Hughes River Expeditions

Trip details

Main Salmon

MS22 Happy Gals at California Camp
double tree hilton 2

Main Salmon – Trip Details.


Headquarters & Starting Point:

  • Pre Trip Meeting Location: Double Tree by Hilton Hotel.
  • Pre-Trip Meeting Time: 7:00 PM
  • Our guests stay at the Double Tree by Hilton in in Missoula, MT for the Main Salmon river.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Missoula-Edgewater
100 Madison St, Missoula, MT 59802

We recommend making reservations at the Double Tree by Hilton at the same time you reserve spaces on your river trip. Let Double Tree by Hilton know that you are on a trip with Hughes River Expeditions, Inc. and request the river runner’s rate. Double Tree by Hilton provides no charge parking during your trip, and a lock up room for luggage. 

Traveling to Missoula


Fly to Missoula International Airport (MSO).

Put-in Beginning of the Trip


Put-in for the Main Salmon- River of No Return is a highly scenic trip up the Bitterroot Valley, over Lost Trail Pass along the Lewis & Clark trail, and down the Main Salmon River for approximately 45 miles to the Corn Creek Boat Ramp. We leave Missoula around 7:30 AM and with a couple of stops on our way plan to arrive at the put-in around 12:00 (noon).  We provide bus transportation from Missoula to the river (145 miles).

Takeout / End of Trip


Late morning the last day, we takeout at Carey Creek about 30 miles from Riggins, ID.  From the takeout, we provide bus transportation back to Missoula & the Double Tree by Hilton. The Trip from Carey Creek back to Missoula is approximately 230 miles.  Plan to arrive in Missoula about 6:30 p.m.

Guest Experiences on The Main Salmon River

Thanks so much for a wonderfully fun week!  Our family can’t wait to do it again.
Prugh, Jackson, WY (2021)



The Upper Main Salmon (aka the first 25 miles below Corn Creek) can produce large West-Slope Cutthroat Trout!  The bottom end of the river (aka the final 20 miles above Carey Creek) has Small Mouth Bass, West-slope Cutthroat Trout as well as resident Steelhead (native rainbow trout).

Common methods used to fish for trout and bass include fly-fishing and spinner fishing.

The entire length of the Main Salmon – River of No Return stretch has populations of White Sturgeon that your guides will target with large gear set ups on Marlon rods.  They are a rare and exciting site when we are able to catch one!

You can also purchase an Idaho fishing license directly from Idaho Fish & Game Dept. [] Cost is $22.75 for the 1st day, and $7/day for each additional day. Children under 14 can fish on a license of an adult parent.

MS22 Squirt Gun Fight
MS22 California Camp 3

Vehicle & Luggage Storage


You can leave your vehicles at the Double Tree by Hilton in Missoula for the duration of the trip. You can also store valuables with the front desk if desired.



The Main Salmon – River of No Return begins at around 2500 feet. Typically, days are hot and nights are cool. Study our Gear List carefully, and call the office with questions. Weather in the Central Idaho Mountains is very unpredictable, and you need to be well-prepared.

Trip Insurance & Responsibility


We encourage the purchase of Trip Cancellation, Accident, and Baggage Insurance Policies. These policies cover cancellation, personal property, and personal injury. Many insurance companies offer such policies.

HUGHES RIVER EXPEDITIONS, Inc. spares nothing to assure that all trips we outfit are the safest and best outfitted expeditions available. Our safety record is excellent. However, river running is not without some risk, and you as a potential river runner must be willing to assume this risk. HUGHES RIVER EXPEDITIONS, Inc. assumes no responsibility whatsoever for your personal safety or for damage or loss of your equipment.

Main Salmon River – Books and Maps


Available through the Hughes Company Store.



Gratuities are shared among the crew, and typical tips are 10% to 20% of trip fare. Gratuities play a major role in the lives of our guides, who we expect to provide excellent service for your experience. Please remember to tip consistently with their performance.

We’re here to answer any and all of your questions!

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