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Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting

Epic Rapids, Historic Trails & Deluxe Camping

 

Crest more than 100 unforgettable rapids in 100 miles on this adventure down one of the world's greatest rivers. Get ready for a deluxe camping and boating experience, guided by Idaho's strongest rafters. Relax on an oar boat, get wet with a team of paddlers, or captain your own vessel on an inflatable kayak. Choose a new activity every day! Days are filled with relaxing in natural hot springs, hiking, fishing, visiting ancient rock formations and cooling off in refreshing waterfalls. This trip is a don't-miss experience for amateurs and pros alike. MT Sobek is an equal opportunity employer and operates under special use permit with the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

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

  • 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

  • Camp in style with comfortable tents, delicious dinners, solar-powered hot showers, and relaxing camp chairs

Arrive:

Stanley, Idaho

Depart:

Salmon, Idaho

Price: from $2,695

Duration:

7 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

7-20 Guests

Min Age:

6 yrs

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 here.

  • Arrive in Stanley, Idaho

    Day 1

    Arrive by 4pm to the quaint mountain town of Stanley, Idaho - set along the banks of the Salmon River. Meet your guides on the back lawn of the Mountain Village Resort for a 6pm welcome orientation meeting followed by a casual picnic dinner. Back to your hotel to pack up your river bags for the early start the next morning.

    Accommodation: 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.

    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'll 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'll 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 typically occur in early to mid-June, while low water can occur at any point in July or August.

    Accommodation: 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.

    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 5pm. You've traveled about 15 miles downriver today.

    Accommodation: 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.

    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 bear Sheepeater pictographs. Enjoy few a more rapids before pulling into camp after about 15 miles on the river.

    Accommodation: 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.

    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

    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.

    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 with champagne.

    Accommodation: 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.

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

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart For Home

    Day 7

    While Day 7 is only a half-day of rafting (about 10 miles on the river) it offers 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 an late afternoon arrival at the Stagecoach Inn, where shuttled vehicles and keys will be waiting. A shuttle service will provide transfers to the local regional airport for any scheduled flights back to Boise.

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

    Transportation: 4-hour bus transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Idaho Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting

Detailed Itinerary

Thank you! Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek has operated small-group rafting adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for over 17 years.

Reason #02

Professional river guides follow Leave No Trace policies to maintain a pristine environment and will WOW you with their wilderness cooking skills.

Reason #03

Our team carries the heavy load, sets up your campsite, and cooks amazing hot meals each day, so you can relax and have fun!

Meet your guides

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott

Kevin McDermott-a.k.a. "Thirsty"-is an integral part of Mountain Travel Sobek's Arctic rivers program. His laid-back manner puts everyone at ease, and he is a wealth of knowledge about Arctic rivers. Kevin has been guiding since he was 17 years old. Although he normally spends his winter months in Colorado's Telluride ski area, he has climbed Denali three times, reaching the summit in 2000. Thirsty is a legend in the MT Sobek circle and endears himself to travelers with his expertise, calm demeanor, and sense of humor.

Andy Ambelang

Andy Ambelang

Andy was born and raised in the great outdoors of Montana. At the young age of 15, he launched his first trip down the Salmon River in Idaho and has never looked back! He spends his summers guiding down the Salmon before heading over to the Colorado River in springtime and fall to guide through the Grand Canyon. Internationally, he has spent time guiding in Nepal, Ethiopia's Blue Nile River and Madagascar's Mania River. In the off season, Andy works as a ski patroller at Montana Snowbowl and skis with his dog Dani every chance he can get.

Activities

Exciting whitewater rafting on Class II-IV rapids, paddling 10-19 miles per day, with short hiking excursions on the river's scenic banks.

Lodging

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

Climate

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.

FAQ

When can younger children go on this trip?

When the water is low, this trip is great for families with kids as young as 6 years old. During June, the water level is too high for any kids younger than 16.

How many rafts, kayaks and paddle rafts will there be on the trip?

This will vary based on the number of people on each trip, but we will always have oar boats, inflatable kayaks and at least one paddle boat.

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, comfortable cots, thick sleeping pads, freshly laundered sleeping bags and a small pillow.

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.

  • 2021
  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

2021

Scheduled Dates

  • Jun 13 - 19, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    AvailableConfirmed
  • Jun 30 - Jul 06, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    Wait ListConfirmed
  • Jul 16 - 22, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    Wait ListConfirmed
  • Aug 01 - 07, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    Wait ListConfirmed
  • Aug 09 - 15, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    AvailableConfirmed
  • Aug 17 - 23, 2021
    $2,695 Price per person
    Available

Additional costs

  • $225 Single Supplement
  • $24 Recreation Enhancement Act Fee

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary rafting gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation

Price does not include

  • Airfare to/from the trip start or end point, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

888.831.7526

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

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

Go Private

Go Private

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

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

20 to 23 guests from $2,695 per person double occupancy

	

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

Additional costs

  • $225 Single Supplement
  • $24 Recreation Enhancement Act Fee

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide(s)
  • All necessary rafting gear
  • All group entrance fees, activities, and ground transportation

Price does not include

  • Airfare to/from the trip start or end point, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guides
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Optional travel protection

Contact An Expert

888.831.7526

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

Thank you, one of our specialists will be contacting you shortly.

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.