North Fork – The River of No Return

Some things are happy accidents. When arriving in North Fork, ID, we realized the population is 129! That means they have a gas station and a small convenience store and nothing else. The next closest town, Salmon, isn’t THAT much better at 3190 but at least they have a grocery store even if reviews say they’d rather spend $40 in gas and drive to Missoula, MT than pay the prices here.

So, upon arriving and realizing we had three nights here, we were wondering what the heck we were going to do with all that time. Why did we book three nights if we didn’t have specific plans already? To go into that would require a whole lesson on long RV trip planning, something that is a never ending challenge.

Kayak the Salmon River

After having a ton of fun floating the Boise River, and being located right on the Salmon River, we thought we’d look into some Kayaking options. River rafting seems to be a very big activity in this area. And the nickname, The River of No Return, didn’t scare us off.

With some research, we decided our amateur kayaking status wasn’t going to stop us from taking a chance on this class II to class IIIish river.

The only thing stopping us? Um, no shuttle service here. We had to figure out a way to get back to the truck with the kayak once we finish our trip.

And then Jeff has a brilliant insight. I know, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn! Kidding! He’s actually really smart.

As it turns out, we were staying at Wagonhammer RV Park and our RV space LITERALLY (and not the kind of literally that all the kids are saying these days) backs up to the Salmon River. HELLO! We can end our float RIGHT HERE!

That RV with the bikes next to the purple tree? Yep, that’s us.

But wait, so the Kayak is at the RV but what about getting the truck back? Well, that’s where the motorcycle comes in handy! We’ll drive that back and pick up the truck. Brilliant, I told you.

So out we set for our 13+ mile float. And OH BOY was it fun!

We spotted deer, probably an eagle or two and experienced beautiful scenery while having fun navigating the river channels.

If we did nothing else in North Fork, it would have been worth the stop. But there’s more to come.

Goldbug Hot Springs

One thing on my to-do list is the challenging hike to Goldbug Hot Springs. We had a taste of hot springs in Steamboat Springs but the more commercialized springs just didn’t appeal to us even though we loved the hot/cold water combo.

Goldbug is a moderately difficult 3.6 mile out and back trail. There’s some steep elevation and loose rocks to climb over but the reward at the end is SOOOO worth it.

We really wished we could have stayed soaking longer but wanted to grab some lunch back in Salmon and it was already a long motorcycle ride plus the hike.

And every now and then, you just have to have some fun.

Is a coincidence that I’m currently reading Miss Benson’s Beetle about a woman who is in search of a gold colored beetle?

So, all in all, the stop was HIGHLY enjoyable.

The Stats

Miles hiked at this stop – 16

Animal Sightings to date – 21