Middle Fork of the Salmon

Journey through the River of No Return Wilderness


Crystal-clear water, soothing natural hot springs, dramatic gorges, and near perfect native Cutthroat habitat merge to create the premier whitewater rafting adventure of the West. Descend 3000 feet in elevation through 100 miles of unforgettable Class III-IV rapids and breathtaking scenery on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Join us for six fabulous days on some of America’s finest whitewater!

Go Wild, Idaho Style

  • 6 days, 100 miles of pristine water
  • Exciting whitewater every day
  • Amazing side creeks and canyons
  • Several relaxing hot springs
  • Great hiking to stunning vistas
  • Learn about pioneers & visit homesteads
  • Rich Native American history & pictographs
  • Superb Cutthroat trout fishing

In the heart of central Idaho’s 2.3 million acre Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness flows the Middle Fork of the Salmon. This river’s dynamic landscape begins in high, dense forests of Fir and Spruce, then passes by majestic Ponderosa Pines on grassy benches, and finally enters the impressive granite gorge of the Impassable Canyon. Oar boats, paddle-boats, and inflatable kayaks are available so you can choose your level of excitement on any given day.

The Middle Fork Salmon River corridor hosts more than just pristine waters and Westslope Cutthroat. Bighorn sheep, deer, elk, black bear, wolves, mountain lions, playful river otters and eagles make their home along the river. Explore cascading waterfalls, Native American pictographs, pioneer historic sites, and hermit hideouts before settling in around a roaring campfire and delicious Dutch oven dinners. Relax under the stars with our knowledgeable, kind and fun-loving guides as you soak in the stillness of a remote mountain wilderness.

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The Stats

Departure Month June, July, August, September
State / Region Central Idaho
Adventure Level Relaxed, Moderate, High
Price Range $1500 - $2000, $2000 - $3000, $3000+
Activities Whitewater Rafting, Fishing, Inflatable Kayaking, Family Rafting, Hot Springs, Hiking



See you here
June and July Middle Fork Salmon trips begin in Stanley and end in Salmon, Idaho. August trips begin and end in Salmon.

Before the trip
Fly commercially into Boise, Idaho, then take Gem Air into Stanley, Idaho. Make your reservations at the Mountain Village Lodge (800.843.5475) in Stanley. They will pick you up at the Stanley Airport. We will have an orientation at 6:00pm the evening before your trip begins at the Mountain Village Lodge. Regardless of date, when water levels drop to a certain level we will fly into Indian Creek instead of driving into Boundary Creek from Stanley. All August trips will fly into Indian Creek.

All August trips will start and end in Salmon. For August trips, we recommend staying at the Stagecoach Inn (208.756.2919) in Salmon or another nearby option the night before the trip. Orientation will be at the Stagecoach at 6 pm.
Trips launching in August will fly directly to the river from Salmon.


Gem Air Flights
Round trips from Boise to Stanley or Salmon and Salmon back to Boise can be scheduled with Gem Air.
Phone: 208.756.7382
Website: https://www.gemairflights.com
Email: [email protected]

Driving: If you choose to drive to Stanley, you can arrange to have your car shuttled from Stanley to Salmon by River Shuttles or All River Shuttles.

River Shuttles
Phone: 800.831.8942
Website: https://www.rivershuttles.com
Email: [email protected]

All River Shuttles
Phone: 208.839.2308
Website: https://allriversshuttle.com/
Email: [email protected]

After the Trip
We provide transportation to Salmon from Cache Bar take out. It is about a two hour drive. You can either fly out of Salmon to Boise later that day or stay in Salmon and fly out the next morning. We recommend staying overnight in Salmon at the Stagecoach Inn (208.756.2919) in Salmon or if you decide to go to Boise the Best Western Vista (800.727.5006).

Sample Itinerary

Day before the trip:

Arrive in Stanley, Idaho (or Salmon, for August trips). We’ll get together in the evening at the Mountain Village Lodge (or Stagecoach Inn in Salmon) to hand out dry bags and go over any last minute details and answer questions.

Day 1:

We’ll depart around 8am and have a 2-hour drive to the Boundary Creek launch site. After a safety talk and orientation we’ll begin our journey. *lower water trips will launch from Indian Creek, 25 miles down river from Boundary Creek. Indian Creek is only accessible by plane.

Day 2-5:

We’ll be relaxing, running rapids, fishing, hiking to beautiful waterfalls, soaking in hot springs, exploring historic sites, and anything else you’d like to do! Our schedule is flexible so we can customize the trip to your interests.

Day 6:

We’ll arrive at our takeout at Cache Bar in the afternoon for lunch and have a roughly 2-hour drive to Salmon, Idaho. You can spend the night in Salmon and enjoy a farewell dinner that evening, or catch an evening flight with Gem Air to Boise.


Camp Life & Meals

Yes, we do normally change campsites every day. This allows us to cover new scenery, rapids, and side adventures each day at a fun, comfortable pace. On the Middle Fork Flathead we usually take one “layover” day where we stay at the same camp and spend the day fishing, hiking, or relaxing.

On The River

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