A vacation on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River has a way of reminding us of how much we treasure little moments, like sitting around a morning campfire with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, hiking along a meandering trail to jaw-dropping vantage points, soaking in a crystal clear hot spring, or staying up late and gazing at a star-filled sky. There’s never been a more important time to unplug and unlock by spending time in the wilderness. As the videos and photos will attest, we all recharged our spirits and made lasting memories this season. It was a good year for IRJ and we certainly look forward to 2020. Here’s to many more good times to come.

In no particular order here are some highlights from the IRJ crew.

Spring on the Middle Fork

In early June, the Middle Fork of the Salmon transforms into a spectacular spring setting. We maximized each day and explored as much as we could. These trips allowed us to appreciate the nuances of the Middle Fork Salmon in June and its surroundings while enjoying the enormous satisfaction of being active.

Tent Competiton

For many years the crew has debated who can set up a tent the fastest. Finally, at Tappan Island, we settled this debate. With a time of 1:58, Skip Volpert beat Dave Walter by 2 seconds, followed by IRJ guest Neil with an impressive 2:30 for his first time.

IRJ Guests

Rafting trips aren’t only about rafting. Families join us year after year, not just for the whitewater, but also for the incredible experiences our guides provide both on and off the river. The IRJ crew genuinely cares about you and your time in “their” place. They feel connected and at home on the Middle Fork Salmon, and they want you to feel the same.

Music From the Crew

It’s always a treat sitting around the campfire listening to the IRJ guides play guitar. Guide Drew Harrison’s passion for music inspired him to form the band Porch Light along with Carlye Sayler. This fall they’re touring around the Northwest and recording songs.

Bounce Move at Cove Creek Rapid

As the season progresses and the water drops, certain rapids become increasingly difficult. This season, Cove Creek (formally known as Tappan 3) has emerged to be one of the more challenging low-water rapids. The crew has tried many different lines but found the bounce move off the center rock to be the most effective and fun.

Flying into the Middle Fork

In an average water year, nearly half our trips begin with a breathtaking flight into the Middle Fork Salmon. During the flight, you get a taste of the vastness of the Frank Church Wilderness Area that stretches below. After you land, you get a sense of place and gain a scale for the magnitude of this beautiful wilderness that the Middle Fork Salmon cuts through.

The Incredible Milky Way

Idaho is known for its phenomenal stargazing. Even with zero light pollution, a few circumstances must line up to capture the Milky Way at its peak. Ideally, a new moon, no precipitation, and a clear view. If you don’t want to stay up too late, the best time for stargazing along the river is in August. In mid- to late-August the Milky Way appears much earlier at night, right when the sky goes dark. This makes for epic nights around the campfire under the Milky Way.

IRJ Crew Race

Fer Falcone proved that he is the fastest crew member.

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  1. Loved the videos and pictures. Watched every one of them. ” Who gave you the right ? ” My new favorite song.
    From ” one half of a great guide ” from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

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