Early Season Middle Fork Salmon River
June 5 & 14
June 5 – 5 days
June 14 – 6 days
12 years old
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.
Spring Rafting Trips
Experience the lush beauty and exhilarating white water of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Unplug from daily life and immerse yourself in the canyon’s brilliant display of wildflowers, verdant hillsides and breathtaking rapids. June is a mythical time to float the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, when the river canyon has re-awakened to life after a long regenerative winter. These trips offer a world class whitewater experience, with seemingly endless rapids. Depending on road and river conditions, we access the Middle Fork either by road at the Boundary Creek launch point, or with a 25-minute scenic flight from the town of Stanley to the Indian Creek airstrip.
Due to the fast-moving water at this time of year, these trips emphasize full days of both on-river and off-river activities. This is a great time to hike, relax in hot springs, and explore the hidden gems of the Middle Fork wilderness. Teens & young adults especially thrive at this time of year on the Middle Fork. If you and your group are eager to engage in the adventure, history, biology, geology, hydrology, swift water safety, and endless whitewater, this is the time of the year for you.
June 5th 5-day
Our June 5th trip is a unique trip. This is the only 5 day/ 4 night trip we offer all season. Due to the typically high water level at this time year we are able to see all the magic the Middle Fork has to offer in a little less time. We also offer groups to charter an entire private trip with only 18 guests (normally 22).
Like all of our trips, our June whitewater trips are full service and all inclusive. Our highly acclaimed backcountry comfort accommodations & wilderness gourmet are in full effect on all of our 5-day June 5th trips
1 Day Before Your Trip
Meet in Stanley. 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 by Bus
Enjoy the ride back to Stanley in our luxurious private shuttle bus.
Our Middle Fork Salmon River guides are the most fun, knowledgeable, and talented guides in the business.
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.
Three fresh and delicious meals a day, carefully crafted by our talented backcountry guide chefs.
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.
We highly recommend purchasing CFAR travel insurance. Learn more by contacting our trusted partner Global Rescue.
Flights Into The Wilderness
Flights from Stanley into the wilderness may be required due to river or road conditions. These flights typically cost $155.
Gratuities For Your Spectacular Guides
Typically 15%-20% of the trip price.
Dates and Prices
Prices are per person
2024 Early Season Rafting Dates
June 5 (5 day) – $3250
June 14 (6 day) Music, Yoga and Rafting! – $3550
2025 Early Season Rafting Dates
June 5 (5 day) – $3250
June 14 (6 day) – $3550
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.
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.