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South Fork Salmon, Day 2 & 3

Waking up on day two, many people in our group were nervous because the trip report says day 2 you have the most action. Plus, we started off with a larger rapid called surprise. We jumped out, took a quick scout and made it through no problem. You have a couple rapids that are a bit harder, but nothing to crazy. Then it mellows out fairly quickly. At some point, we pulled over to a little sandy area on river left and had lunch.

lunch, south fork salmon
Pulling over to eat lunch

This is when the day started to pick up. Don’t ask what comes after what, but things certainly got a bit more interesting. There were some big moves that you needed to make to avoid some big holes and you will definitely get your river reading skills honed in here. The final major rapid of day two is Fall Creek Rapid, which is a three part rapid. Don’t ask me about the entrance, I just ran it and everyone followed. I eddied out, looked at the line, and Alex and I ran it for everyone else. All went well here. We just kind of peeled out high and ran a flake rock and got into an eddie on river left.

fall creek, south fork salmon
2nd part of Fall Creek Rapid

Things got a little interesting for us at this point. I jumped out to scout the rest of the rapid, Alex stayed in the eddie and next thing I know, I see two guys jetting off river right and I just thought “huh, I guess they are just going to portage.” Just as this thought ran through my head, I see an empty boat, upside down floating down the exact line I thought I would take through the last part of the rapid. Long story short, the boat eddied out and just waited for our crew to find it, the swimmer got to safety and the entire crew kicked in and worked as a team. Due to this, I didn’t get to test out that last part of the rapid. No big deal, there is always next time.

We found camp shortly after this, enjoyed our last night together on the river and got a little shut eye.

Day 3 isn’t all that interesting, but the 20+ miles go much quicker than I thought. It took us about 3.5 hours to get to the take-out but there were some big waves along the way, opportunities to chat and get to know people better and know you were in for a nice chill day.

I would highly recommend this run to anyone and I feel so blessed this was my first overnighter AND self support.


I started kayaking in Wisconsin of all places, because this is where I am from. I then moved to San Diego and took on kayak surfing along with heading to the Kern River when water was available. I then made the move to Asheville, NC and have been hooked on this sport since my Wisconsin days. With whatever it is that you do, do it because you love it, not because society tells you should or for other outside factors. Don't simply exist, live!