion! Our trips are conducted on paddle rafts, as well as stern assist paddle raft configurations.