(208) 806-1218

Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trips

Experience an Unforgettable Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trip With Solitude River Trips 



June – Sept



6 days/ 5 nights

June 5 (5 days)


Stanley or Salmon



Min Age

12 y/o (June)

8 y/o (July-Sept)


From $3250

This is it! A Middle Fork Salmon River rafting trip 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 natural hot springs, beautiful camp sites, varied 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.

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 Salmon River 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.

In June, as spring engulfs the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the rapidly melting snow means high water and big excitement on our Early Season Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trips! As summer settles in and the water begins to recede, the seemingly endless days and warm weather of our Main Season Middle Fork Salmon River rafting trips provide ideal rafting conditions. As fall approaches the river starts to slow, allowing for excellent opportunities on our Late Season Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trips to enjoy not only the rapids but the many splendors of the canyon that lie on its banks. To truly experience the Middle Fork and all it has to offer, you must travel down its magical waters in each of these three distinct seasons. No two trips on the Middle Fork are the same.

clear water on a middle fork salmon river rafting trip
Middle Fork of the Salmon River Flow

Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trips: A Catalyst For Wilderness Protection

A Middle Fork Salmon River rafting trip is an adventure unlike any other. Surrounded by 2.3 million acres of wilderness, the remoteness of the river corridor is unmatched. Included as one of the original eight rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, the Middle Fork was identified as one of the nations greatest natural treasures. Following President Jimmy Carter’s trip down the Middle Fork in August of 1978, the area surrounding the river was identified for further protection. In 1980 the River of No Return Wilderness Area (Renamed the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area in 1984) became the largest contiguous wilderness area in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Today, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River offers a unique wilderness experience. Traveling down a free flowing river hundreds of miles from roads and technology reminds us not only of what is important to us, but of the importance of protecting these wild places.

Beginning at 6280 feet above sea level the Middle Fork descends over 3000 vertical feet on its path through the Salmon River Mountains. This drastic drop in elevation allows the river to showcase a variety of unique ecosystems. Just below the put in at Boundary Creek the river travels through a high alpine forest of Lodgepole Pine and Douglas Fir. At mile 25, as the river passes Indian Creek, a semi-arid environment begins to dominate the river canyon. Here, towering Ponderosa Pine trees line the river corridor, providing perfectly shaded camp sites. Below the Flying B Ranch the river undergoes yet another dramatic change as it plunges into the Impassible Canyon. Named for the inability to establish a through trail, the Impassible Canyon is the third deepest canyon in the United States. As the river cuts through the 98 million year old Idaho Batholith that covers 13,500 sq. miles of central Idaho, towering granite walls rise towards the sky. This dramatic ending is fitting for such a magical and special river.

Raft, Hike, Discover: Exploring Hidden Gems on a Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trip

Venturing away from the river provides unique perspectives and discovery of the many natural wonders held by the canyon of the Middle Fork. The 75 mile long “Middle Fork Trail” follows the river from Boundary Creek to Big Creek, allowing nearly endless hiking opportunities. The intrepid hiker can be rewarded with sweeping vistas by reaching Johnson or Aparejo Point. Short scrambles lead adventurers to captivating waterfalls such as Veil and Nugget Falls. It is even possible to hike or run your way through the canyon, stopping in each nights camp for delicious meals and a comfy bed.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River also boasts some fascinating cultural history. The Tukudeka (referred to by early settlers as Sheepeaters) were nomadic bands of Shoshone Indians who inhabited the Middle Fork canyon for thousands of years. Their presence in the canyon is evidenced by numerous pictograph sites, pit house depressions, and the remains of hunting blinds built into the granitic talus slopes. In search of new opportunity, whether it be precious metals or establishing a homestead, settlers slowly made their way into this remote and rugged region. Today, cabins, mining tools, trail systems, and other artifacts offer river runners a unique glimpse into the lives of these American pioneers.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River holds a special place in the hearts of many. It is no wonder that this river is found on nearly every boatman’s/ boatwomen’s bucket list. The river transcends time and reminds each of its visitors of the importance of preserving undeveloped land for the enjoyment of future generations. The Middle Fork leaves lasting impressions on all those fortunate enough to experience its magic. We hope you to may witness the enchantment of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River someday.

Middle Fork of the Salmon River hot springs

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this Act an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; (3) has at least five thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.”

-The Wilderness Act, 1964

Our Middle Fork Salmon River Rafting Trips

Spring Rafting on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

Early Season Rafting Trips

Immerse yourself in the exhilarating whitewater, verdant hillsides, and endless wildflowers.


5-6 days


6/5 & 6/14

From $3250

per person

happy rafters on a main season middle fork salmon rafting trip

Main Season Rafting Trips

Enjoy an unforgettable wilderness vacation on the Middle Fork with prime weather and water levels!


6 days


6/23 – 8/2


per person

happy rafters on a late season middle fork salmon rafting trip

Late Season Rafting Trips

Explore the wonders of the Middle Fork during this tranquil time of year.


6 days


8/10 – Sept

From $3250

per person

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


Professional Guides

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


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.


Wilderness Gourmet

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


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!


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. 


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 Early Season Rafting Dates

June 5 (5 day)  –  $3250

June 14 (6 day)  –  $3550

2025 Early Season Rafting Dates

June 5 (5 day)  –  $3250

June 14 (6 day)  –  $3550

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

2024 Late Season Rafting Trips

August 10  –  $3550

August 18  –  $3550

September 14  –  $3250

September 22  –  $3250

September 30  –  $3250

2025 Late Season Rafting Trips

August 10  –  $3550

August 18  –  $3550

September Dates TBD October 2nd, 2024  –   $3250

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. 

Contact Details

Solitude River Trips

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

           Orvis Endorsed since 2003





salmon river float trips