Lower Salmon River

General Information

Authorized BLM Permitted Outfitters | Links | Guides and Maps | River Mileages | Elevation | Difficulty Rating | Recommended Flows |Water Temperature | Main Seasons of Use | Camping | Permits | Discover Pass | Waste Removal Stations | Emergency


Authorized BLM Permitted Outfitters

The Bureau of Land Management provides this list as a service to boaters and it is in no way an endorsement of those listed. Find an outfitter.


USGS Lower Salmon River Gauge - White BirdSalmon River Road constructionIdaho Department of Fish and Game
NRCS Idaho Snowpack ReportNorthwest River Forecast CenterMain Salmon River Information
ITD Road ReportNational Wild and Scenic Rivers 

Guides and Maps

Boater's Guide 

Vinegar Creek to Hammer Creek 
Detailed Maps | Overview Map 

Hammer Creek to Heller Bar 
Detailed Maps | Overview Map 

Quadrangle 7.5 Minute Series of U.S. Geological Survey Topographic Maps: 

Salmon River from Vinegar Creek to Hammer Creek: Carey Dome, Kelly Mountain, Riggins Hot Springs, Riggins, Lucile, Slate Creek, and White Bird.

Salmon River from Hammer Creek to the Snake River confluence: White Bird, Fenn, Moughmer Point, Boles, Westlake, Hoover Point, Rattlesnake Ridge, Wapshilla Creek, Cactus Mountain, Deadhorse Ridge.

Salmon and Snake River confluence to the Snake and Grande Ronde River confluence (Heller Bar): Wapshilla Creek, Jim Creek Butte, Limekiln Rapids.

River Mileages

Hammer Creek to Heller Bar: 73 Miles
Hammer Creek to Pine Bar Boat Ramp: 11 Miles
Pine Bar to Eagle Creek: 29 Miles
Eagle Creek to Snake River confluence: 13 Miles
Salmon and Snake River confluence to Heller Bar: 20 Miles


Hammer Creek: 1,440 feet
Salmon and Snake River confluence: 900 feet
Heller Bar: 850 feet

Difficulty Rating

Class III-IV

Recommended Flows

2,500 cfs - 15,000 cfs

Water Temperature

Ranges from 36 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit

Main Seasons of Use

Seasons of use depend on the water level, but generally the floating season runs from July through October and there are spring and fall fishing seasons. Power boating season coincides with spring and fall fishing and fall hunting.


Camps cannot be occupied before 1:30 PM Pacific/2:30 PM Mountain time unless the entire group is present.


Self-issue permits are required for private groups (maximum 30 people per trip) from Hammer Creek to the Snake River for all overnight trips year-round AND all day trips from July 1 through Labor Day. Permits are available at Hammer Creek, White Bird Gravel Pit and Graves Creek (Pine Bar) river kiosks. No permits are required or group size limitations from Vinegar Creek to Hammer Creek for private boaters. This permit can be mailed (use address on the permit), but if you choose this option, please be sure you keep a photocopy or fill out a second copy to keep with you while on the river. This permit also authorizes use of the Snake River in Hell's Canyon below the mouth of the Salmon. Requirements on the Snake may differ from those on the Lower Salmon and will be posted at launch sites or printed on the self-issue permit.

Discover Pass

The Discover Pass is required to be displayed on your vehicle when visiting state recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. This includes the use of Heller Bar. For more information, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (866) 320-9933 and visit the website.  

Waste Removal Stations/SCAT Machines 

Riggins, Idaho
Chevron Station (in back) at 103 S. Main Street

Asotin, Washington
Chief Looking Glass Park on 1st Street

In Case of Emergency

The BLM carries radios for emergency purposes on river patrols conducted from July through September and may be able to assist. Note your location in an emergency and call the local sheriff's office (911) or the BLM at (208) 962-3245.


All boats and non-motorized vessels (canoe, kayak, raft, drift boat, etc.) are required to purchase and display Idaho Invasive Species Law and Boat Registration stickers in order to legally launch and operate in Idaho.






Discover Pass Parking Permits Required at Heller Bar