One of the best-known rapids on the Main Salmon (near Riggins, Idaho) is Timezone. Though this is a Class III+ at most flows, it can be easily navigated if you pay attention and stay clear of some very large holes.
Main Salmon – Timezone Rapid at 12,000 cfs Jul 5-6, 2003
It has become somewhat of a tradition to travel to Riggins (Idaho) over the 4th of July weekend for two fun days of rafting on the Main Salmon River. My brother and his daughter, and my wife and I met our friends and their family early Saturday morning. This was my first extended camping trip in my new used Class C and I wanted to shake out the bugs before my upcoming family reunion in the Black Hills.
I will focus this report on Timezone Rapid, since it is the biggest rapid on this stretch of the Salmon and also the most challenging.
- River: Main Salmon
- State: Idaho
- Dates: July 5-6, 2006
- Flow: 12,000 cfs
- Gauge: Whitebird
- Class: III+
Leading up to Timezone there is nothing but Class I-II waves. Nothing of consequence. As you float past Riggins you will began to see Timezone bridge, the bridge which spans the Main Salmon river and marks the change from Mountain Time to Pacific Time. Timezone Rapid is just before the bridge on river left.
Leading up to Timezone the river makes and S turn beginning on river right and ending on river left. The flow will pick up and there will be waves. Watch out for the HUGE hole which is left of center. You have to traverse from river right to river left BEFORE the hole. You are better to huscle to the left to give yourself plenty of time to set up for the rapid and avoid that hole!
Although I have been through Timezone many times — all successfully — my heart still pounds as I approach it. If you pay attention to the lines and keep your momentum up, you will get through it just fine. Once you pop out of that last bit, the water becomes very swirly and turbulent as it approaches the bridge.