Eleven hundred miles of mountains, rivers and plains separate Iowa and Idaho but the three identical vowels they share in their short names seem to confuse their whereabouts.

We have nothing against the Hawkeye State and if you want corn, go to Iowa. But if you are looking for the best river vacation in America, come with Idaho River Journeys on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho, the Gem State. Not to be judgmental but here are some facts:

Idaho Rafting

Hawkeye Point is the highest natural point in Iowa at 1,670 feet. Borah Peak is the highest mountain in Idaho and one of the tallest in the continental U.S. at ‎12,662 ft. Stanley, Idaho, the meeting place for our trips, is a spectacular mountain village that is the gateway to the Sawtooth Mountains and a myriad of world-famous outdoor activities.

Stanley Idaho
Stanley Sawtooth Mountains

The number of miles of whitewater rivers in Iowa is less than 200. The number in Idaho exceeds 3100. The Middle Fork is a wilderness jewel protected by Congressional decree and acknowledged by many professional river guides to be America’s best river trip.

Iowa has no designated wilderness areas, no national parks and no national forests. Nearly 5 million acres of public lands in Idaho are protected as wilderness. All told, Idaho boasts more than 30 million acres of public land.

Middle Fork Salmon Hiking
Main Salmon Middle Fork Confluence

Although Iowa may not have the abundant wilderness areas found in the Gem State, it is home to one of the finest writers’ workshops in the country hosted by the University of Iowa.

So it seems clear. If you are looking for a wilderness vacation on a world famous wild river with an esteemed outfitter, join IRJ on Idaho’s Middle Fork. If you a looking to enhance your writing skills, the MFA program at the University of Iowa is the best. Maybe join us on the Middle Fork for inspiration and then write about your Idaho river vacation as part of your Masters program at the University of Iowa.

Middle Fork Salmon River
Middle Fork Salmon Trip Dates
Middle Fork Kayaking