(208) 806-1218

Main Season Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting

Overview

Dates

June 23

July 1,9,17,25

August 2

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Duration

6 days/ 5 nights

Location

Stanley or Salmon

Class

III-IV

Min Age

8 years old

Price

$3750

This is it! The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is widely regarded as one of the premier whitewater rafting trips in the world. Flowing 96 miles from Boundary Creek to the confluence of the Main Salmon, the Middle Fork includes nearly every aspect of a great river trip. With over 100 named rapids, riverside hot springs, beautiful camp sites, diverse canyon scenery, world class fishing, gin clear water, spectacular side hikes, and incredible wildlife, the Middle Fork truly has it all. If you asked someone to design the perfect river trip, you’d get a 6-day trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Middle Fork has something for everyone!

Flowing through the heart of the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48, the Middle Fork is a natural, free flowing river devoid of dams and human development. Due to its free flowing nature, the water levels of the Middle Fork are entirely dependent on the snow pack and air temperature in the surrounding mountains. This natural run off cycle allows the Middle Fork to undergo a seasonal transformation, providing different styles of river trips from June through September.

happy rafters on a main season middle fork salmon rafting trip
Kayaking on the Middle Fork

Main Season Middle Fork Salmon Rafting Trips

When summer reaches its peak and the days seem to never end, you’ll find the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in it’s prime. The river is usually coasting at perfect flows, the weather is warm and sunny, and the canyon is alive with activity as flora and fauna alike revel in their brief but glorious summer. The days are long with early sunrises and late sunsets, but you’ll still find yourself wishing for more time, as you realize just how much there is to do and see along the Middle Fork.

A typical day on the river begins with the stunning alpenglow on the mountainous canyon walls and the sounds and smells of the Northern Rockies coming to life. As you enjoy a gourmet breakfast around the fire, our professional guide staff will be working behind the scenes to break down your tents and load the boats.

Each day of floating on the Middle Fork holds fresh opportunities and activities; you can choose to explore and learn or to relax and transcend. Visiting Native American pictographs, revitalizing in natural hot springs, catching trout, hiking to jaw-dropping over looks, or simply lounging by the water are just a few ways you can enjoy your days on the Middle Fork.

Calm stretches interspersed with smaller rapids lie between the famed whitewater, giving less seasoned river-runners a chance to paddle, swim, or just kick back and enjoy the scenery. The rapids themselves will be splashy and exciting, with rolling wave trains and thrilling drops. Some sections of whitewater seem never ending as the river winds through steep sections of the canyon. There are always periods of calm throughout the day as well, when you can jump in and swim about, or just breathe deep and take in the sights.

As we wind our way through 2.3 million acres of wilderness time will fade away, and an all too rare feeling of being completely unplugged will fill your soul. We will makes stops throughout the day for delicious lunches, hiking oportunities, or to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the Middle Fork. By late afternoon, we will arrive at that evening’s camp, where you will find your tent set up, cold beverages on ice, and total relaxation.

After a leisurely “happy-hour”, an elaborate dinner will be served – Wild Caught Salmon, our famous Fried Chicken, or one of the best Pork Chops you’ve ever had. After dinner, there’s a chance for conversation, perhaps some music, and a chance to drink in the beauty of the crystal clear Idaho night sky.

Trip Itinerary

What’s Included

1 Day Before Your Trip

Meet in Stanley or Salmon. We will greet you at our orientation meeting at 6pm.

Fly or Drive Into The Wilderness

Begin your journey into the largest contiguous wilderness in the lower 48. If water levels and conditions permit we will drive drive into Boundary Creek. Or we will take an incredibly scenic backcountry flight into Indian Creek.

6 Days of Rafting Down Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Enjoy the most unforgettable wilderness vacation of your life.

Take Out at Cache Bar

Enjoy one last gourmet meal and say farewell to your wonderful guides.

Return to Stanley or Salmon by Bus

Enjoy the ride back to Stanley or Salmon in our luxurious private shuttle bus.

What’s Included

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Professional Guides

Our Middle Fork Salmon River guides are the most fun, knowledgeable, and talented guides in the business.

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Backcountry Comfort

Enjoy our deluxe four person tents, raised cots, plush sleeping pads, full sized pillows, and freshly laundered sheet and sleeping bags. Our specially designed river shower provides the opportunity to enjoy a warm, private shower in the evening.

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Wilderness Gourmet

Three fresh and delicious meals a day, carefully crafted by our talented backcountry guide chefs.

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Ground Transportation

We provide all ground transportation to the wilderness or airport at the beginning of your trip. Our luxurious private shuttle bus will transport you back to Stanley or Salmon at the end of your trip. No need to shuttle your vehicle!

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Premium River Gear

All neccessary rafting gear inlcuding, life jacket, helmet, neoprene wetsuit (for spring trips), oar rafts, paddle boats, inflatable kayaks (water level dependent). We will also provide you with a complimentary insulated water bottle, coffee mug, and duffel bag for you to keep. 

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All Fees Included

Because nobody likes hidden fees, our trip prices include all fees associated with recreating on public land.

Not Included

Travel Insurance

We highly recommend purchasing CFAR travel insurance. Learn more by contacting our trusted partner Global Rescue.

Flights Into The Wilderness

Flights from Stanley or Salmon into the wilderness may be required due to river or road conditions. These flights range from $155-$195.

Gratuities For Your Spectacular Guides

Typically 15%-20% of the trip price.

watercolor painting of a cliff on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Dates and Prices

Prices are per person

2024 Main Season Rafting Trips

June 23  –  $3550

July 1  –  $3550

July 9  –  $3550

July 17  –  $3550

July 25  –  $3550

August 2  –  $3550

2025 Main Season Rafting Trips

June 23  –  $3750

July 1  –  $3750

July 9  –  $3750

July 17  –  $3750

July 25  –  $3750

August 2  –  $3750

We require a 25% deposit to secure a reservation. Full payment is due 120 days prior to your trip date. 

We take bookings 2 years in advance, and often prime season trips fill 12 months in advance.  It’s never too early to make a reservation.

watercolor of a log on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a fly fishing & a rafting trip?

Both our fly fishing and rafting trips offer unforgettable experiences on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Our fishing trips and rafting trips depart together, stop for lunch together, and camp together each evening. The main difference between our fly fishing and rafting trips is the focus of the trip between those three times of day.

Our fly fishing guests ride in either a drift boat or one of our specially designed fishing rafts. There are only two anglers and one guide on these boats. The fishing boats will leave camp a little earlier each morning to take advantage of the best fishing conditions. The fishing trips are focused on catching fish.

Our rafting trips will focus more on exploring the wonders of the Middle Fork river canyon. One of the greatest aspects of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is all there is to see. Hikes to native american pictographs, exploring pioneer cabins, soaking in natural hot springs, strolling to beautiful vistas are all things you may experience on a typical day on the river. Rafting guests also have the option to ride in oar boats, paddle boats, and inflatable kayaks.

What if I want to do both fly fishing and rafting?

The best way to experience fly fishing and rafting on one trip is to reserve a fly fishing seat. With the fly fishing seat you will have the flexibility to hop in the paddle boat or inflatable kayak whenever there’s an open spot. Additionally you will be going through all of the same rapids in the fishing boat, so you will experience whitewater in the fishing boat regardless. Reserving the rafting seat does not give you the flexibility to be in a fishing boat, but you are of course able to fish from land anytime you are in camp, or when we stop at lunch.

Can our group reserve both fly fishing and rafting seats?

Absolutely! Many groups choose to do this. You may reserve as many fly fishing or rafting seats as we have available. Throughout the trip your group members are able to switch in and out of the fishing and rafting spots as you prefer. You will have a chance to switch around at lunch each day, so every day can have 2 sessions of either rafting or fly fishing.

What is the difference between a fishing raft and drift boat?

Check out our Fishing Boats and Gear Page to learn more!

What type rafting boats are available?

Our rafting experience includes 3 types of boats: Oar Boats, Paddle Boats, and Inflatable Kayaks.

The Paddle Boat is the most popular rafting boat and provides a lot of excitment. This boat has a guide in the back, with 6-8 guests paddling through the rapids.

The Oar Boat is a large raft rowed by a guide with comfortable seating in the front and back for anybody who wants to take a break from kayking or paddling. This is often a great way to sit back, relax, and experience the beauty of the river.

The inflatable kayak is the most intimate river experience you can have. We will instruct you on best practices and introduce you to kayaking in small rapids, and if you are eager to hone your river skills you can try more challenging rapids as your trip progresses.

Do I need a fishing licence?

If you plan to fish then YES! You will need an Idaho fishing license valid for all days of the trip. You will not need any additional permits or stamps. The easiest way to purchase your license is online

How many people are on the trip?

Per our USFS Special Use Permit, our maximun total group size is 30 people. This includes guests and guides. Our trips are usually between 20-23 guests and 7-10 guides. Our Fall Fly Fishing Trips tend to be a bit smaller, usually 14 guests and 9 guides. 

What if I want to charter a whole trip?

Booking a whole trip for yourself and your group is definitely possible. The minimum number needed to book an entire trip is 20 people. This can be a combination of fishing and rafting seats. Chartering a whole trip allows you to customize many aspects of your trip, including departure location. Please contact us for more information.

What is the camping like?

At Solitude River Trips we believe that just because you’re in the wilderness doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice comfort. We provide deluxe four person tents that make spacious double occupancy river side homes. Our comfortable combination of raised cot, plush sleeping pad, full sized pillow, and freshly laundered sheet and sleeping bag will ensure you are able to recharge between days of rafting, fishing and exploration. Our specially designed river shower provides the opportunity to enjoy a warm, private shower in the evening. Large, supportive chairs will allow you to enjoy your time around the dinner table and camp fire each evening. Find out more on our Accommodations page.

Can I shower?

Yes! Our specially designed river shower provides the opportunity to enjoy a warm, private shower in the evening.  

How does the toilet system work?

Our toilet is designed with your privacy and comfort in mind. It is located discreetly away from both camping and dining areas and covered by a privacy tent. These are robust, metal containers equipped with comfortable seats and tight-sealing lids for hygienic transport. At each camp, the guides will set up a fresh and clean toilet facility, complete with an adjacent hand-wash station to ensure cleanliness and convenience. 

How far do we go each day?

We usually travel between 10 and 16 miles a day. 

Can I bring a CPAP machine?

Yes. Since we do not have a generator or anyway to recharge or plug in a CPAP or any other electric device, you will need to bring a travel CPAP with enough battery power to last the duration of the trip. Please contact us if you need to bring a CPAP machine. 

What beverages are provided?

We bring enough alcoholic beverages for each person to have a couple cold beers , and/or a couple glasses of wine at camp each evening. We also provide coffee and tea in the morning, tea in the evenings, and non alcoholic beverages (soda and sparkling water) at any time. You are welcome to bring any additional alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages that you like. You may bring any quantity of beverages, we only ask that beer come in cans (wine and liquor in glass bottles is ok). We have a cooler and system to keep you beverages cold, accessible, and intact during your river trip. You can find a decent selection of beer, wine and liquor in Stanley or Salmon. This is a good thing to do on the afternoon before the trip when you arrive in town.

What is your cancelation policy?

Please review our Reservation and Cancelation Policy page. 

Our trips are small and personable so they fill fast.

Salmon River Rafting Trip Reviews

Contact Details

Solitude River Trips

P.O. Box 696 |  Salmon, ID 83467
+1 (208) 806-1218
solitude@rivertrips.com

           Orvis Endorsed since 2003

salmon river float trips