4/27 Lower Salmon River Trail Day Hike


  • Date: Saturday, April 27th
  • Meet Up: Riggins City Park, 8:00a PT
    • (9:00a MT)
  • Trailhead: Manning Bridge, 8:45a PT
    • (9:45a MT)
  • Contact: Todd Holcomb
    • Phone: 208-704-9739
    • Email: todd@clearwatertrekking.com


The Salmon River is the southern border of the Nez Perce National Forest, and while I have played in the mountains to the north and west, I have never been down on the Salmon River east of Riggins. Big Salmon Road has just been a turnoff I pass by on my way to McCall or Boise. This Saturday, April 27th, I aim to change that.

The plan is to meet up at the upper parking area of Riggins City Park at 8:00am Pacific Time (9:00am Mountain Time). We will want to carpool to the trailhead because parking is extremely limited at Manning Bridge, which is about half an hour or 14 miles up Big Salmon Road. We will park at the viewpoint on the southern end of Manning Bridge and then walk back across the bridge to reach the Lower Salmon River Trailhead.

(Did you know the old Manning Bridge was replaced in 2018? Apparently, the new construction project won a National Long Span Award! For a good read and really cool pictures of the new Manning Bridge construction, check out this article by the National Steel Bridge Alliance.)

The Lower Salmon River Trail runs east and west along the north side of the river, which means we'll be hiking along a southern facing slope, hopefully in the bright, spring sun. At the time of this writing, AccuWeather is calling for 49 degrees F and 25% chance of rain. The Weather Channel is much more convinced that it will be raining on Saturday with a forecast of 56 degrees F and 45% chance of rain. But hey, this is Idaho in the springtime, so bring your rain coat and a light pair of gloves and we'll see how things shake out.

I have close to 5 and a half miles mapped out for us to hike between Manning Bridge and Robbins Creek (for an 11-mile round trip day hike), but the weather and the terrain may compel us to turn back before then. I have never been on this trail, so I don't know what the conditions will be like. Kids and dogs are welcome. My 8-year old son, Jacob, is planning on joining us, too.

After the hike, anyone who wants to can join us at the River Rock Cafe for some post-hike grub!