So much public land, so many great places to go camping...
Thanks to Holly E. for the recommendation of Hammer Creek ?near Whitebird.
We set up along the Salmon, had a white-sand beach all to ourselves (except when rafters went by headed for nearby rapids), enjoyed banana-belt spring weather down in a little meadow below ?towering breaks.
(Can you spot the two horseback riders on the old rail bed across the river?)
This riverside site had to have been one known to and used by native people for thousands of years, and was surely used by homesteaders and packers in later years.
My thematic reading material helped this notion come alive. It's one of my favorite books, "Home Below Hells Canyon," by Grace Jordan. Classic Idaho memoir of living and ranching in canyon ?country during the 1930s.
Of course, the Jordans and other canyon ranchers didn't have the luxury of tiny travel trailers to stay in--when they were traveling to ?Whitebird, in order to connect with the outside world, they got there after crossing many breaks like these on horseback.