Beginner kayakers often wonder, “What’s next? What do I do with my new skills and passion for rivers?” Although there are many great day trips on the White Salmon and around the country, one of the most amazing experiences is to completely immerse oneself in the magic of a multi-day river trip. Waking up with the sun glittering through the trees making mosaic designs on the wall of the tent and the rushing sounds of the river winding downstream is one of the best ways to wake up, ever. This combined with the knowledge of a perfect day of exciting whitewater, breathtaking scenery, and great people ahead may be one of the most magical moments in a paddler’s experience.
Wet Planet offers an amazing multi-day whitewater kayaking adventure on the Lower Salmon River in Idaho that is ideal for the beginner paddler who had formal instruction, like the two or three day beginner course through Wet Planet, and is ready for more! The warm, clear water of the Lower Salmon River runs through deep, breathtaking canyons providing a scenic and comfortable learning environment. The pool-drop character of the river ensures that each day is full of fun new rapids to challenge one’s paddling skills and calm pools to practice the fundamentals. Wet Planet kayak school manager, Devin Kuh, loves this trip because it provides high quality whitewater with both appropriate challenges and moments of wonderful success; a balance that is perfect to help beginner kayakers to progress their paddling.
The trip also provides the perfect instruction to compliment the built in learning environment. Wet Planet kayak instructors enjoy the opportunity to spend five consecutive days working with the same group of paddlers who are all stoked to learn. Instructors are able to cater their instruction to each student’s needs, working on honing fundamental skills as well as progressing to more intermediate skills. Students on this trip enjoy a perfect balance between time spent on more formal instruction and time spent simply paddling and enjoying the amazing views.
The magic of a multi-day kayak trip does not solely consist of time on the water. There is something very unique about packing everything you need for five days, camping gear, food, etc, into a support raft, starting off downstream, and seeing a new stretch of river every day. Then, at the end of each day, there is a beautiful white sandy beach where the group sets up camp and relaxes with newfound river friends. Wet Planet raft guide and kayak instructor, Todd Collins, says the best thing about the Lower Salmon trip is the opportunity to sit on the beach with his feet in the warm water, a delicious dinner in his lap, and a great group of river people all around. Because no matter what kind of person you are before the trip, you can be certain that afterwards you will forever be a river person.
Wet Planet reservation manager, Leah Wagner, who had the opportunity to kayak the Lower Salmon, described her love for the trip:
“The thrill of being on the river and paddling whitewater, immersion within the world’s natural beauty, my ability to push myself beyond my comfort zone, and another chance to surround myself with quality people drawn to nature. More importantly still, the river gave me the opportunity to rediscover and reignite the sense of magic within myself, and for that I am most grateful.”
Interested in joining the Lower Salmon whitewater kayak adventure? If you have already joined us for a beginner class, or have had equivalent formal kayak instruction, you have all the necessary skills to join the trip! If you haven’t, take a beginner class through Wet Planet soon and we will get you up to speed!
Author Carson Lyness‘s favorite thing about kayaking is being able to flip over and talk to the Salmon. She is part of the Wet Planet base staff, marketing team, and an all-star kayak instructor.