Frank Church Wilderness

1-20 Pictures

Salmon MountainsSalmon Mountains (06/01/2002)

Frank Church WildernessFrank Church Wilderness (06/02/2002) From Corn Creek, there is a well maintained trail leading into the Frank Church Wilderness. Already dusk, I did not get very many good pictures.

Frank Church WildernessFrank Church Wilderness (06/02/2002)

Thimble BerriesThimble Berries (06/02/2002) These Thimble Berry plants are along the Salmon River Trail just beyond the Corn Creek boat ramp.

River of No ReturnRiver of No Return (06/02/2002)

River of No ReturnRiver of No Return (06/02/2002) Rapids seen from the main trail.

Frank Church WildernessFrank Church Wilderness (06/02/2002)

Angular MomentumAngular Momentum (06/02/2002) This tree has a little bit of angular momentum going on.

TrailTrail (06/02/2002) The Salmon River Trail. The trail was built by the CCC with hopes of expanding it into a road.

Salmon River TrailSalmon River Trail (06/02/2002)

Salmon RiverSalmon River (06/02/2002)

River at DuskRiver at Dusk (06/02/2002)

Salmon RiverSalmon River (06/02/2002) The Beginning of the River of No Return.

Night TexturesNight Textures (06/02/2002) This was an attempt to photograph the texture of the rocks at night. I need a tripod for shots like this.

Near Corn CreekNear Corn Creek (06/01/2002) The Salmon River Road climbs on last hill before it dead ends at Corn Creek. The river heads into the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Thimble BerriesThimble Berries (06/02/2002) These bright white thimble berry flowers will turn into delectible berries.

Look Ma, No RoadsLook Ma, No Roads (06/02/2002) A well maintained trail continues to follow the Salmon River, but the River of No Return is finally clear of the roads.

Salmon RiverSalmon River (06/02/2002)

River BendRiver Bend (06/02/2002)

Into the WildernessInto the Wilderness (06/02/2002) Standing on the Corn Creek Boat Ramp looking into the wilderness.

1-20 Pictures

The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness is the largest wilderness area in the United States covering 2,366,698 acres. The wilderness area dominates the unsettled heart of Idaho.

The park was designated as the River of No Return Wilderness in 1980, and was renamed the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in 1984 (after the Idaho Senator who carried the first wilderness bill in 1964).

One of the main features of the Wilderness is the Salmon River. Lewis and Clark explored the River of No Return in their 1805 expedition to find a trade route across the United State. Having hiked several miles down the canyon, William Clark rejected the river as a viable route and chose to return north through Montana.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps began an ambitious project to build a road through the area. They built a road twenty miles up river from Riggins and a road as far as Corn Creek from the North Fork side. Fortunately, the project was not completed, and the area remains as one of the largest road free areas in the United States.

Of course, all this road free business means it takes work and planning to get into the back country. The most popular way to see the area is on a raft trip down the Middle Fork or Main Salmon River. There are many horse trails, and a few back country ranches accessible by airplane.

I did not have the time, cash or equipment for such journeys and can only provide you with pictures of the edges of the wilderness.

Context: Mountains

Salmon River (137 pictures) The Salmon River is the namesake of the River of No Return Wilderness.

Salmon River Drive (79 pictures) The Salmon River Road will bring you as far as the Corn Creek boat ramp. From there you will either need to boat along the main river or hike along the wilderness trails.

Stoddard Pack Bridge and Trail (12 pictures) The Stoddard Wooden Suspension Bridge brings you to the south side of the Salmon River, where you will find a number of trails to remote places.

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