I just returned from a seven day backpacking trip along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness with my family. The four of us walked from Boundary Creek to Indian Creek. Many of those miles were spent slowly maneuvering over fallen trees from past wildfires along the trail. While our hike was a bit more rugged and slow going than we anticipated, we had the time to carry on at a slower pace and not hurry to our eventual pick-up at Indian Creek by a back country pilot.
My two sons, Will (12) and Charlie (10), each carried considerably heavy backpacks for a week. Along the way we witnessed a massive caddis migration on the upper stretches of the Middle Fork followed by a great salmonfly emergence. One night, we watched thousands of adult salmonflies fly high above the river en masse. I was able to watch hundreds of salmonfly nymphs crawl out of the river onto rocks and shrubs and morph into adults. Unfortunately, after one great day of fishing, and after a few strong thunderstorms, the river went up and turned to mud.
A muddy river also made it far more difficult to filter drinking / cooking water. Fortunately there are many small feeder streams to the Middle Fork and we were able to use them to filter our water.
We had a great final rest day at Indian Creek and then flew out from there to Stanley.