Lower Salmon River into the Snake River(Hells Canyon)

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Lower Salmon River into the Snake River(Hells Canyon)

Post by tsharp » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:48 pm

On August 21st six of us put on the Salmon River at the Hammer Creek boat ramp near White Bird, Idaho.We would do 50 miles down to the confluence of the Snake River plus 20 miles down to our take out at Heller Bar near Grande Ronde in Washington State. Four of us had done this trip before. My favorite memory is the the magical time near dusk when the last sunlight turned the grass lands into a golden glow. Not on this trip because most of the river corridor was scorched by the Big Cougar Fire of 70,000 acres on river right(descending) on both the Salmon and Snake rivers. The fire was lightning started
This trip started out at 1420' elevation and ended at 840'. Scenery is mostly grass lands with a few scattered Ponderosa Pines and an occasional Douglas-fir. The Salmon River portion contained four short canyons with 1-2000 feet exposures near the river.
We camped two nights at the confluence of the Salmon and Snake rivers which is a nice spot and but interrupted by the jet boat traffic bringing tourists upriver from Lewiston/Clarkston for a day trip into Hells Canyon. One unique thing about this twenty mile stretch on the Snake River is that we ate breakfast in Idaho, lunch in Oregon, dinner in Washington. and I believe we crossed the moutain/pacific time zones twice.

The largest of several species measured in Idaho are listed below:

Black Locust (Robinia psuedoacia) 1.25' x 47.4', 2.75' x 42.6'
Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis laevigata var 3.4' x 33.5', 4.4' x 27.2'
Saskatoon Serviceberry Amelanchier alinifolia) # x 20.5', 0.6' x 18.6'
Curl leaf Mountain Mahogany cerocarpus ledifolia) 2.3' x 18.4' (Circumferernce taken at 3 1/2')

A complete listing of trees measured can be found on the Trees databse site at:
http://treesdb.azurewebsites.net/Browse ... 51/Details

Left portion of picture is burnt area, right side unburnt

Click on image to see its original size

Skeleton Creek Camp

Click on image to see its original size
The taller trees are Black Locust. The entire background on river right is burnt.
The depressions in the ground are old gold diggings- mostly made by the Chinese. It was not far from here that the Deep Creek Massacre occurred when a mining camp was attacked and as many as 34 Chinese were murdered and thrown into the river
For more information on this incident see:

http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/artic ... MA5ndLF-So

The mighty Netleaf Hackberrry guarding the beach at Wild Goose Camp

Click on image to see its original size

# x 13.5'

The only trees measured in the State of Washington were at at Wild Goose with the largest listed below:
Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis laevigata var) 1.5' x 31.6', 2.3' x 10.4' (Circumference taken at 2 1/2')
White Mulberry (Morus alba) 1.8' x 16.2'

A complete listing of trees measured at this site can be found on the Trees database site at:
http://treesdb.azurewebsites.net/Browse ... 48/Details

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Re: Lower Salmon River into the Snake River(Hells Canyon)

Post by Don » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:24 pm

My but you do get around!
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

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View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:

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