Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Overview

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.

  • 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: Stanley, Idaho
  • Depart: Salmon, Idaho
  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Group Size: 7-23 Guests
  • Minimum Age: 6 Years Old

Itinerary

  • Day01

    Arrive in Stanley, Idaho

    Arrive by 4pm to the quaint mountain town of Stanley, Idaho - set along the banks of the Salmon River. Meet your guides at the River One Shop for a welcome meeting before dinner. Back to your hotel to pack up your river bags for the early start the next morning.

  • Day02

    Journey to the Put-in at Boundary Creek

    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.

  • Day03

    Get Started with Pistol Creek Rapid

    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 19 miles downriver today.

  • Day04

    Explore Sunflower/Loon Creek Hot Springs

    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.

  • Day05

    Ride the River to Tappan Falls

    The 18 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.

  • Day06

    Coast into the Impassable Canyon

    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.

  • Day07

    Depart For Home

    While Day 6 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. After a stop for lunch, arrive in Salmon by early afternoon and later, meet for a happy hour celebration.

    • Activity: 3 hours/10 miles rafting Class II to Class IV rapids
    • Transportation: 4-hour bus transfer
    • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Want to extend your adventure?
Contact our Regional Specialists for more travel ideas!

Upcoming Departures

  • AvailableJun 04 - 10, 2019
  • AvailableJun 13 - 19, 2019
  • AvailableJun 30 - Jul 06, 2019
View More Departure Dates
From: $2,595.00 What's Included?
7 Days
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Got Questions?
Speak with an expert.

Michael O'Connell

MT Sobek Regional Specialist

1.888.831.7526CallEmail

Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River Map

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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 Our Guides

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.

What To Expect

  • 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 weather has daytime ranges from 60°-90°F, and evenings between 40-60°F. June trips are cooler. Salmon River is 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.

Dates & Pricing

Pricing Dates

Scheduled Dates

  • Available
    Jun 04 - 10, 2019
  • Available
    Jun 13 - 19, 2019
  • Available
    Jun 30 - Jul 06, 2019
  • Available
    Jul 08 - 14, 2019
  • Available
    Jul 16 - 22, 2019
    Confirmed Departure
  • Available
    Jul 24 - 30, 2019
  • Available
    Aug 01 - 07, 2019
    Confirmed Departure
  • Available
    Aug 09 - 15, 2019
  • Available
    Aug 17 - 23, 2019

Customize Your Trip

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!

Book This Trip Customize A Trip
2019
$2,595.00 Price per person

Additional Cost

  • $250.00 Single Supplement
  • $24.00 Recreation Enhancement Act Fee

Special Offer

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

  • International airfare, 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

Testimonials

  • "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."

    Andrew G.

    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."

    Diane P.

    MT Sobek Guest, Middle Fork of the Salmon River

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