Salmon River Road

Scout Route
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Salmon River Road starts in Riggins, Idaho, and ends at the Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp. Vinegar Creek is the furthest upstream launch point for jet boat operators entering the wilderness area. Further up the river are numerous small ranches and resorts on private property along the river. Vinegar Creek is one of the few supply points for most of those ranches, as everything has to be taken in by boat, carried in by horseback or hand, or flown into the ranches. Vinegar Creek is also the launch point for sport fishermen and other river users. As a result, it can be pretty busy, with reasonably heavy traffic along Salmon River Road.

There are two historical bridges with information boards explaining the area's history.

The road starts as a narrow paved road in Riggins. At about 12 miles, it changes to a well-maintained gravel road ranging from one to one and a half lanes wide with pullouts for passing oncoming traffic. It is primarily a shelf road with no shoulder on either side and is an almost continuous string of blind turns. The hard part of the Salmon River Road is not the road but the traffic coming towards you. Big jet boats ply the road between Riggins and Vinegar Creek. On their trailer, these boats are big enough to cover the entire road in many areas. Combined with blind turns, it makes for dangerous driving conditions.

Along the paved part of the road are several nice semi-primitive camping and picnic areas. Although dispersed camping is allowed along the entire road, it is generally not wide enough to accommodate it once it turns to gravel. The camping photo is from about the halfway point of the gravel road, the only place that can handle more than one rig.

The Salmon River cuts a deep, steep canyon through central Idaho. The Salmon River Road is one of the best places to get "up close and personal" with the river and the canyon from a wheeled vehicle. The scenery is second to none, and other than the potential for problems with oncoming traffic, the road is easy to drive and can be driven in any vehicle.