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Trip Report: Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

1860 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  saph
On a warm July day, we began our hike at the Boundary Creek Trail Head for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Middle Fork flows through the heart of the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48, The Frank Church River of No Return. [attachment=7:qjwc7idk]Hiking in to Trail Ck1.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]

The trail was not always immediately adjacent to the river, but we could occasionally catch glimpses of rafts and kayaks as they navigated the Class 3 and 4 rapids on this spectacular Wild and Scenic River. [attachment=0:qjwc7idk]Sweep Boat in Powerhouse Rapids.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]

Of course, our goats received many double-takes from the rafters! :D

After about 9 miles, we reached our campsite. [attachment=1:qjwc7idk]Middle Fork Campsite.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]

We were happy to be off the hot trail & several of us cooled off with a dip in the clear water.

The next day, some of us stayed behind to fish this acclaimed trout stream, while the rest of us hiked further down-river to an old mining cabin. Amazing scenery was around every bend. [attachment=6:qjwc7idk]Big Bend1.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk][attachment=4:qjwc7idk]Joe Bump Cabin.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]

The hike gave us some interesting challenges.[attachment=5:qjwc7idk]Log Crossing Ramshorn Creek.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]Some of our goats opted to ford rather than cross on the log:

On the way back to our camp, it began to rain, a welcome relief from the fierce heat we experienced the day before. We were pretty cold and wet by the time we arrived back at camp & got our goats situated under their tarps. A 3-hour rainstorm ensued. How quickly the weather had changed! Luckily, a warm bath awaited us. The Middle Fork is known for its natural hot springs, and our camp site did not disappoint. [attachment=2:qjwc7idk]Trail Creek Hot Spring1.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]

Another amazing trip, with good friends, spectacular scenery, made especially memorable by our awesome pack goats![attachment=3:qjwc7idk]End of the Trail.jpg[/attachment:qjwc7idk]


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Very nice. Glad you had a great time. Hope to take my clan out soon for their first overnighter.
You guys really get out and cover some country! Hopefully we will be headed out soon ourselves to leave some bootprints in the amazing idaho wilderness.... We'll keep an eye out for ya! Great pictures!

Great pictures and trip report, thanks for sharing.

In the photos I see that some of the goats have hard sided bins in their packs. Can you comment on what bins you've found to fit in which packs?

Wow. I love those new Obers that Joe and Alida picked up. I love the picture of everyone sitting around eating with all the Pack Goats hanging out in great style. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness and that my friends is true happiness.

" Long Live The Pack Goat"

Curtis King Burbank WA.
Ya that shot around the camp site with all the goaties laying down relaxing is a great pic. Must of really tired em out. If that were Legion, he would be sticking his nose into everything :) Cant wait for spring to come and to start getting out into the wilds again! Thanks for sharing. Now my cabin fever is spiking :)
Todd, not sure which packs you are interested in. Our panniers are "home-made," and we just used some store-bought "rubber-maid" type containers, with lids, that fit inside. We just took the packs into a WalMart store & tried various containers until we found one that fit. We store things we don't want to get crushed in them, such as nested cooking pots, the camping stove, or more fragile food items.

Because the bins are pretty lightweight, they can get busted up easily, but we reinforce them by wrapping their sides with duct tape. They can still get cracked, but at least they hold together that way. We have had to replace the bins once, because they were too damaged. You could buy sturdier bins, but they would add more weight to your pack.

Our other packing companion, Harriet, uses two rounded bear canisters, placed sideways, in one of her packs. She uses upright plastic trash containers in one of her other packs, purchased from Northwest Pack Goats. That way, she can access the pack from top. She told me that one disadvantage of having hard-sided bins is that if you travel off-trail, or through brush or "tight squeezes," the bulkier, hard-sided packs can get stuck & can be difficult to remove in those situations.

We only put our hard-sided pack bins on our biggest goat, because he can usually stay above the brush & obstacles. We don't put hard-sided packs on our two smaller goats. The advantages to the hard-sided packs is that you can protect your gear a little better, so you don't end up with dented pots & pans. :)

Definitely a "trial and error" process, and obviously a matter of personal preference. Hope that helps! Feel free to ask any more questions--Irene
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