What can I do along the Salt River?
Very much a meandering meadow stream its entire length, the Salt - along with the Snake and Greys Rivers - is one of 3 primary rivers flowing into Palisades Reservoir, which straddles the Wyoming-Idaho border. As a fishing river, it boasts good populations of Snake River cutthroat and brown trout, along with mountain whitefish. In spring months, its banks swell from snow runoff to 3-4x its typical winter levels.
Along its banks, you can see wildlife including moose, elk, mule deer, foxes, coyotes, the occasional otter and muskrat, and birds of prey including bald eagles, a multitude of hawks and falcons, abundant waterfowl, and in spring and summer, the ever popular osprey.
Where can I access the Salt River?
Floaters can use rafts and small drift boats in peak water levels, but downsize to smaller rafts, canoes and kayaks as the heat of summer progresses. Fishing access sites exist every 6-10 miles of its length, starting near the town of Afton to its confluence with Palisades Reservoir about 50 miles north. As it continues north, it picks up numerous feeder streams making it more floatable around the town of Thayne. Other popular public access locations are near the towns of Etna, Freedom, and Alpine Junction.
Being agricultural in nature, the Star Valley also hosts many spring creeks which help keep the Salt open year-round and ice free in may spots. Many landowners will also grant access across their land, so don't be afraid to knock on a door or two for permission. A number of fishing lodges and ranches also cater to anglers along the river's route.
Other interesting facts about the Salt River
With the Salt River at its heart, Star Valley was settled in the late 1870s by Mormon pioneers who referred to it as the 'Star of all Valleys', later shortened to Star Valley. Still relying upon cattle and sheep ranching, dairy farms, alfalfa production, tourism and other cottage industries, today's valley is also well-wired for internet, having been one of the early rural adopters of broadband technologies in the 1990s, making it a desirable location for retiring couples and family retreats who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, yet still rely upon modern-day communication technologies.