My Favorite Middle Fork Camp: Survey Creek
My favorite camp on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River has always been Survey (aka Dutch Oven). It’s a nice bench on the left side of the river at mile 75. What makes it special is the maze of small Ponderosa Pines.
Other camps on the Middle Fork stand out because of hot springs, views, side hikes, beautiful creeks, or natural history. I like Survey because I always have fun there. The Ponderosas give the camp a special magic that you can feel - almost like they’re happy to have you back for the night. There is an opening in the middle of the trees just big enough to host a party for 30 people (which has been known to happen).
The rapids before Survey are brilliant so everyone reaches camp on an adrenaline high. Since this camp is toward the end of the trip, everyone has gotten to know each other and is in the mood for a great time!
When camping at Survey, consider stopping at Rattlesnake Cave and hike the last mile to camp. You can look at the pictographs, and then hike up a steep trail to get a stunning view of Impassable Canyon.