Trail Run the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Unique and fully supported trail running opportunity for experienced trail runners. Adventure through the wilderness of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River trails with gourmet food, comfortable accommodations, and convenient logistics provided. This is a trail running experience, supported by a premier rafting company, not a rafting trip with some trail running.
My name is Willi Cannell and I own Solitude River Trips. I’m not a running tour operator; I’m a Salmon River fly fishing and Idaho river rafting outfitter on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River who happens to be passionate about ultrarunning. After years of running these trails myself, and providing fully supported running adventures for several of my friends, I’m offering this truly unique opportunity for any adventure-minded trail runners who want to experience one of the most rugged, remote and scenic sections of trail in North America and also want to have logistics, glamping accommodations, and gourmet food taken care of by wilderness professionals. Since this is not my main business and I’m doing this as a side passion-project, I’ve designed this one-of-a-kind experience specifically for enthusiastic, confident, and experienced trail runners. You can expect vast wilderness, solitary trails, gourmet meals, fascinating guides, and a super comfortable time in camp. I hope this finds the right people.
The Middle Fork Trail:
You will be following the Idaho Centennial Trail and the Middle Fork River Trail from Boundary Cr to Big Creek Bridge. The trail follows the Middle Fork the entire way, rarely out of sight of the river.
Total mileage will be 80 miles over 5 days (15-20 miles per day). The average cumulative vertical drop is 400ft/day, including some mellow climbs over various terrain features. There are unlimited opportunities to add miles and vertical in the form of tributary trails, ridge loops, and aggressive out and back climbs to scenic lookouts if you so desire. The last one day of rafting is a 20 mile stretch.
You will not be accompanied by guides on the trail (because they will be busy rowing all of the amenities to the next camp each day) but we will provide thorough trail briefings each morning. You are expected to be happily self-sufficient while adventuring up to 10-15 miles per day. We will of course be providing a safety net and making sure everyone is accounted for. We are professional wilderness guides.
5 days of running (80 miles), 1 day of rafting (20 miles)
Pre-Trip: Arrive in Stanley Idaho. Check into lodging of your choice. Attend our Orientation Meeting at 6:00 PM at Sawtooth Spirit, walking distance from anywhere in Stanley. Meet the other guests on the trip, runners and non-runners.
Day 1: 8:30AM depart Stanley by bus. Drive 1.5 hours to the south edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Your running adventure begins on the Idaho Centennial Trail at the Boundary Cr. boat launch and trailhead.
Days 1-4: Every step takes you farther from civilization and deeper into the largest continuous wilderness area in the lower 48 states. There will possibly be a layover day (rest & relax, or explore a tributary trail).
Day 5: Last half day of running. The trail ends at Big Creek bridge where the river goes into the steepest section of the “Impassable Canyon.” From Big Creek onwards you will be in a raft floating a whitewater river. Night 5 is the last night of the trip, spent in the steepest most rugged section of the 3rd deepest canyon in North America.
Day 6: We all float out to the confluence of the Middle Fork and Main Fork of the Salmon River. Transportation is provided back to Stanley, ID, arriving at approximately 5:30 PM. (You can choose to have your car shuttled to North Fork ID if your travel plans aren’t headed back through Stanley. Visit River Shuttles for details.)
- All fees are included: $4/day Recreation Enhancement Act Fee, and 3% of the company’s adjusted gross revenues are for a land use fee for operating commercially on National Forest Lands
- Round Trip transportation: Air and ground transportation provided from and to Stanley ID, except when low water requires a flight into the wilderness from Stanley
- Fresh and Gourmet Food: We fly fresh food into the wilderness so that we can have fresh produce, bread, and cookies until the last day of the trip
- Luxurious Camping Accommodations
- River gear (for the rafting part, last 1 day)
- All glamping accommodations: sleeping bag, deluxe wilderness mattress, life jacket, roomy four-person tent for every two people, camp chairs, dining table, complimentary water-resistant duffel for your personal gear (yours to keep), waterproof container for your day use items, eating utensils, drink cup, water bottle, plenty of ice, wine with dinner, and an ample supply of cold beverages.
- Hot shower