Middle Fork Salmon River Activities
Main Salmon River Activities
Whitewater Rafting, Fishing and Hiking
A rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho offers some of the best scenic wilderness white water rafting in the country and much more. Paddle rafting, inflatable kayaking and stand up paddle boarding make the experience all the more adventurous. Between river activities be sure to stop and enjoy the scenery and the gourmet food! Please scroll down page to see river craft choices or also see them on our photo library.
The Middle Fork is a fisherman’s paradise, a blue ribbon fishery and all fish are natives – Cutthroat Trout, Rainbows and Dolly Varden. Special fishing regulations protect the Middle Fork and help restore the fish population – (catch-and-release, no live bait, single barbless hooks.) The Middle Fork is the premier fishing experience. An Idaho State fishing license is required and may be purchased in Stanley, Idaho before the trip. Fishing is superb. on the Main Stem of the Salmon River the fishing is also good and it is catch and keep if you want but we tell guests that MFRE already supplies so much food and a lot goes to waste. However, a fish on a stick around the campfire sure is an experience for some people so we are open to offering that.
River Craft Options
Middle Fork rapids are rated 1 to 4 on a scale of 1 to 6 and the Main Salmon is rated 1 to 3. You’ll run these rapids with the aid of experienced, professional, licensed guides. In our state-of-the-art whitewater rafts, you’ll run lots of fun rapids, including Velvet Falls, Pistol Creek, Haystack, Redside and Rubber rapids.
Photos for all boat options are at the bottom of the page. Most guests ride in our oar powered Maravia 17 foot self bailers. For the more adventurous we run a paddle boat, as your boatman steers at the stern while you and your new-found friends paddle. And when water levels permit (mostly July and August only) you can try out our single inflatable kayaks. New in 2010, MFRE introduced the first Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). On the Middle Fork we use just around the eddy’s at camp as the Middle Fork is a lot more shallow and rocky and not the ideal SUP destination. The Main Salmon is ideal for SUP and we use on rapids up to class II+.
On the Middle Fork, we also use a large baggage boat called a sweep boat that runs ahead of our group to put up camp so when we arrive the kitchen is all set up and the porta-potty in a pristine location with a great view.
River Requirements: Middle Fork minimum age is 12 in June, and 6 in July and August. Minimum age for the Main Stem of the Salmon River is 6 years old in July and August. Please note, all participants must be able to swim, be in good physical shape and be able to self rescue.
Hiking & Hot Springs
There is plenty of time and numerous opportunities to hike and visit hot springs during your trip. There are six hot springs on on the Middle Fork and 2 on the River of No Return to visit and we try to camp at or near at least one during our trip. Time and logistics permitting we hike to waterfalls, scenic grottos, Indian paintings & pithouses and old miner’s cabins in a given day.
There is abundant wildlife in the canyons of the Middle Fork Salmon and River of No Return. You can see bear, mountain goat, mountain bighorn sheep, bald and golden eagles, river otters, mule and whitetail deer, Chinook salmon Spawning beds and a whole lot more!
This is one of the best parts of the trip, to be lullabied to sleep by the sound of the river. We provide all camping gear for you, including a sleeping bag, 2″ thick pad, camp pillow and all camping equipment. We provide Kelty 4 man tents for 1 or 2 people. We provide a think 2″ paco sleeping pad for each guest.
In the evening, we set up a camp and have chairs to relax in for meals. We bring along a wilderness porta-potty and place it in a private place with stunning views. We practice Leave No Trace camping ethics, so you are sure to learn a lot about this on the trip and be able to take some of these new skills home with you.
Best food on the river! And also better than what you eat at home. We provide healthy and delicious meals, accompanied with lots of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables. We also use as much organic produce/products as is available. Our goal is to have you eat healthy meals so that you feel good and refreshed during the day with lots of energy for fun in this remote wilderness setting. If you would like a copy of our menu please call us. Vegetarian’s, Vegan’s and Non-gluten folks are welcome and meat eaters alike!
Kayak Support & Clinics
We provide raft support for hard-shell kayaks and canoes. We take all the gear and do all the camp work so you can play during the day and relax at night. We also do kayak teaching clinics in partnership with Tarkio Kayak Adventures for at least one trip early in the season, usually the end of June.
We often have time in the mornings for stretching and yoga while the guides rig their boats, so please join us only if you feel like it.