Considered the premier spring rafting trip in California, the Cal Salmon offers challenging, exciting whitewater rafting. If you choose to raft the Cal Salmon River, you will find it to be one of those California gems that will quicken the pulse of even the most experienced rafter.

The river begins high in the Trinity Alps and churns through the stately Salmon Mountains and bedrock canyon before it connects with the Klamath River. The Cal Salmon River is so named to distinguish it from the widely known Salmon River in Idaho. While rafting, you will experience some extraordinary Class IV and Class V whitewater.

The "Wild and Scenic" Cal Salmon River in California

Designated as a "Wild and Scenic" river, the Cal Salmon flows free from the beginning to the very end. The Cal Salmon depends on being fed by snowmelt. Because of the "Dam-free" situation, there is a short season, which begins in April and ends in mid-June. The River flows through dense and lush forests, which results in amazingly beautiful turquoise water. The river is far from California's major populated areas and it is never crowded.

If you are just beginning to explore California rafting, then the Cal Salmon is said to be the next logical "step up" after you have experienced some of the popular rafting trips in California. This is because there are more advanced rapids to encounter on both the north fork and the south fork of the Cal Salmon. There are three class V and many class IV rapids to navigate.

The Cal Salmon offers an abundance of challenges

The rafting trip will begin at the gravel bar on mile zero. Along the way, you will encounter some enjoyable Class II and III runs, but make no mistake there are some exciting and challenging Class IV and three Class V to negotiate.

There are long stretches of boulder laden mazes, cascades and drops, some of which may be scouted from the river bank.

Most of the rapids have memorable and mind-boggling names such as Airplane Turn, Achilles Heel, Steelhead Falls, Last Chance and Freight Train. The class II and III Wooley Bully rapids was dynamited to allow the salmon to be able to swim upstream in their annual quest to spawn.

Activities along the Cal Salmon River

Try to book your California rafting with a good outfitter on the Salmon River rafting trip well in advance. Also while you are there, enjoy some of the best salmon fishing in America, relax in campgrounds managed by the forest service, explore limestone caves, and enjoy hiking and wilderness backpacking amidst breathtaking scenery.

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Destination Wilderness

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