California’s Salmon River flows thorugh a steep and narrow canyon that inspires as much awe as its whitewater. Lush foliage and waterfalls from high cliffs on both sides of the river mark the stunning views around this river.

Called Cal Salmon, to distinguish it from the better-known Salmon River in Idaho, the river flows through a less travelled, northern part of the state, a 6½-hour drive from the San Fransisco Bay Area.

Cal Salmon is a pristine habitat for its namesake fish, as well as rainbow trout and lots of other species. Also on view is the
occasional black bear, mountain lion and Lewis’ woodpecker.

The Salmon River is the perfect location for a rafting expedition through granite gorges and over cascading waterfalls. The river’s rapids range from Class IV (difficult) to V (extremely difficult) with some of them with evocative names: Achilles Heel, Gaping Maw, Last Chance and Freight Train. Here is a four-day, three-night rafting itinerary for the months of May and June that takes you through most of them, if not all:

Day 1: Cal-Salmon base camp
Assemble at the camp to meet guides and fellow paddlers.

Overnight in camp in private tent.

Day 2: The fun begins
The first day on the water working the lower section of the river. Tackle the Gaping Maw stretch, one of the area’s most beautiful, with waterfalls and emerald-green side streams.

Overnight in camp in private tent.

Day 3: The big day
Devoted to serious whitewater with the Class V section from Nordheimer to Wooley Creek including the steep and powerful Freight Train rapid. Then, around a massive boulder toward the Pearly Gates rock formation.

Overnight in camp in private tent.

Day 4: Winding down
The last day on the pristine water deep in the heart of Northern California’s little-touched wilderness. The task today includes one of two rarely run stretches, depending on the water level: rafting the technical Class V whitewater of the Scott River or kayaking through Clear Creek Canyon.

In the afternoon, depart for the airport by car or shuttle.
If you want to experience the thrill of rafting in the Cal Salmon in May-June then please do call Lighthouse on (0) 9818905024 or email theworld@golighthouse.in

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