Last August, I did my second trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. I was curious to see what the river was like at lower-water. (Since the first 25 miles of the Middle Fork get too shallow to raft later in the season, trips in August generally start downstream at Indian Creek). An unexpected side-effect of using the lower put-in is that it staggers your campsites differently, so I got to see some new spots on the Middle Fork and Camas Creek Camp is a new favorite spot!
Here’s why I loved it!
1. Awesome Tent Sites – The tent sites are located down a narrow path that runs parallel to the creek. Many of the tent sites have their own access to the creek, with trees and shrubs separating you from your neighbors. It felt like a wilderness settlement with my own little creek-front homestead!
2. Amazing Hiking – When doing just the lower 75 miles, you don’t feel as rushed and arrive at camp with more time to enjoy the area. I took an incredible hike with some fellow guests before dinner. We started along the creek and walked a few miles up and back down. It wasn’t a tough gradient, but eventually I noticed the creek was swirling far below us. The amazing Audrey Gehlhausen, an ultra-runner, told us it’s her favorite spot for a trail run.
3. Creekin’ – Who doesn’t like to play in a creek? I was splashing around in the shallow end like an 8 year old, and there’s some nice spots for swimming upstream. The water is a gorgeous shade of steel blue, and it’s a great spot to sit for a quiet moment in the morning.
4. Great Location – You reach Camas camp after running the series of rapids surrounding Tappan Falls. That 2-mile stretch is an exciting finish to an afternoon of boating. Heading out in the morning is a pretty easy paddle for a few miles with no major rapids.
5. Space station! – Okay, so this isn’t unique to Camas Camp, but it is a memorable highlight from my stay there. My father-in-law spotted the space station streaking across the sky and alerted everyone (loudly) to look up lest they miss it. Veteran guide, Colleen, had tried all summer to catch its transit, so she was excited to see it on this last trip of the season. I think we’ll all remember hearing the camp erupt with the “space station announcement”, but that’s one of the great things about a river trip – sometimes you just have to be there.
P.S. Check out our newest Middle Fork video!