The Wild and Scenic California Salmon River, although still somewhat unknown even in its home state of California, is one of the most incredible class V whitewater rafting trips in the country. This is one of Momentums original and most loved spring trips, and, for many of us, the “Cal Salmon” is our favorite class V river in the U.S. It combines beautiful, lush coastal scenery, an intimate, marble-smooth, granite inner gorge, a seemingly endless number of waterfalls cascading in from above, emerald-green waters, a very comfortable pop-up base camp with hot showers and a wood-fired sauna (think ‘glamping’ or luxury camping), and unequaled class IV-V pool-drop whitewater. This is truly a world-class, high-adventure whitewater run. Our trip combines the Salmon with the Class V Scott River and/or the spectacularly beautiful Clear Creak to become one of the ultimate (and most comfortable) class V adventures in the country.
Momentum ‘Cal’ Salmon Trips
The Salmon has become our signature spring trip and we run more people down this river than all other companies combined. It is our “back yard” big water spring river. The area is a whitewater playground and our itineraries allow for the time and flexibility to truly see the best this incredibly wild and remote river system has to offer.
And we access it all from our unique and comfortable safari-style pop-up base camp (now with a sauna trailer, hot showers, and an outdoor bar) – combining high adventure and comfortable glamping style camping. We have built a reputation for innovative and comfortable camping in wilderness places and our Cal Salmon Camp takes that to another level.
Please call if you have any questions about this amazing adventure.
The lushness of the canyon is a refreshing change from the drier, more desert-like landscape of many California rivers. Also outstanding is the abundance of wildlife; it is not uncommon to see black bear or the occasional mountain lion, and meeting up with deer and a wide range of birds is almost a given. The combination of stunning scenery and remote location lends itself to creating a feeling of being set down in a different part of the world. You quickly become immersed in the area and the experience.
Each afternoon we will head back to our comfortable and extremely unique riverside ‘pop-up’ base camp set deep in the Salmon River canyon. There are walk-in tents with cots set among the trees, a tented eating and hang out area, hot showers, a sauna, an outdoor bar, and a big fire burning. The late afternoon can be spent hiking, biking, and playing games in the sun. For those who like road and mountain biking (and have the energy after a hard day of paddling) the narrow and remote roads in the area offer beautiful riding. Or, for those looking to unwind, grab a towel and head over to our sauna trailer, rinse off in the shower, and grab a drink at the bar and relax by the campfire. The evening will start with appetizers, a big dinner, and desert, and be followed by a comfortable night under a sky far away from any city lights.
We have built a reputation for innovative and comfortable camping in wilderness places, for creative menus featuring local and organic produce & products, our attention to detail, & our overall hospitality. Our Cal Salmon camp is a unique, comfortable, and fun example of this.
Even if you took away the scenery, the location, and our camp, the whitewater would still make the river more than worthwhile. The rapids are an amazing combination of crashing waves, big holes and boulders, and clean, steep drops over smooth granite. Best of all, there are a ton of them.
The California Salmon’s whitewater lends itself to paddlers of all experience levels. For adventurous beginners and intermediates in good physical condition, the various river stretches allow you to start with a day of class IV before moving on to the class V. For experienced rafters – even those who have boated all over the world – the rapids are more than challenging enough to keep the adrenaline going. Most importantly, they are incredibly fun.
For charter groups we have the option of creating an itinerary that immerses you in the beauty of the Salmon River canyon but that keeps the whitewater class 4 and below. As well as a wilderness lodge-based option. The area is truly a river playground and there are lots of options
So join us for the “pilgrimage” that many of our guests take year after year to the wildlands of the far northwest corner of California. Join us for some of the most classic and incredible advanced whitewater in the world, comfortable nights under huge coastal mountains, time with old and new friends around the campfire, and a chance to get away from wifi, cell phone chatter, and hectic daily schedules.
For those doing the class V stretches – Depending on water levels you may be asked to participate in a class-V paddler’s test. These tests are not competitive in any way. They are done to emphasize teamwork, confidence, and to help you judge your ability to tackle this incredible stretch of river. Please call if you have any questions or concerns.