River Mileage


River Left

About Buckskin Bill’s Rapid

Five Mile Bar, also known as Buckskin Bill’s, is towards the top of the list of iconic stops to make on a Main Salmon trip.

The opening paragraph of Harold Peterson’s “The Last of the Mountain Men” reads: “On the River of No Return, in the country whose name, according to legend, is Light of the Mountains, there lives a gray-bearded man who has turned back time. At Five Mile Bar, beyond which no human soul dwells, Jedediah Smith and Christopher Carson have but recently passed by, and the year is 1844 forever.” It was actually around 1968 and the book is about Sylvan Hart, nicknamed Buckskin Bill, who came to the Salmon to escape the depression and lived here until his death on April 29, 1980.

There’s a small museum that displays artifacts of Buckskin Bill’s, and a small commissary that sells ice, beer, ice cream, and famous rootbeer floats.

“A man should have some kind of idea to pursue. Like independent poverty.” – Sylvan Hart

Independence was well rooted in Sylvan’s ancestry. He was related to John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

To learn more about Buckskin Bill, his Wikipedia page is located here. The best resource is the book, The Last of the Mountain Men, which is linked here.