Mackay Wilderness River Trips
River Classroom Program Curriculum
Study the features that define a free-flowing river. Examine the effects of erosion caused by river currents, hydraulics and obstacles. Discuss the current preservation efforts for the Salmon River and surrounding wilderness.
Native Populations of the River Canyon
Learn the history of the early inhabitants of this river canyon. Gain an in-depth look at the native Sheepeater Indian culture. Explore and discuss ancient Indian pictographs and campsites.
Geology of the Canyon
Observe the changing geological features as you travel the river. Learn to identify the different types of rock and layers that line the canyon walls. At various spots, the river has eroded the canyon to expose the ancient granite of the Idaho Batholith.
The abundance of natural resources in the canyon inticed a variety of people to live along the river’s bank. Hunting and gathering and more recently logging, mining and recreation all have a history in this river canyon.
Study the life cycle of the river’s mighty Wild Salmon population and their importance to the ecosystem. Gain an understanding of the history of the species and how they became endangered. Discuss current efforts to bring these mighty ocean-going fish back to historical numbers.
Animals and Flora of the Salmon River Canyon
The canyon supports an abundance of wildlife – big horn sheep, elk, moose, golden eagles, bald eagles, osprey and the ever playful river otter. Study the amazing variety of flora along the river banks and canyon walls.
Students draw and write in their journals. A close look at the journals kept by Lewis and Clark during the Salmon river portion of their journey will aid in the students completion of their own journals.
Wilderness Rafting and Camping Skills
Students learn safety, paddling, how to “read the river” and how to work together as a team to safely navigate the river. Participation in camp set-up and break-down, and wilderness food preparation are a part of each day’s activities. Students go home with a real sense of what it takes to live outside along the banks of a free-flowing wilderness river.