Middle Fork Salmon River
Your Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trip
On the first day of your Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting trip, we depart around 8:00 am for the river launch site. Upon arrival, you will meet our crew and they will conduct a safety briefing, describe the boating options, and review the day’s itinerary. You’ll have the chance to make last-minute adjustments to your clothing, replenish your water bottle, and get ready for your first day on the Middle Fork. We typically complete all of our chores and briefings in about an hour. Once your belongings are securely stowed on our supply boat, we set off downstream. You can expect to be on the water by 10:30, take a break for lunch in early-to mid-afternoon, and arrive at our first night’s camp around 4:00.
Days 2-4 or 5
Water conditions, the distance to camp, side attractions, and other trip features will change day-to-day but the daily routine remains constant. The crew gets up early, striving to serve breakfast around 8:00. During breakfast, a crew member will brief the group on what to expect that day, providing an overview of the rapids, side hikes, historic attractions and interpretive highlights relevant to the day’s course. Depending on the day, we will visit Native American pictograph sites, hike to attractions, run exhilarating rapids, and if available, soak in a wonderful hot spring along the river. Our participatory paddle boats and individual kayaks allow you to be actively paddling, while our oar rigs offer a relaxing ride through spectacular scenery.
Day 5 or 6
As you come to the end of your Middle Fork of the Salmon River experience, the routine for the last day of your trip will be a little different from the previous days. At dinner on the last evening of your trip, the lead guide will review plans for departure day. We strive to get on the river earlier than usual and typically float 10-15 miles before arriving at the river take-out (some of the most exciting whitewater takes place on the last day). When we get to the take-out, lunch will be set up. You will have time to change into dry clothes, repack your personal items, and say goodbye to the crew. Shortly after lunch, we will board our bus for the ride to Salmon and then Stanley. If you are catching a flight from Salmon, you will be at the airport around 3:45 PM. If you are returning to Stanley you will arrive there around 6:00 PM.
Your Middle Fork Salmon Guides
Guides make the difference between a good trip and a great one. At Idaho River Journeys, our crew is not just experienced—they’re truly exceptional. Their profound passion and rich knowledge of the river add invaluable depth to any trip. The men and women of the IRJ crew have diverse backgrounds and years of shared experience, fostering a camaraderie that enhances every trip. Not only are they skilled guides, they also serve as inspiring role models for kids on the trip and dedicated stewards of the Middle Fork. We consistently hear compliments about the crew’s welcoming attitude and expertise, and we are proud to have them on the IRJ team. To get to know them better before your trip, visit our Middle Fork Salmon Guide page and read their biographies.
Refreshing and Distinguished Beverages: To complement your dining experience, we offer a selection of distinguished wines, carefully chosen to pair perfectly with our meals. Plus, we carry plenty of ice to ensure your personal beverages are always refreshingly cold.
Sample Menu: Breakfast – Egg Strata, Dutch Oven Coffee Cake, Sliced Peaches and Pineapples with Yogurt and Granola. Lunch – Greek Salad, Chicken, Tzatziki, Hummus and Naan . Dinner – Smoked Carnitas Pork Street Tacos with Mexican Rice and Elote Corn Slaw. Dessert – Plum Tort.
Dietary Needs: We are more than happy to accommodate various dietary requirements. When you complete your trip registration form, please specify your dietary preferences and our office team will follow up for any clarifications. We can accommodate common dietary needs such as gluten-free, vegetarian, and food allergies. For more complex dietary requirements, we might ask you to bring specific foods. If you have any questions or special dietary concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Planning ahead is key, as our ability to make adjustments is limited once we are out in the wilderness.
Hiking on the Middle Fork
The Middle Fork Salmon River trail originates near Boundary Creek and follows the river until it splits at Big Creek, river mile 80. This trail, running along the river for most of its course, offers you the freedom to explore various paths leading into canyons and creeks. Whether you’re up for a quick stroll from camp or a trail run along a tributary, there’s an adventure for everyone.
During your rafting trip, the IRJ crew will schedule hiking stops at several points of interest along the river. These hikes are crafted to be enjoyable and accessible, requiring no special equipment. If there’s a plan for a more strenuous hike, the crew will inform you beforehand, providing an option to either join the hike or float leisurely to the next camp.
Middle Fork Fly Fishing
One of the wonderful aspects of a Middle Fork Salmon vacation with IRJ is the variety of activities available. When you combine Idaho fly fishing with all of the other elements of a Middle Fork trip, it’s a vacation that you’ll never forget, and you’ll want to come back again, and again, and again. Many of our guests have never tried fly-fishing before but we make it easy to learn. We will outfit you with everything you need except an Idaho fishing license, which you should get before the trip. Our guides will teach you the basics and have you catching (and releasing) trout after a few practice casts. You can fish from our boats or from shore at camp or during lunch stops