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Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 75-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! A scenic flight takes you deep into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness before rafting 75 miles down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. This sparkling clear waterway was one of America's first designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. These August trips 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, sit back and take in the scenery on the oar boat, or try an Inflatable Kayak. 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.

7 Days

From: $3,495

Save 30% on Kids 17 and Under on Select Summer 2024 Dates! See Terms and Conditions.

Join our expert river guides on this epic backcountry adventure, frequently cited as the world's best river trip! A scenic flight takes you deep into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness before rafting 75 miles down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. This sparkling clear waterway was one of America's first designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. These August trips 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, sit back and take in the scenery on the oar boat, or try an Inflatable Kayak. 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 trips, with all your travel arrangements, transportation and lodging, carefully orchestrated for a worry-free vacation.

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 75-Mile Rafting

Start: Salmon, Idaho  End: Salmon, Idaho

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

Itinerary


  • Arrive in Salmon, Idaho

    Day 1

    Arrive in Salmon Idaho, Idaho by 5:00 pm today and check in to the Stagecoach Inn. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Stagecoach Inn 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: Stagecoach Inn

    Transportation: 2-hour flight

    Meals: Dinner

  • Fly to the Put-in at Indian Creek

    Day 2

    Ride the bus to the Salmon Airport where you'll board a flight into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Make a stop at the Indian Creek Guard Station to learn a bit about the history of the area, and then it is time to board the boats and traverse Pongo rapid! Tonight you pull in to our first camp knowing you have made it into the wilderness. Your riverside camps are thoughtfully appointed for relaxation, recreation, and comfortable slumber. Dine on a chef-designed menu prepared by your guides before gathering around the fire to get to know your trip mates.

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

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

    Transportation: 40-minute flight

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hot Springs and Exploration

    Day 3

    While the Middle Fork is famous for non-stop rapids, this is typically the calmest stretch of the river, with many opportunities to play, fish, hike or swim. Relax in a hot spring and keep an eye out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. We will be in and out of the rafts all day as we make steady progress downstream. Once oriented to the river, reading water, paddle techniques, and water level permitting, inflatable "ducky" kayaks are available for thrill-seekers looking to paddle through the rapids on their own (available on low-water trips only).

    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

  • Pictographs and Play!

    Day 4

    Sip a hot drink as the sun begins to peek over the canyon walls and camp comes alive. Refuel with a hearty breakfast and appreciate where you are, the wildest, healthiest and most pristine river system in the Lower 48 and one of the world's most important strongholds for salmon and steelhead fish. We'll continue to splash our way downstream, then after lunch, take a short hike to one of the cliffs along the river that showcases Sheepeater pictographs. Learn the history of these ancient people and wonder at what life was like here so long ago. This evening we arrive at another idyllic riverside campsite.

    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, and 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

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 are certified in Leave No Trace principles 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
  • 2025
  • 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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    Save 30% on Kids 17 and Under with Promo Code FAMILY30

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View 2025 Departure Dates



Interested in rafting the Middle Fork in June or July?

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting

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  • Check for Availability
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  • Available
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  • Available
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  • Available
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  • Available

2025

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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  • Family Friendly Departure! Min. Age 7
    $3,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$250 internal airfare (salmon to river put-in)+$275 single supplement+$24 park fee
    Available
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  • Family Friendly Departure! Min. Age 7
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    Available
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  • $3,495 price per person dbl occ
    +$250 internal airfare (salmon to river put-in)+$275 single supplement+$24 park fee
    Available


Interested in rafting the Middle Fork in June or July?

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River 100-Mile Rafting

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  • Fully Booked - Private Departure
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  • AvailableConfirmed
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  • AvailableConfirmed
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  • Check for Availability
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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 Salmon Idaho, Idaho by 5:00 pm today and check in to the Stagecoach Inn. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Stagecoach Inn 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 the Salmon Airport where you\'ll board a flight into the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Make a stop at the Indian Creek Guard Station to learn a bit about the history of the area, and then it is time to board the boats and traverse Pongo rapid! Tonight you pull in to our first camp knowing you have made it into the wilderness. Your riverside camps are thoughtfully appointed for relaxation, recreation, and comfortable slumber. Dine on a chef-designed menu prepared by your guides before gathering around the fire to get to know your trip mates.
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                    [ItinBlock] => While the Middle Fork is famous for non-stop rapids, this is typically the calmest stretch of the river, with many opportunities to play, fish, hike or swim. Relax in a hot spring and keep an eye out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep. We will be in and out of the rafts all day as we make steady progress downstream. Once oriented to the river, reading water, paddle techniques, and water level permitting, inflatable \"ducky\" kayaks are available for thrill-seekers looking to paddle through the rapids on their own (available on low-water trips only).
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                    [ItinBlock] => Sip a hot drink as the sun begins to peek over the canyon walls and camp comes alive. Refuel with a hearty breakfast and appreciate where you are, the wildest, healthiest and most pristine river system in the Lower 48 and one of the world\'s most important strongholds for salmon and steelhead fish. We\'ll continue to splash our way downstream, then after lunch, take a short hike to one of the cliffs along the river that showcases Sheepeater pictographs. Learn the history of these ancient people and wonder at what life was like here so long ago. This evening we arrive at another idyllic riverside campsite.
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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 Salmon, followed by MT Sobek's deluxe riverside camps, with meals served around the campfire beneath the stars.
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.

 
Aug
Salmon, Idaho 
High
Low
Salmon, Idaho
84
51
Stanley, Idaho 
High
Low
Stanley, Idaho
79
34

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


Where do I meet the group on the first day?
Please arrive at the Stagecoach Inn in Salmon Idaho, Idaho by 5:00 pm today. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Stagecoach Inn for a 6:00 pm welcome orientation meeting followed by a casual picnic dinner. The next morning, you will fly with your group to the remote Indian Creek airstrip on the bank of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
Do I need to have prior rafting experience to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?
This trip is rated activity Level 2. Previous rafting experience is not necessary, but you need to be in good physical condition. This trip occurs in a remote wilderness location, where 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.
What is the maximum group size on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?
For scheduled departures, the maximum number of guests that we can take is 20 and the minimum is 7. You can sign up as a solo, as a couple, or as a small or large group until we max out our space. Looking to take over an entire date for your own private group? Call us on 800-974-0300 for more details.
Is this Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting trip good for families?
Yes, the Middle Fork of the Salmon river is an excellent trip for small and large families and no prior rafting experience is required. Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon offers families a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty, making it an unforgettable experience for all ages. Check out our current family savings!

Scenic Beauty: The Middle Fork of the Salmon flows through the heart of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, offering breathtaking scenery characterized by towering cliffs, lush forests, and crystal-clear waters. Families can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and create lasting memories together.
Mild Rapids: While the Middle Fork features thrilling rapids, they are generally of moderate difficulty, making it suitable for families with children. Experienced guides navigate the river safely, ensuring an exciting yet manageable adventure for everyone on board.
Adventure for All Ages: From children (7+) to grandparents, the Middle Fork provides opportunities for every family member to participate in the adventure. Whether it's paddling through rapids, swimming in calm stretches, or exploring scenic hikes along the riverbanks, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Educational Opportunities: Rafting the Middle Fork offers valuable educational experiences for children, allowing them to learn about river ecosystems, wildlife, and local history from knowledgeable guides. It's a hands-on learning adventure that fosters curiosity and appreciation for the natural world.
Quality Time Together: Rafting trips on the Middle Fork provide uninterrupted quality time for families to unplug and reconnect without the distractions of daily life.
Professional Guidance & Safety: Professional rafting outfitters on the Middle Fork prioritize safety above all else, ensuring that families can enjoy their adventure with peace of mind. Experienced guides provide thorough safety briefings, instruction on rafting techniques, and are equipped with necessary safety gear to handle any situation that may arise.
What is the minimum age for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River trip?
The minimum age on our family friendly departures is 7. For any other departure, the minimum age is 18.
What is the difference between the 100-mile trip and this 75-mile rafting trip?
The 100-mile trip in June and July starts at Mile 1 at Boundary Creek and runs to the take out at Cache Creek, just after the Middle Fork of the Salmon and main Salmon merge. When the water levels go down in August it is more challenging to run the upper section of the Middle Fork, so we fly into Indian Creek at mile 25. The rest of the 75-mile trip is the same as the 100-mile version, but due to the slower pace of the water we cover a bit less distance each day. The rapids may be a bit less adrenaline pumping, but late summer's clear water and large beaches allow a bit more for more time to kayak, fish, swim, and play. Both MT Sobek Middle Fork options have been created for a stress-free experience, including both pre-and-post hotels and flights.
What is the best month to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?
The best time to run the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is between June and August. Every year varies in weather and snowpack, but the river is highest in June and the water levels gradually recede through July and August. June begins with the most exciting rapids, but some days can still be cool and rainy, and the water is colder. The high water allows for fast travel on the raft and the cooler temperatures are often excellent for hiking. In July, the water is still high enough to float the upper 25-mile section, but the weather and water are warmer allowing for more water play: swimming, using inflatable kayaks, and more. Many of us secretly love August! The water is lower, but the exposed rocks make the rapids more technical and require a skillful guide. The expanded beaches and the crystal-clear water afford lots of opportunities for playing both in and out of the water. MT Sobek runs Middle Fork trips in June, July, and August.
Are meals and camping included on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?
Yes, your Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting experience includes all meals and snacks. Wine and beer are not included but can be brought on the trip for personal consumption. We also provide all the camping gear including roomy dome tents, camping pads, and freshly laundered sleeping bags. Each day, our set-up team will raft ahead to ensure that everything is ready for you when you arrive at camp.
What experience does MT Sobek have on the river?
We have been operating trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River since 2007 and Sobek has been a pioneering rafting company for more than 50 years. Our operation is fully permitted with the Salmon-Challis National Forest, and we are one of a few commercial outfitters allowed to run the Middle Fork of the Salmon River each year.
Are there any group savings?
Yes, we offer two ways to enjoy group savings on many adventures in North America, including this one. Either bring a group of 10 and receive 10% off per person or opt for an eleventh person to go for free! Call our expert Trip Consultants on 800-974-0300 to discuss group savings options.

Guest Reviews


This is a trip of a lifetime made accessible to almost everyone. I recommend this trip to anyone who is looking to experience the breathtaking beauty of American wilderness without having to be outdoor experts!

Grace S.
MT Sobek Guest, Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting

What an incredible experience from arrival down the river through to take out. The guides and their knowledge, warmth and respect for the river stand out most, alongside the exceptionally beautiful nature. So happy I decided to book this adventure, and with this group.

Scottie T.
MT Sobek Guest, Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting