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. When we arrive, you will meet our crew and they will go over safety concerns, describe the boating options, and review plans for the day. You will have time to make last-minute clothing changes, fill your water bottle, and get ready for your first day on the Middle Fork. We typically complete all our chores and briefings in about an hour, and after securing your bags to our supply boat set off downstream. You can expect to be on the water by 10:30, take a break for lunch at the usual time and arrive at our first night’s camp around 5:00.
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 and strives to serve breakfast around 8:00. During breakfast, a crew member will brief the group on what to expect that day and provide an overview of the rapids, side hikes, historic attractions and provide interpretive highlights relevant to the day’s course. Depending on the day, we will visit Native American pictograph sites, hike to nearby attractions, soak in one of the wonderful hot springs along the river. Our participatory paddle boats and individual kayaks allow you to be actively paddling or just sit back on one of our oar rigs for 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, the lead guide will review plans for the morning. We strive to get on the river earlier than usual. When we get to take-out, lunch will be set up. You will have time to 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. If you are returning to Stanley you will arrive there around 6:00 pm.
Our guides have been working together for a number of years and have a special synergy that our guests notice and appreciate. They know the river well and enjoy sharing their knowledge. The crew focuses on personal service and paying careful attention to the details that go into providing a first-class river vacation. Learn more about your Middle Fork Salmon Crew.
The Middle Fork Salmon trail originates near Boundary Creek and follows the river until it splits at Big Creek, river mile 80. At that point, one branch goes east to the Big Horn Crags; the other west to a plateau high above the towering walls of Impassable Canyon. Unlike the river, the trail does not descend continually and entails elevation challenges that reward hikers with majestic canyon views. Nearly every camp before Big Creek has access to the Middle Fork trail.
During the trip, we will hike to significant points of interest along the river. These hikes are not strenuous and won’t require special gear. You will also have opportunities to take unescorted hikes from camp. Our crew is likely to suggest that you take some time to yourself and get away, find a private vista and quietly appreciate this spectacular wilderness. You won’t have to go far and our guides will help you select a route.
One of the wonderful aspects of a Middle Fork Salmon vacation with IRJ is the variety of activities available. You can paddle in the morning, fish in the afternoon, hike when we land at camp or just sit back and take in the majestic mountain scenery. 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