Middle Fork Salmon River Trip Planning
Getting to Stanley, Idaho
Stanley is a town of 62 residents and is the population center of the state of Idaho. Regardless of its size, Stanley comes to life in the summer and has a good selection of lodging and dining. It is nestled between the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and the Frank Church Wilderness.
Your orientation meeting will be at 6:00 PM at the Sawtooth Spirit. I recommend staying in Stanley on the night before your trip as well as the night of the last day of your trip, but if you do need to hit the road after your trip you will be able to get down to Boise that evening. (You will return to Stanley around 5:30 PM.)
Our trip will start and end at the Mountain Village Lodge, which holds rooms for our guests. So for hassle, free lodging arrangements call them up and let them know you are floating the Middle Fork with Solitude. In case you want to browse some other Stanley lodging options, here are our recommendations.
The Redd (Great Specials every night)
The Sawtooth Hotel (Since 1931)
The Stanley Baking Co (Best full breakfast in town)
The Kasino Club (Full bar, great steaks)
The High Country Inn
Transportation To The Middle Fork of the Salmon
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 which is slightly closer to Stanley.
Getting 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.
Shuttling Your Car
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.
Round Trip Ground Transportation Included
During our Summer rafting and fly fishing trips (June – August) we provide round trip ground transportation from Stanley, Idaho. On your way back back to Stanley from the “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. You will return to Stanley at approximately 5:30 PM on the evening of the last day of your trip.
I recommend staying in Stanley on the night before your trip, as well as the the night that you return. If you do need to hit the road that evening, you should easily be able to make it to Sun Valley or Boise.
When the water drops in the later part of our summer season, we will need to fly into Indian Creek (riverside wilderness launch point). Flying into the wilderness is incredibly memorable and scenic. Airfare is not included in the trip price.
Traveling to our September Fishing Trips
During our September fishing trips, you have the option of flying directly into Thomas Creek (riverside launch point in the middle of the wilderness) from the Boise Airport. This is very convenient.
Or, if you are driving to Idaho, you can meet us in Salmon, ID on the evening before your trip and fly in to Thomas Creek from Salmon. If you choose to fly directly into the wilderness We will mail you your river duffel, dry bag, and all of the information you will need to prepare for your trip.