Select Page

By Devon Barker

Idaho is home to the entire Salmon River. The Salmon River has many notable rapids and surf waves and holes for kayaking. The first time I surfed the Mill Wave I was in high school (89) in my blue Perception Dancer kayak. I went on to learn how to do many of the tricks I use in competition today on this wave. 2003 was the last time I surfed the Mill Wave, located upstream of Riggins, Idaho and just off the Brown Industries Mill site because it changed to a green wave without a pile. Luckily, this year the wave is back. High water from the last two seasons probably flushed out some of the sediment and rearranged the gravel bar to help the wave have more of a pile.

I surfed Monday afternoon and could not believe how great the wave was. It is better than I remember! If you have never been to the Salmon River for surfing now is the time. Or if you remember the days when "we" all the local kayakers called this wave home, come on back to Riggins as soon as possible. Flow information can be found at the Salmon River at Whitebird Gauge. The photos were taken at 3,900 cfs. If the gauge reads between 4,000 to 3,000 the wave should be great. If it is lower than 3,000 head upstream to Cat’s Paw. There is construction work on the Salmon River Road so be sure to visit for the closure schedule. The turn out for the Mill Wave is before the construction but is closed at Shorts Bar. More to come on fall surfing and river running on the Salmon River, River of No Return.


 Click to see larger imageClick to see larger imageClick to see larger imageClick to see larger image