High Water Weekend Warrior
The High Water Weekend Warrior
MIDDLE FORK OF THE SALMON RIVER- IDAHO
2 Days rafting the Impassable Canyon. This trip is for high water enthusiasts that want to see the best part of the canyon. We take just paddle rafts and oar rafts from the Flying B Ranch at mile 66 and float 33 miles in 2 days. All guides wear drysuits and guests wear wetsuits with splash gear tops and bottoms and waterproof socks and gloves (all provided). There is no one on the river this time of year as there is still snow on the road to the upper put-in point. The water is usually flowing around 10mph so we can make a lot of miles and also have time for visiting miners’ cabins and waterfalls along the way.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River is the premier wilderness rafting trip in the US. It’s gin clear water flows 100 miles of Wild and Scenic free-flowing river, through the largest roadless wilderness area in the US and in a canyon that is deeper than the Grand Canyon. It has half a dozen natural hot springs throughout the canyon, blue ribbon trout fishing, and more than 100+ rapids grade I-III (IV in June). The Middle Fork of the Salmon is an unspoiled, remote and pristine wilderness much as it was 100 years ago or more. Named by National Geographic as one of the top 3 river trips in the world, the Middle Fork will provide you with a vacation of a lifetime.
Please arrive in Stanley, Idaho the night before the trip begins. Stanley is a 45-minute flight or 3-hour drive from Boise or a 1-hour drive from Sun Valley. We have a pre-trip orientation at the MFRE Warehouse at 8:30pm the evening before the trip begins. The MFRE warehouse is located next door to the Triangle C Cabins on Highway 21 in Stanley. We will get acquainted; answers questions, and have a one-hour orientation to show you how to pack the waterproof gear bags we provide for your personal gear. For rooms we recommend the Triangle C Cabins (208-774-2266) that has clean cabins good for families for the evening before your trip and on Day 6 of your trip. We also have priority pre-season bookings at the Mountain Village Lodge (800) 843-5475 from Oct 1 until Dec 31, after which they open to the public. Please mention you are with MFRE when you book prior to Dec 31 otherwise they will not allow you to book. Another good choice is the Sawtooth Hotel (208-721-2459).
(Overnight in Stanley is not included)
We meet this morning at 8am at the MFRE warehouse and depart for 23 minute flight to the river (not included). You can leave your car parked at the MFRE warehouse in Stanley during the trip. Upon launching our rafts at the Flying B Ranch at mile 66 we will navigate fun whitewater such as Haystack, Bernard, Earthquake Rock, Jack Creek, Cutthroat Cove, Redside and Weber rapids. We will camp tonight and have a warm fire, hot liquids and homemade soup and dinner.
We then hit some of the biggest rapids of the trip, including Rubber and Cramer Creek Rapids, which is a great whitewater crescendo finale for the weekend. We arrive at the take-out point at Cache Bar around 1pm and have a lunch brought in the for the drive back to Stanley. You can also fly from Salmon to Boise at around 3pm if you are tight on time. You can leave your car parked at the MFRE warehouse in Stanley during the trip. After a hot shower at your hotel, enjoy Stanley for a nice dinner on your own at the Sawtooth Hotel or the Casino Club or drive 10 minutes to Red Fish Lake Lodge. The next morning drive home or to Boise for flights after 12:30pm. For those departing towards Montana after the trip you may want to have your vehicle shuttled (www.rivershuttles.com) to North Fork Store, as this will save your 5 hours driving.
(Overnight in Stanley is not included)
DATES and PRICING (please visit MFRE website for dates, current pricing & availability)
♦ ground transportation by school bus from Stanley to the river and back to Stanley after the trip.
♦All camping equipment, including sleeping bags, sleeping pads and tents.
♦ meals from lunch Day 1 to lunch Day 2.
♦ expert leadership with seasoned professional river guides who are Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue certified.
♦ spash gear tops and bottoms, farmer john wetsuits, and waterproof socks and gloves.
♦ 3 dry bags: one for camp clothing, one for sleep kit and one small dry bag for items to have access to during the day like sunscreen, rain gear, camera etc.
♦ all rafting equipment (life jackets, helmets, paddles etc.)
♦ all water craft including oar boats, paddle rafts
♦ MFRE mug to use and take home after trip.
Flights to/from Stanley, Idaho; Motel in Stanley for night before the trip and night the trip ends; flight into Flying B Ranch (~$130/person); travel insurance (we strongly recommend); optional tipping to guides (10-15%+ of trip cost) depending on level of satisfaction.
Deposit: $500.00 per person, required for confirmed reservation.
Balance: Due 60 days before the trip.
Deposits are refundable (less $150.00 service charge per person) if written notice is received before Final Payment. After final payment your monies are nonrefundable. If Middle Fork River Expeditions must cancel a trip due to water levels, weather conditions, wildfires or any other circumstances, your trip will be refunded or re-scheduled for the same date the next summer.
Travel to Stanley, Idaho
There is commercial air service to Boise, Idaho. Then you have 3 options to get to Stanley.
- Rent a car and drive (131 miles or 3 hours)
- Shuttle Service with Caldwell Transportation (131 miles or 3 hours)
- Fly (45 minutes) with small 5 and 9-seater airplanes
Drive: Rental cars – Budget, Payless, Alamo, Hertz, Avis. Cost around $300/week.
Shuttle: Caldwell Transportation- 800-727-9925- departs at 4pm from Boise airport and 7am from Stanley. Reservation must be made 48 hours in advance. Cost is $85/one way or $165 roundtrip.
Fly: Sawtooth Flying Services- 800-798-6105 or 208-342-7888. ~$335 Boise/Stanley per person round-trip. Please call in advance to reserve these flights.
Sun Valley Option: Another option is flying into Sun Valley (Hailey Airport) and take a taxi (~$150/van one-way) to Stanley, which is ~1 ½ hours north. It costs more to fly to Hailey than Boise but more convenient. Wood River Taxi in Hailey- 208-788-TAXI.
Plan to arrive in Stanley, Idaho by early evening the day before your trip for our 8:30pm meeting at the MFRE warehouse, located ¼ mile west on hwy 21 from the Mountain Village Resort on the left hand side of the street, between the Triangle C Cabins. There are three MFRE wooden oars at the driveway entrance. We will get acquainted and answers questions, and have a 1-hour orientation to show you how to pack the 3 waterproof bags we provide for your personal gear. Please have dinner before the meeting. The next morning we depart at 8am. You can leave your car parked at the MFRE warehouse during the trip. Valuables are best left in the trunk of your car.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Middle Fork River Expeditions attracts gifted guides for whom leading trips is their passion. Middle Fork River Expeditions guides positively elevate your experience by being educators, companions, and the best of friends. Most MFRE guides have 10 or more years experience as guides, all are First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue Certified, and are licensed by the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board.
Middle Fork rapids are rated 1 to 4+ in June on a scale of 1 to 6. In our state-of-the-art whitewater rafts, you’ll run 100+ rapids with the aid of experienced, professional, licensed guides. River Requirements: Minimum age is 16 in April and May. Please note, all participants must be able to swim and be in good physical shape.
River Craft Options
MFRE provides paddle rafts and Oar rafts on this trip so most guests must paddle. After all, this is wha the trip is all about, the whitewater!
We offer drinking water at all times as each raft has a water cooler as well as electrolyte crystals during lunch. For evening we provide non-sugary drinks like La Croix. If you like Coke and Diet Coke you can bring some on the trip if you wish. We provide limited (1-2 glasses/person) red and white wine in the evenings. We do not provide beer and you are free to bring some, just make sure beer is in cans only. For those who want more than a couple of glasses of wine at night, you can bring more wine if you wish and glass is ok. Hard liquor can be brought in glass as well.
Idaho weather can be variable and vigorous especially in April and May. So come prepared cold weather clothing. There is no such thing as bad weather if you bring the right clothing. Synthetics are best for layering and keeping you warm in all weather conditions. Weather during the daytime is 60-70F and evenings 30-50F. The easiest way to think of river trip clothing is having both daytime “river” clothes which are synthetic and dry camp clothes which are cotton and more comfortable. The daytime clothes will be wet and your camp clothes will be dry. Have a back up set for both and you will be very well prepared. Below is our recommended clothing and equipment list. If you bring what’s on the list you will be all set for the trip.
MFRE Clothing and Equipment List
- Splash gear (jacket and pants) for daytime
- Sleeping bag, pad and tent
- 3 Dry Bags (1 for evening gear, 1 for sleep kit and 1 small for daytime gear)
- Farmer John wetsuit
- Waterproof socks and gloves
- Life Jacket (Type V)
- Helmets (for inflatable kayaks, paddle raft and stand up paddle board only)
- All water craft
- MFRE coffee mug– a gift for you to take home
- Sarong or quick dry towel (good for sun, drying off or changing clothes)
- Water bottle with carabiner
- Personal toiletry items
- Biodegradable soap (no bathing within 100 feet of any water source is allowed)
- Sunscreen lotion and chapstick
- Sunglasses with retainer
- Sun hat (baseball hat ok, but larger full brim better with chin strap is better)
- Bathing suit
- Socks – 4 pair (2 cotton for camp, 2 synthetic for hiking)
- T-shirts – 3 (two cotton for evenings and one synthetic for daytime)
- Long sleeved shirts – 2 (one cotton for evenings and one synthetic SPF sun shirt for daytime)
- Long pants – 1 (jeans for evening)
- Shorts – 2 (one cotton for evenings and one synthetic for daytime)
- Underwear – assorted (cotton for evening and silk/synthetic for daytime)
- Rain jacket (we provide splash gear tops and bottoms for daytime but nice to have a dry rain jacket at camp)
- Medium weight fleece or sweater
- ski hat
- gloves for evening
- 2 pair of synthetic long john top and bottoms, and fleece type pants.
- Shoes – dry shoes for Ranch (lightweight hiking boots or tennis shoes)
- Shoes – river shoes (Tekstra or Keens with toe coverage is best but Teva’s will work too)
- Camera and spare battery
- Ziploc bags – handy for small items or to isolate wet articles from rest of gear
- Olay face wipes or other brand for cleaning face
- Shoes- flip flop sandals (for drying out feet at camp)