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Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting Tour

Epic Rapids, Historic Trails & Comfortable Camping


Join our expert river guides on this epic backcountry adventure, frequently cited as the world's best river trip! Crest more than 100 unforgettable rapids rafting 100 miles down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Deep in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness this sparkling clear waterway was one of America's first designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. The days are filled with a variety of exciting activities from whitewater rafting to swimming; fly fishing, relaxing in natural hot springs, cooling off under refreshing waterfalls, and many optional hikes to stunning views of the canyon. Choose to dig in and actively participate on a guide-led paddle boat or sit back and take in the scenery on the oar boat-no experience necessary! At the end of each day, pull into camp to feast on delicious food cooked by your guides and enjoy an evening of fun and camaraderie. Enjoy the best, most all-inclusive, Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting trip in beautiful Northern Idaho.

8 Days

From: $3,495

Save 10% on Kids 17 and Under on Select Summer 2024 Dates!

Join our expert river guides on this epic backcountry adventure, frequently cited as the world's best river trip! Crest more than 100 unforgettable rapids rafting 100 miles down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. Deep in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness this sparkling clear waterway was one of America's first designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. The days are filled with a variety of exciting activities from whitewater rafting to swimming; fly fishing, relaxing in natural hot springs, cooling off under refreshing waterfalls, and many optional hikes to stunning views of the canyon. Choose to dig in and actively participate on a guide-led paddle boat or sit back and take in the scenery on the oar boat-no experience necessary! At the end of each day, pull into camp to feast on delicious food cooked by your guides and enjoy an evening of fun and camaraderie. Enjoy the best, most all-inclusive, Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting trip in beautiful Northern Idaho.

MT Sobek has been running this expert-led trip for more than 20 years and is an equal opportunity employer, operating under a special use permit within the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

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Highlights


  • Have a blast on one of National Geographic's top-rated whitewater rafting trips, deep in the heart of Idaho's Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness
  • Paddle or float to suit your activity level and choose a new experience every day-this trip is great for all ages and all activity levels; it is like summer camp for the whole family!
  • Compare the value! We offer the most inclusive Middle Fork trip, with all your travel arrangements, transportation and lodging, carefully orchestrated for a worry-free vacation.

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting

Start: Boise, Idaho  End: Boise, Idaho

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Boise, Idaho

    Day 1

    Arrive in Boise Idaho, Idaho by 1:00 pm today. After a brief orientation, we will fly as a group to Stanley, Idaho, spectacularly set along the banks of the Salmon River at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Mountain Village Resort for a 6:00 pm welcome orientation meeting followed by a casual picnic dinner. Head back to your hotel to pack up your provided waterproof river bags for the early start the next morning.

    Accommodation: Mountain Village Hotel

    Transportation: 45-minute flight

    Meals: Dinner

  • Journey to the Put-in at Boundary Creek

    Day 2

    Ride the bus to Boundary Creek in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and meet your team of river guides. Under their expert captainship, you will climb aboard the oar boat or raft, and set off to encounter the first of the Middle Fork's rapids: Sulphur Slide, Velvet Falls, the Chutes, and Powerhouse. In late afternoon, arrive at one of the Middle Fork's beautiful campgrounds with breathtaking views, natural hot springs, or trails to explore. Every night, you will enjoy appetizers and a delicious meal prepared by the guides, followed by hot drinks and a campfire.

    NOTE: Depending on water levels, extreme high or low water levels may require that we change the put-in location from Boundary Creek to Indian Creek, located 26 miles further down the river. The Indian Creek put-in is accessible only by air. Therefore, in the event that we need to put in at Indian Creek, MT Sobek will arrange internal flights from Stanley to the Indian Creek Airstrip on day-2, for an additional fee. High water can occur in early to mid-June, while low water can occur at any point in July, though typically not until August.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

    Activity: 6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Transportation: 2.5-hour bus transfer (40-minute flight if water levels too high or low)

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Get Started with Pistol Creek Rapid

    Day 3

    After breakfast, Class III rapid Pistol Creek provides an exciting jump-start to the day. After lunch, water permitting, inflatable "ducky" kayaks are available for thrill-seekers looking to paddle through the rapids on their own (available on all low-water trips). Make a stop at the Indian Creek Guard Station on the river's left bank to learn a bit about the history of the area, then it's back into the boats to traverse Pongo rapid and coast into camp around 5:00 pm. You have traveled about 15 miles downriver today.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

    Activity: 6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Sunflower/Loon Creek Hot Springs

    Day 4

    Marble Falls and Ski Jump rapids start off the day. The calm water that follows makes this a good day to fly-fish or take a refreshing swim. You may also stop at the hot springs at Sunflower or Loon Creek for a relaxing soak while keeping an eye out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. After lunch, take a short hike to one of the cliffs along the river that showcases Sheepeater pictographs. Enjoy a few more rapids before pulling into camp after about 15 miles on the river.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

    Activity: 6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Ride the River to Tappan Falls

    Day 5

    The 15-20 miles you travel today offer some of the Middle Fork's most thrilling rapids, including Tappan I, Tappan Falls, New Tappan, and Aparajo. Look for bighorn sheep grazing along the shore as you paddle by, as well as bald eagles, osprey, herons, river otters, and black bears. You can also see shallow circular depressions in the ground on the riverbanks: the sites of Sheepeater pit dwellings. In the afternoon, pass by Kaufman's Cave, where the Scottish prospector Clarence Kaufman lived for four years.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

    Activity: 6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Coast into the Impassable Canyon

    Day 6

    Today brings you into the Impassable Canyon, home to truly spectacular scenery: reddish-gray granite cliffs looming over the water, and sharp rock strata folds-the striking evidence of the canyon's geologically tumultuous past. Get ready to experience some serious whitewater through Driftwood, Haystack, Bernard Creek, Earthquake Jack Creek, and Goalpost rapids. After lunch, make the steep hike to Veil Falls, then back on the river, pass through Weber, Redside and Cliffside rapids and view the 1900s homestead of Earl Parrot. Back at camp, enjoy a special last-night dinner.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

    Activity: 6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Celebrate in Salmon, Idaho

    Day 7

    We cap off our adventure by rafting 10 miles of the biggest rapids of the trip: Foreplay, Rubber, Rubber II, and Hancock. After a thrilling morning, reach the confluence of the Middle Fork and the Main Salmon River. Leave your boats behind and board a bus to Salmon for a late-afternoon arrival at the Stagecoach Inn. Enjoy a hot shower, attend a post trip toast and celebration on the back lawn of the hotel, then the opportunity to dine out and explore Salmon on your own this evening.

    Accommodation: Stagecoach Inn

    Activity: 3 hours/10 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

    Transportation: 2-3-hour bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Fly to Boise, Idaho

    Day 8

    An early morning shuttle service will provide transfers from the Stagecoach Inn to the local regional airport for your scheduled flights back to Boise. Salmon is also 3 hours west of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks if you are looking to extend your adventure in the region.

Why Travel With Us?


  • MT Sobek has operated small-group rafting adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for over 17 years. Join us on one of the world's greatest river trips!
  • Professional river guides follow Leave No Trace policies to maintain a pristine environment and will wow you with their wilderness cooking skills.
  • Compare the value! We offer the most inclusive Middle Fork trips, with all your travel arrangements, transportation, and lodging, carefully orchestrated for a worry-free vacation.

Dates & Prices


  • 2024
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom
  • Inclusions

2024

Scheduled Dates


The earlier you book, the more choice of available dates you’ll have and once you book, your price is guaranteed.

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    Check for Availability
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Interested in rafting the Middle Fork in August?

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 75-Mile Rafting

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 75-Mile Rafting

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  • Available

Go Private

Go Private


Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private departure.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

*Private trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit.


Looking for a private family adventure?


This trip can accommodate guests with a
minimum age of 7.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

800-974-0300

Take Over One of These Dates


Make Your Own Dates in These Months


Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure


Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.

When to start planning? Earlier is always better when designing a custom trip. More time allows for better availability of preferred accommodations, guides and your desired activities. Ideally, start the conversation with us at least 6 months before you want to travel. If you are looking for a custom trip that departs within three months, chances are greatly diminished in securing requested accommodations and the best guides.

*Custom trips require a 25% non-refundable deposit once an itinerary is agreed upon.

Start Planning

Inclusions

Price Includes


  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include


  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert


800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Your Guides


The best people to immerse you in a destination are the ones who live there, which is why we feature local Adventure Guides on our trips. Here are a few that you might meet on this adventure.

Levi W.

Levi W.

Levi grew up in rural Kansas. From flowing fields of wheat to the flowing rivers of the Southwest, Levi has always had a passion for the natural world. He’s been guiding since 2016, running rivers in Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Mexico, and hiking adventures in Texas and Utah. He enjoys opening the door to new experiences for guests. As the son of a writer, he has inherited a passion for bringing a unique perspective to sharing his insights and stories in nature.

Brendan T.

Brendan T.

Brendan Tomb grew up inside Adirondack Park as one of a set of triplets, collectively referred to as the “Boyz” by their mother. Spending their childhood in the first Forever Wild Forest Preserve in the country, the “Boyz” were introduced at an early age to the wonders of hiking, rafting, and Nordic and alpine skiing. Brendan then set out on his own path, competing on the Rugby team while attending Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Today you can find him sharing his passion for the outdoors—teaching snow sports in the winter, leading National Park hikes in the spring and fall, and guiding our rafting trips each summer. Brendan is dedicated to sharing his enthusiasm for nature and adventure with others, making each season an opportunity to explore and appreciate the wonders of the outdoors.

John R.

John R.

Guiding on river and hiking adventures since 2000, Jay has developed rich expertise in navigating thrilling rapids and leading explorations through captivating landscapes. He holds a degree in outdoor education with a focus on earth science and enjoys sharing his knowledge of geology and ecology while guiding. Born in Richmond, VA he has traveled across the US and now resides in Moab, UT. He finds immense joy in sharing his passion for the natural world and forging connections between people and awe-inspiring environments.

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                    [ItinBlock] => Arrive in Boise Idaho, Idaho by 1:00 pm today. After a brief orientation, we will fly as a group to Stanley, Idaho, spectacularly set along the banks of the Salmon River at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Mountain Village Resort for a 6:00 pm welcome orientation meeting followed by a casual picnic dinner. Head back to your hotel to pack up your provided waterproof river bags for the early start the next morning.
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                    [ItinBlock] => Ride the bus to Boundary Creek in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and meet your team of river guides. Under their expert captainship, you will climb aboard the oar boat or raft, and set off to encounter the first of the Middle Fork\'s rapids: Sulphur Slide, Velvet Falls, the Chutes, and Powerhouse. In late afternoon, arrive at one of the Middle Fork\'s beautiful campgrounds with breathtaking views, natural hot springs, or trails to explore. Every night, you will enjoy appetizers and a delicious meal prepared by the guides, followed by hot drinks and a campfire.    

NOTE: Depending on water levels, extreme high or low water levels may require that we change the put-in location from Boundary Creek to Indian Creek, located 26 miles further down the river. The Indian Creek put-in is accessible only by air. Therefore, in the event that we need to put in at Indian Creek, MT Sobek will arrange internal flights from Stanley to the Indian Creek Airstrip on day-2, for an additional fee. High water can occur in early to mid-June, while low water can occur at any point in July, though typically not until August.
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Activity Level


This trip is rated activity level 2. Previous rafting experience is not necessary. However, you need to be in good physical condition. Since we are in a remote wilderness location. Each day, loading and unloading into the raft can be on sandy beaches or uneven rocky shores. It is a necessity that all travelers are stable and sturdy on their feet in uneven terrain.
Learn more about activity levels here.

Activity Snapshot

Day 2

6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Day 3

6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Day 4

6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Day 5

6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Day 6

6 hours/15 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Day 7

3 hours/10 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids

Accommodations


A comfortable hotel in Stanley, followed by MT Sobek's deluxe riverside camps, with meals served around the campfire beneath the stars.
Mountain Village Hotel
Mountain Village Hotel

Begin your Middle Fork adventure in Stanley's Mountain Village Lodge, shadowed by the jagged teeth of the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the Salmon River. The comfortable guest rooms are well-appointed with modern amenities, fitting a mountain inn. You can also enjoy a cold beer at the Mountain Village Saloon with your fellow adventurers.

MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
MT Sobek Camp-Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho

Your Middle Fork camping experience includes five nights on the banks of Idaho's Salmon River, with full porterage and set up. Our dome-style tents are large enough to stand in, and include sleeping pads, and professionally laundered sleeping bags. You can even take a sun-heated shower after a day on the water. All camping spots are on beautiful beaches or plateaus next to the river, with fantastic views every day.

Stagecoach Inn
Stagecoach Inn
A historic gem in the scenic town of Salmon, Idaho, the Stagecoach Inn exudes charm and character. Dating back to the early 20th century, this quaint inn has been a witness to the region's rich history and transformation. The inn's cozy rooms are tastefully decorated, offering a blend of comfort and nostalgia. The Stagecoach Inn's central location in Salmon makes it a convenient base for exploring the nearby natural wonders, including the breathtaking Salmon River and the rugged landscapes of the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

Weather


Summer daytime temperatures range between 60-90°F, and evenings between 40-60°F. June trips are cooler. Salmon River water temperatures average 58-65°F.

 
Jun
Jul
Salmon, Idaho 
High
Low
High
Low
Salmon, Idaho
78
48
85
53
Stanley, Idaho 
High
Low
High
Low
Stanley, Idaho
69
34
79
36

Know Before You Book


Itinerary
Actual itinerary routes vary from departure to departure depending on environmental conditions and group abilities. Please call for more details about each departure.

Accommodations
The small town rural Idaho accommodations on this trip provide great access to the river activities in the area. However, they are simpler compared to what we usually consider comfortable lodging-the rooms and hotel amenities being more basic, though WiFi, ice and other standard amenities are available. The accommodations are walking distance to stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. Overall, the service might feel a bit slower and meal quality and selection more limited compared to many other MT Sobek trips.

FAQs


What is the minimum age for this trip?
The standard minimum age for this trip is 18, but check out our family friendly departures and private trip options for groups with younger guests.
How many rafts and paddle boats will there be on the trip?
We use a variety of boats from oar boats, paddle boats and sweep boats. The combination of boats will vary based on the number of people and water levels of each trip.
Will there be showers at the campsites?
We will have a small amount of hot water available in our camp shower each night, but don't expect a shower every evening. But the riverside swimming is always available.
What kind of river and camping gear is provided on this trip?
We provide large stand-up tents, thick sleeping pads, and freshly laundered sleeping bags.
Is this a good trip for families?
This is an excellent trip for families! Highly recommended for young kids and grandparents alike!
What is the toilet situation at camp?
We will provide a portable seated toilet set up in a private setting at each campsite, with toilet paper and hand soap.

Guest Reviews


"This was a wonderful experience. Life was made simpler - no connection with the only task to enjoy the river and each other each day. Guides were a big part of making that possible - they worked incredibly hard, yet made everything look easy. They kept us well fed, comfortable, entertained, and safe. It was a trip of a lifetime."

Chris W.
MT Sobek Guest, Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting

"The Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River 7 day trip was all that I hoped for and more. MT Sobek and their staff and guides really demonstrated genuine concern that we guests were 100% satisfied with all aspects of the trip. From the pre-trip requirements all the way through the rafting experiences and camping sites we were treated to the best hospitality available for this kind of wilderness adventure.nAnd the food on the 6 days on the river. Holy Cow we feasted! 1"" thick pork chops cooked perfectly one night, Pasta the next, Salmon grilled on cast iron and delicious grilled steaks on the last night. And our vegetarian guests were taken care of and were happy withntheir meals too.nThis was my first true wilderness adventure and I would recommend MT Sobek and their staff and guides on the trip to anyone. Don't sign up for a trip like this if you aren't in decent physical condition because the activities do take some endurance but the guides are genuinely concerned with your comfort and well being throughout the trip and you'll be glad you made this bucket list trip if you go.n"

Michael O.
MT Sobek Guest, Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting