Welcome to my little hobby, or should I say passion. The idea for WhitewaterCampsites.com was born after a regrettable campsite selection meeting prior to our first launch on the Main Salmon. At the meeting, we ended up with a reservation for Alder Creek camp (shown above) for our first night. A commercial guide asked if we would let them have that site, and suggested that Fawn Creek, a short distance further would be a real nice alternative for a group our size. I tried to be Mr. Nice Guy and since I had no idea what any of these campsites looked like, I said yes.
We launched late, and as we drifted past Alder Creek, the commercial group was swimming and playing games on that great beach, and it all looked simply idyllic. Fawn Creek is not a reservation site, and of course we missed out to another group who arrived only minutes before we got there. So we continued on, and on, and on in the slow July current. Very late in the day we finally crammed our entire party onto the tiny beach at Overhang (aka Grotto), having almost doubled our intended first day mileage. And of course that set us up for a whopping 3 miles the next day to our reserved site at Blackadar.
The combination of what we gave up and what we got in return put a damper on those first couple days. So I dreamed up this website later in the trip. Over the next few years I looked around for the behind-the-scenes software that could make it manageable and prevent me from having to create all the web pages by hand. The site was launched in November 2004, and the rest is history.
A huge thank-you goes to my fellow river junkies who have submitted vast numbers of photos. The last time I looked it was over 5 gb, covering more than 500 campsites. In recent years, the stream of new photos has trickled off, but I keep adding photos from our own trips and try to keep the site fresh. The coverage of some of the rivers could definitely be improved and with any luck I’ll get there to take photos myself. But I certainly continue to welcome any photos you care to send my way.
So, the bottom line is that this website is about improving the quality of your first rafting trip down any river, or making your next trip even better. For those who have been to these places, I hope the images will bring your memories flooding back. And for those of you who have yet to visit these campsites or may never get to see these wild rivers up close and personal, it is my sincere hope that this website will brighten your day.
Enjoy, and SYOTR (‘see you on the river’),
PS – I have since camped at both Alder and Fawn with particular satisfaction, and documented them for the website.