“Question: When is The Best Time to Raft the Salmon River?”
We often get asked this question and have spent considerable time wondering when the best time to raft the Salmon River really is. Here’s what we have decided:
As the summer soltice nears and the days seem never-ending in Idaho, a magical transformation is taking place on the Salmon River. With summer knocking at the door, the warming temperatures begin to melt the winter snow pack, causing the river canyon to fill to the brim with water. This rising water makes for world class whitewater rafting conditions. Combined with the verdant hillsides, wildflower blooms, and mild temperatures, we believe spring is the best time to raft the Salmon River.
On the Middle Fork, this annual peak runoff arrives in late May or June and the water levels gradually decline through July and into August. Spring is a time for the return of life to the remote mountains and rugged river canyons of central Idaho in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
As the summer heat begins to return, the migrating birds, fish, and insects fill the canyon with life. Western tanagers and monarch butterflies visit from the tropics. Hawks, harriers, falcons, kestrels and merlins, and many other birds of prey pause to soar and hunt the steep canyon walls on their wandering journey that takes many of them as far as the Arctic. The majestic Chinook Salmon, a bringer of tons of nutrient biomass (historically millions of tons) from the ocean, begins to move upstream. On our Idaho spring whitewater rafting trips, guests have the ability to observe this special time of year firsthand.
Best Time to Raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Rafting the Middle Fork of Salmon River in the springtime is a once in a lifetime adventure. As the snow melts off the high peaks, up to 7000ft above the river in the Impassable Canyon, waterfalls free fall into the river canyon. We are prepared for any weather on our multi-day rafting trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in June and we will make sure you know what to bring rafting in Idaho. New vegetation and geologic activity of the long winter and spring has reclaimed and renewed the active canyon, on and off the river. Idaho spring whitewater rafting trips have an expeditionary feel, with new discoveries for our guests and guides alike.
There are fewer people on the river during our June rafting trips than during the peak season in July & August, and the rapids deserve their most significant appreciation at this time of the year. While there are rapids all year on the Middle Fork due to its steep nature (descending 3000ft over 100 miles), the rapids climax during the runoff in June. The class IV rapids are named for their high water wave trains and crashing waves. This is the most thrilling and best time to raft the Middle Fork Salmon River in a paddle boat.
Rafting Trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in June
The high water also means the river is flowing fastest in June, and in addition to having 15 hours of sunlight, this provides extra time for off-river activities. There are endless things to see and do in the Middle Fork canyon, including scenic hikes, lounging in hot springs, checking out historic and heritage sights, as well as simply relaxing and harmonizing with the pristine nature of Idaho’s wilderness. A full-day rafting on the Middle Fork of the Salmon is an unforgettable experience with full-service glamping accommodations and gourmet food. Between the high water rapids and the off-river activities, rafting trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in June is always a great option for groups looking for a true Idaho adventure with experienced and passionate guides in the Idaho wilderness, especially groups with teenage or young adult ages amongst the group.
June is one of the best times to raft the Middle Fork of the Salmon River but there is no bad time to be on the river. Solitude River Trips offers the most comfortable, convenient, and unforgettable multi-day Middle Fork Salmon River fly fishing and Middle Fork Salmon River rafting trips. Don’t miss out on the trip of a lifetime, book your Idaho whitewater rafting adventure today.
Spring Multi-Day Rafting Trips with Solitude River Trips
Solitude River Trips offer the most comfortable, convenient, and unforgettable wilderness Middle Fork Salmon River fly fishing and Middle Fork Salmon River rafting experiences in North America. We are ready to get you out on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River! Our 6-day trips are designed to provide families, friends, lovers, or solo travelers with the most unforgettable and high-quality adventure vacation of their lives. Learn more about our trips or use the form below to contact us with any questions.