Our top 10 books about the Main Salmon River all travel down the river with us in a big black box known as the Wet Planet Library. This portable library includes a variety of games, field guides, and books about the Main Salmon. Ranging from novels by river guides, to historical retellings of the native inhabitants of the river, to guidebooks, to field guides on plants and animals you might see,  these top ten books will leave you begging for a rafting trip down the Main Salmon.

Wet Planet Guest Reading

A Wet Planet guest relaxing at camp, reading about a Chinese American pioneer named Polly Bemis

The Main Salmon River, also known as The River of No Return, is known for its deep wilderness, starry skies, big water rapids, and sandy beaches. Nestled in the Frank Church Wilderness, the Salmon River in Idaho is rich with wildlife, geology, and human history. On your multi-day river trip with Wet Planet, we want you to be able to experience the river fully and learn about its rich history.

  1. A River Went Out of Eden is based off of real events telling the story of a young woman who has only ever known life in the city. The book tells the story of her transition to living in the Idaho Primitive area with her husband.
  2. Idaho’s Salmon River is a guidebook that puts all other to shame. Veteran river guides Eric and Allison Newell provide insight on the rapids, geology, history, and side hikes within the canyon.

    Main Salmon Guide Book

    A Wet Planet guide showing guests using the Salmon River guide book to show guests where they are on the river

  3. Idaho’s Salmon River Chronicles – Reflections of a River Guide is written by river guide Gary Lane. In this humorous autobiography he recounts the numerous stories, mishaps, unforeseen circumstances, and adventures of his forty years as a raft guide.
  4. River of No Return acts as a historical guide for those who are traveling down the Salmon River, offering a lens of interpretation that will transport you back in time and add another layer of dimension to your river trip.

    Main Salmon History

    Can you spot the cabin? The Main Salmon is full of human history.

  5. Merciless Eden by Doug Tims tells the history of Campbell’s Ferry through dramatic, funny, and remarkable stories. Throughout the course of the book he shows that no soul can tame the land or the river surrounding Campbell’s Ferry.
  6. Salmon River Kid is a novel that provides a glimpse into life along the Salmon River in the 1870s. In an incredible coming of age story, young Samuel Chambers finds himself falling in love. However, before he can marry, he must get gold in order to pay for the land he wishes to claim.
  7. 7003 Days by Jim and Holley Akenson is an autobiography explaining their adventures and days living on Taylor Ranch – the University of Idaho’ wilderness research station. The book vividly describes thrilling encounters with wildlife including tracking wolves and cougars and the struggle of such a rugged life.

    Bald Eagle Frank Church Wilderness

    The Frank Church Wilderness is full of exciting wildlife!

  8. Spirits of the Salmon River recalls the stories and lives of the individuals buried alongside the Salmon River. Kathy Deinhardt Hill recounts sixty stories from miners, settlers, and others, all who met their fate on the Salmon River.
  9. Sacajawea’s People by Jon W. W. Mann tells the heart wrenching story of the Lemhi Shoshones. Mann provides enriching details from the distant beginning to the present struggles of the tribe.
  10. Trails of the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness by Margaret Fuller is a must have for hikers and adventurers. This updated guidebook gives the top 101 backcountry tails in the Frank Church Wilderness.

Whether you are already signed up to join us on a 6-day rafting trip, are thinking back fondly on your last river trip, or are dreaming up your next one, these top ten books are sure to leave you inspired and ready for adventure. If you are already imagining yourself on the warm sunny banks of the Main Salmon River,  join the Wet Planet guides on a 6-day rafting trip floating downstream through fun waves, eating gourmet food, and basking in sunny adventures!

A sneak peak at the rest of the books in the Wet Planet Library!

Author Naomi has worked on the Wet Planet Cafe & Grill’s team since 2016. She is a jack of all trades – a chef, a writer, and a kayak instructor for Wet Planet! Read more by Naomi here!