For decades, I’ve made numerous hikes along this same creek, but at spots far upstream, where it cuts a deep canyon near my home. Long content to frequent familiar territory, I had recently started to wonder about what the tail end of the drainage looked like. The last section upstream of the Snake River, near Hagerman, runs through private property dotted with homes built near the creek, making any sort of hike impossible. I had heard, however, that a canoe could be maneuvered down this final stretch.
I figured that after reaching the river, we could paddle flat water downstream for several miles almost to Upper Salmon Falls. Once a fishing hotspot for native Americans, the falls served as the source for the creek’s name. After we reached this historic set of rapids, we could explore the river’s north channel, which was left exposed following the pre-World War II construction of a hydroelectric dam. But before we got the chance to experience anything else, we needed to survive floating the creek in our old, beat-up canoe. Continue reading →