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 kayaks. Choose a new activity every day! With afternoons 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. See below for a sample itinerary of your day-to-day activities.
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 ready and waiting
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MT Sobek has operated small-group rafting adventures on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River for over 17 years.
Professional river guides follow Leave No Trace policies to maintain a pristine environment and will WOW you with their wilderness cooking skills.
Our team carries the heavy load, sets up your campsite, and cooks amazing hot meals each day, so you can relax and have fun!
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Exciting whitewater rafting on Class II-IV rapids, paddling 10-19 miles per day, with short hiking excursions on the river's scenic banks.
A comfortable hotel in Stanley, followed by MT Sobek's deluxe riverside camps, with meals served around the campfire beneath the stars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We provide large stand-up tents, comfortable cots, thick sleeping pads, freshly laundered sleeping bags and a small pillow.
This is an excellent trip for families! Highly recommended for young kids and grandparents alike!
We will provide a portable seated toilet set up in a private setting at each campsite, with toilet paper and hand soap.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"What an awesome group of guides in a setting that is like no other. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes the outdoors and wants to get disconnected."
MT Sobek Guest, Middle Fork of the Salmon River
"My MT Sobek Middle Fork trip was outstanding in every respect. The river is stunning, beginning with its intimate canyon, flowing into a majestic riparian paradise! The guides' skills, knowledge, warmth and repartee were all top notch."
MT Sobek Guest, Middle Fork of the Salmon River