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Wilderness Volunteers

Wild & Scenic Salmon River, ID (May 16th - May 22nd 2021)

This service project is sponsored by:

  • Eric Mak

  • Description
  • Details
  • Map

The Frank Church-River of No Return is a wilderness of steep, rugged mountains, deep canyons, and wild, whitewater rivers. The Salmon River Mountains, located south of the Main Salmon and west of the Middle Fork, are the most massive range, and dominate the Wilderness. North of the Main Salmon River are the Clearwater Mountains, east of the Middle Fork are the Bighorn Crags. The Salmon River Canyon is one of the deepest gorges in North America, deeper even than the famous Grand Canyon of the Colorado in Arizona. But in contrast to the Grand Canyon, the Salmon River Canyon is not noted for sheer walls and towering heights, but instead for the variety of landscapes visible from the river; wooded ridges rising to the sky, huge eroded monuments and bluffs and slides, picturesque castles and towers, and solitary crags.

The United States Congress designated the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in 1980 and it now encompasses a total of 2,366,757 acres. Administration of the wilderness is accomplished by two Forest Service Regions (Northern and Intermountain), and four National Forests, the Salmon-Challis, Payette, Nez Perce, and Bitterroot. It is the largest contiguous wilderness in the Lower 48 and the second largest unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System in the Lower 48 (second in size only to California’s Death Valley Wilderness). The lead forest for managing the coordination of the Wilderness is the Salmon-Challis National Forest, with headquarters located in Salmon, Idaho.  

Join us for a week's worth of tread work, trail maintenance, and brushing on scenic trails near the Salmon River. Our volunteer crew will work on side trails to the Salmon River, gaining great views of the canyon and snow-capped Continental Divide. This lucky volunteer group will also assist the USFS in installing signs and should catch the balsamroot flowers out in full force. Volunteers will tent camping near cars at Spring Creek Campground.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a strenuous project.

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


May 16th - May 22nd 2021

Service Project

Trail work, tread work, brushing, signage installation

Agency logo

Free Days

Dayhiking, fishing, explore historic sites


Tent camping near cars

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : ~3 mi OW daily hikes, 1000' gains, digging, brushing, using tools, lifting, moving rocks, etc.


Steve Breitbach
William Arbour

Equipment List