Middle Fork of the Salmon - Whitey Cox Campground
Day 4 (14.9 miles) to Pool campgroundOn the water a little late. I rode the raft to Big Loon creek and caught a nice 13-14" trout. We carried three of the boats a mile up Loon creek and soaked in the timber-lined pool. One of the nicest hot springs on the trip. The hike up to the Loon Creek springs also has the best wildflowers of the trip as well. We eddy-hopped down the last class III+ mile of Loon creek to the big sand bar at the mouth and had lunch. Reportedly, the mile on Loon Creek between the hot spring and the Bennet Creek bridge upstream has excellent paddling on a polished bedrock riverbed. Loon Creek CG appears to have very little shade. 1/4 mile below is Cow Camp CG which is a nice site (no beach) and has only a 1/4 mile hike up to Loon Creek. We paddled past Hospital bar hot springs and ran Grouse creek rapid where I pulled Tracy from the middle of the drop before I could manage to get my spray skirt pulled on.
Tappan I rapid has a great surfing wave/hole.
Tappan Falls is a short steep drop into a wave/hole with a large area of flat water below.
Tappan II rapid has a good endo hole on river left, next to a large hole that Tom got stuck in for a couple minutes, before he pulled off his skirt and was flushed out.
Tappan III rapid has a great endo spot in the middle of the far right chute. It looks nasty, but the hole will spit you right out. I caught up with the cataraft and rode it for the last two miles to camp. Ron reports that Lower Grouse CG is a good camp with a nice play hole and pool. Pool campground is located on a grassy bency up 10 feet from the river with only a few trees. No beach at the campsite but just a steep bank down to rocks. There is a nice sandy beach a hundred yards upstream.
Hospital Bar campground (and hot springs) looks to be a very nice camp spot with a big open beach area and the hot springs located at the river's edge.
Funston CG has a nice side hike with good wildflowers to a canyon overlook.