Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Idaho Centennial Trail - Part 13 - The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to Stanley, Idaho

Having had dinner and breakfast at Marble camp on our first night and morning of being on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, we spent the next evening chatting with the local River Rafting Rangers at Fire Island Camp. They had just finished up with their dinners, but immediately offered us their leftovers and some refreshments. They went on, however, to freak Stacey out, by saying that a murderer had been seen at a trailhead within the region. These guys should be the producers of the evening national news.

We had our eyes on camping at the Sheepeater Hotsprings Camp which had an Outfitter hosting a family birthday reunion consisting of some wonderful folks from Texas. The days seemed too hot to soak in hot springs, but the cool night air was perfect for a peaceful dip.  We were the only ones enjoying the splendor of a refreshing soak while several deer ran to and fro around us in the pitch dark.

Again, we were offered a full breakfast where we even had folding chairs and tables to sit comfortably upon and good conversation to enjoy our meals. 

It seemed as if every half hour a battalion of new rafts floated on by us to pick up their guests from the Ranger Station down stream.

We did, however, skinny dip for a spell before it got too hot out at Trail Flat Camp Hotsprings whose several pools lined the edges of the Salmon River.

Near Dagger Falls and Boundary Creek Campground, a road was punched in to the Salmon River which allowed private parties and outfitters to get ready and setup for their floating trips.

Another group of guides who floated this river over and over again like an amusement park ride took interest in us and offered us refreshments in mutual exchange of fascinating stories of adventure.

After Dagger Falls, there were no more rafters to keep us company. 

There were, however, many pika, and yet another hot spring near Marsh Creek to keep us entertained and amused.

And finally on the ninth day out from Elk City, we reached Highway 21 and eagerly hitched about 15 miles south into Stanley, Idaho.

The few motels in Stanley were absolutely booked up.  However, we used the suggestions offered from the Rangers on the Salmon River to contact a local store owner who graciously allowed us to camp on their front lawn in the center of town.




  1. What fantastic photos and accounts, Bern! Again, thanks for sharing them. BTW, your link to part 14 doesn't work for me.

    1. Thank you Jeffrey so very much... It's as if the photos are packed full of energy that I still require some processing over. It's always quite the journey for me to just review them all and the memories behind them. They are also getting me psyched up to start hiking out in nature in less in two weeks time. I am actually working on the Arizona Trail photos today too. But I am not too sure if I will have the time to post them all. Part 14 is up as of this morning and parts 15 and finally part 16 will be up on successive days. Once they are published, I will have the official link to install into the previous days installments. I just put it in there ahead of time so that I will remember later to do it.


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