There's nothing better than a cold beer by the river, so we've teamed up with Idaho's own Payette Brewing Company for this special new Middle Fork of the Salmon River adventure. The folks at Payette are passionate, rebellious, beer pioneers who continue to innovate and make uncompromising, awesome beer. On this trip, you'll see for yourself as we spend 6 days journeying down one of North America's most treasured rivers, led by MT Sobek's expert river guides. Taste different varieties of Payette Brewing Company's award-winning brews expertly paired with our exceptional wilderness menu. Plus, take this unique opportunity to chat with the brewers themselves as you taste beer in an epic riverside setting. Book now for Rafts & Drafts on the river in summer 2019!
Spend six days with the Founder of Payette Brewing Co. and taste a wide variety of amazing craft beers paired with incredible meals prepared by your guides!
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 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.
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 19 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 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.
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 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.
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.
Payette Brewing Co. is an award winning Idaho based brewery leading the states beer revolution!
While the beer tasting are for participants 21 and older, it is still an amazing river trip with the same fun for all!
Absolutely! The founder and brewer of Payette will be on hand to describe each beer as well as talk about the brewing process and geek out on the beer tastings.
We provide large stand-up tents, comfortable cots, thick sleeping pads, freshly laundered sleeping bags and a small pillow.
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 provide a portable seated toilet set up in a private setting at each campsite, with toilet paper and hand soap.
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
"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