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Leader Training Trip, Wild and Scenic Salmon River, Salmon-Challis National Forest, ID (May 7th - May 13th 2017)

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The Salmon-Challis National Forest complex is one of Idaho's largest national forests. Located in west-central Idaho and below the Montana state line, it includes one-third of the 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area - the largest wilderness in the United States outside Alaska. Within the forest lies Borah Peak, Idaho's highest point at 12,662'. With outstanding opportunities for hunting, hiking, primitive camping, fishing and whitewater rafting, the potential for outdoor recreation is nearly endless in this remote, undeveloped forest. To give a bit of perspective, it is located 150 miles by highway from any good-sized city, such as Missoula or Idaho Falls.

Established in 1980, it is just slightly larger than Yellowstone National Park and is a vast landscape of deep canyons and high alpine lakes, with great variations in elevation, vegetation, and wildlife. The Salmon River, called the River of No Return by pioneers, courses ninety-seven miles through the wilderness and is essentially the only major access. Here exists an area where one can find themselves miles from the imprints of man, in challenging terrain, where solitude abounds. In addition to still-surviving native salmon and seagoing steelhead trout runs, the "Frank" is home to large numbers of mule deer, antelope, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat, as well as top predators -- bear, wolverine and reintroduced wolves.

Our service project is assisting wilderness rangers on the North Fork Ranger District work to maintain trail along the wild and scenic Salmon River. We'll hike in 4 miles on the Corn Creek trail and meet the rangers who will bring gear, food and tools to camp with pack mules. We'll spend our four work days on trail maintenance of various trails near our basecamp. Free day options include a great hike down to the historic Horse Creek confluence. Camping before the project is available at Corn Creek Campground.

This project includes leader training for Wilderness Volunteers trips and is open to prospective leaders by invitation only. We are specifically looking for people who are comfortable and competent in outdoor settings, are people-oriented and feel a strong sense of giving something back.

Ashely Northcutt and Taryn Schreiner are staff members for Wilderness Volunteers with many projects led between them. Like the other WV projects, we'll conduct 4 days of service work and a free day with leadership topics covered around the work project and basecamp. Participants will learn about planning and cooking for groups, working with the agencies, managing risks and become Leave No Trace trainers.

Once you have successfully completed this leadership course, you will be eligible to co-lead WV projects around the country. After you've led your first trip, you'll receive your $299 registration fee for this trip back. Volunteer leaders do not pay trip fees on trips they are leading and receive modest reimbursement for travel to the projects they staff. Another perk leaders enjoy is being able to sign up for projects that still have openings 60 days out for the cost of food.

This project is rated as a challenging project.

Check out more photos from last year's Salmon River project in our gallery.


May 7th - May 13th 2017

Service Project

Leader training on the Salmon River Trail

Agency logo

Free Days

Dayhiking, swimming, fishing, and hotspring soaking!


Backpack camping with pack support

Project Difficulty

Challenging : 4-mile backpack along the Salmon River, digging, brushing, using tools, lifting, moving rocks, etc.


Taryn Schreiner
Ashely Northcutt

Equipment List