Middle Fork Salmon River Trip Planning – Stanley Idaho
Stanley Idaho | Trips Departing 6/5-7/17 (All Trips in 2024)
Due to Stanley’s close proximity to the upper put in location of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, we choose this location to start and end our trips between 6/5 and 7/17. Stanley is a town of 62 residents nestled at the base of Sawtooth Mountains. Regardless of its size, Stanley comes to life in the summer and has a good selection of lodging and dining.
Your trip will begin with our orientation meeting at 6:00 PM at the Sawtooth Spirit. This introduction will include detailed information about what you can expect out on the river. We will also outfit you with your daytime dry bag, Solitude duffel bag to pack overnight clothing in, and insulated water bottle and mug, yours to keep at the end of the trip.
We recommend staying at the Mountain Village Lodge, however there are several other lodging options available as well. We will depart from the Mountain Village Lodge early on the morning of your trip. We recommend staying in Stanley the night before and possibly the night after your trip. The Mountain Village Lodge also offers parking for your vehicle while we are on the river for $25 a week.
For our trips departing 6/5 – 7/17 we provide round trip ground transportation from Stanley, Idaho. On your way back back to Stanley from the river take-out, we will pass the Salmon airport, where you will have the option to catch a flight to Boise, Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, Missoula, or wherever else you need to go. Otherwise you will return to Stanley at approximately 5:30 PM on the evening of the last day of your trip.
Check out our article about things to do in Stanley while you’re there before or after your river trip.
Shuttling your vehicle – Optional
You will not need to shuttle your car unless you are planning to drive north or west into Montana, Wyoming, or Northern Idaho after your trip. If so, you can have your vehicle shuttled to North Fork, ID or Salmon, ID where you will see it shortly after we get off the river. As always, just let us know if you have any questions about your travel logistics.
Getting to Idaho
Boise International is the biggest airport in Idaho, and is Idaho’s nexus to the rest of the world. If you are flying to Idaho, this is the easiest destination. If you prefer, you can also fly into the Sun Valley airport in Hailey, ID which is slightly closer to Stanley. Once you are in Boise, you have two options to get up to Stanley: rent a car and drive, or fly in an air taxi.
Driving from Boise to Stanley
The drive from Boise to Stanley is 130 miles and takes 3 hours and 15 minutes. Fuel up in Boise, and punch “Stanley, Idaho” into your smart phone. Or, take the “Ponderosa Pine Scenic Byway” (Hwy 21) all the way from Boise to Stanley.
Flying from Boise to Stanley
Flights from Boise International Airport to Stanley, ID are offered by several air taxi services. A list of our trusted partners can be found below. We would be happy to help you arrange these flights, just give us a call!
Where to Stay
The Mountain Village Lodge
We recommend staying at the Mountain Village. The hotel is centrally located in Stanley and just a short walk to Sawtooth Spirits where we will meet you for your orientation meeting the evening before your trip. The hotel also offers parking for guests while you are out on the river. It is highly recommended that you make reservations well in advance.
The Sawtooth Hotel
The Sawtooth Hotel is another good option located in the heart of Stanley. You may make reservations by calling (208) 721-2459 or visiting their website.
The Stanley High Country Inn
Another beautiful lodging option in Stanley. You may make reservations by calling 208-774-7000 or visiting their website.
The Redfish Lake Lodge
This hotel is located 15 min south of Stanley on the famous Redfish Lake. You make make reservations by calling (208) 774-3536
Stanley Supper Club
A cozy spot with great food! Highly recommended.
Best pizza in town! A local favorite.
Stanley Baking Co. and Cafe
Legendary bakery with great breakfast!
Peaks & Perks
Great coffee, great views, chill vibes.
Where to Eat
Getting To and From
Gem Air offers flights to and from Stanley, ID to major aiports such as Boise.
Another great option for catching a flight in and/or out of Stanley, ID.
If you are headed north after your trip you might consider shuttling your vehicle from Stanley to Salmon. Contact River Shuttles for more information.
6 days/5 nights
Late June – Sept