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!

Similar Trips:
Main SalmonMiddle Fork Flathead

Departure Month: August, July, June, September
Region: Idaho
Rating: Beginner, High Adventure, Intermediate
Pricing: Above $2000, Between $1500 and $2000

Ranked #3 for Top 10 whitewater rafting adventures in the World by National Geographic.

Check out an article about the Middle Fork Salmon published in this 2011 issue of National Geographic!

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, passes by sand bars and 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.

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.

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

And if you don’t want it to end….

Middle Fork – Main Salmon Combination Trips

The only thing that could make your trip on the Middle Fork any better is making it longer! After the confluence, continue down the famous Main Salmon River, the River of No Return, for five more days. This incredible 11-day whitewater adventure covers over 180 miles of the Salmon River.

Book 2022 Dates

Middle Fork Salmon

June 7 – 12
June 16 – 21
June 25 – 30
July 3 – 8
July 11 – 16
July 19 – 24
July 27 – August 1
August 4 – 9
August 12 – 17
August 20 – 25
August 28 – September 2

6-Day June Trips ~ $1950.00 – $2,225
6-Day July and August Trips~ $2450.00*
*Price does not include a $4.00/day Forest Service Recreation Enhancement Act Fee.

Included: Transportation via plane or bus (depending on time of year) to the river from Stanley, Idaho and from the river back to Salmon, Idaho. All meals starting with lunch the first day and ending with lunch the last day. We provide the use of our sleeping gear and tents, or you can bring your own gear and receive a $40 discount. We also provide you with Type V life vests, dry bags for your clothing and night gear, and a small dry bag for use during the day.

Not included: Prices do not include motels before and after the trip, alcohol, or guide gratuities.

Group and child discounts available.
Charter trips are available for groups of 18 or more. This means your group has reserved the entire trip.  Please call us for charter availability at 800.252.6581.

Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your trip with the remaining balance due 45 days prior to the trip.

Cancellation and Refunds: Operating quality trips is a costly operation with no margin for losses resulting from late cancellations. The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away. Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides engaged, supplies bought, rafts and vehicles assigned. If notice of cancellations is made more than 45 days prior to departure, you may transfer to any other trip in the same season without penalty. Otherwise the cost is non-refundable.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a short term traveler’s insurance policy.  Trip cancellation will cover your losses on non-refundable air and land cost on unexpected cancellations.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather or water conditions. In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given. If possible, we will offer the option of a different or comparable type trip.


June and July Middle Fork Salmon trips begin in Stanley and end in Salmon, Idaho.

August trips begin and end in Salmon.

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.

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.

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

River Shuttles

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 at the Stagecoach Inn (208.756.2919) in Salmon or at the Best Western Vista (800.727.5006) in Boise.

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.

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. *August trips will launch from Indian Creek, 22 miles down river from Boundary Creek. The only access to this site is by plane. Our flights will leave from Salmon at around 8AM.

Day 2-5: We’ll be relaxing, running rapids, fishing, hiking, 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 in the afternoon and have a 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 Salmon Air to Boise.

Middle Fork of the Salmon River Suggested Gear


This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Having the right gear is essential to ensure you have the best possible experience on the river! Most of the gear listed you will already have or you can use it year-round on any outdoor excursion. We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy.

We encourage no stereos or speakers to promote yours and others wilderness experience.



SLEEPING BAG, PAD, PILLOW, TENT, AND GROUND CLOTH…packed in a large dry bag for you.

LARGE WATERPROOF BAG…for your clothing and personal items.

WATERPROOF DAY BAG…a smaller dry bag for items you would like access to during the day.


RAIN GEAR… good jacket and pants, ponchos aren’t enough. AVOID VINYL & CHEAP PLASTICS.

3 LIGHTWEIGHT SHIRTS…at least one long sleeved.

2 PAIR LONG PANTS…one lightweight, one warm.

SHORTS…synthetics dry faster.

SWIMSUIT…nylon is best because it dries faster.

CAP OR SUNHAT…in case of wind attach with a tie or clip.

WARM WOOL OR SYNTHETIC HAT…for cool evenings. A must for everyone.

GLOVES OR MITTENS…synthetic or wool.

2 WARM SHIRTS…fleece or wool.

LONG UNDERWEAR…polypro or capilene (not cotton) tops & bottoms.

WARM JACKET…synthetic down is warm even when damp.


SNEAKERS or STURDY SHOES…well broken in, for wearing around camp and on side excursions.

SOCKS…4-5 pair, we suggest 3 medium synthetic wool and 2 liner socks or lightweight socks.

RIVER SANDALS/SHOES and/or OLD SNEAKERS FOR WATER…it’s nice to have a shoe for walking around on the rocks and getting in and out of the boat.

NEOPRENE SOCKS…can be worn under river shoes to help keep your feet warm in the cold water.

SUNGLASSES AND CROAKIES/CHUMS…protects against glare. We suggest you pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts.


SMALL DAY OR FANNY PACK…for side excursions.







WATER BOTTLE…at least 1 liter.

ZIPLOCKS…for personal trash and organization.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES…if desired (in plastic or aluminum containers, no glass!).

WRO provides a MAJOR FIRST AID KIT.  However, we do recommend you bring your own preferred personal medication and accessories (Advil, Tylenol, Aspirin, Band-Aids, Cold medicine, etc..)

Optional Items: small pillow, pillowcase or mesh bag for dirty clothes, binoculars, camera (with extra battery/memory card), book, journal or musical instrument, and fiesta-wear!

Reviews from the Middle Fork of the Salmon River Trip

18 friends/family went down the Middle Fork of the Salmon with WRO in August. OMG! It was a trip of a lifetime. WRO took excellent care of us. Not only were they fun and great on the river, they kept all of us safe, cooked amazing food for us over fires, and instructed us in kayaking, plants, cultural history, natural history, and more. We could be like herding cats, but they were patient, kind, and professional. I highly recommend WRO and the Middle Fork.
2018 Trip Advisor Review

Everything was top-notch: the guides, the food, the gear, etc. If you’re looking for an adventure, don’t hesitate to book with WRO. My family had the trip of a lifetime.
Al Zachary (2018 Facebook review)

You can’t do any better than going on a river trip with WRO! The guides are super friendly and super capable. Puts everyone at ease. And did I mention the food…fantastic!
Cindy Phelps (2018 Facebook review)

It was my fourth trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and each time with a different outfitter. What made this trip so special? The staff of WRO! Not only were they knowledgeable about all aspects of the river itself – the history, best rapid routes and scouting access points, play spots, waterfalls and hiking trails…most importantly they went out of there way to make sure everyone, every day was enjoying themselves. As someone pointed out, the 5 WRO staff knew all 23 of our names before we knew their 5 names. Just very personable; felt like they were a part of our group instead of company staff. If I’m able to do one more trip on the Middle Fork, I want to do it with these people.
~Tom Prichard (Facebook review 2016)

My friend Gayle and I joined about 14 others for an absolutely outstanding trip down the Salmon Middle Fork last July. We had the best guides: PJ, Alex, Erin, Jessica, and Brad. Not only did they arrange for the rain to stop after the first day, but they set us up in beautiful camps the whole way. They catered to our delight in hot springs and made efforts to get us to at least 5 of them! The dutch oven cooking was amazing to behold and all the food was 5 star. We also jumped off rocks into the river, challenging our nerve and verve, made a thrilling hike down a bouldered waterfall, and lay under another high waterfall letting drops land gently on our faces. I loved paddling a raft and a kayak, and just being rowed down the river looking for wildlife. Best trip ever!
2016 Trip Advisor Review

Our guides Seth, Kyle, and Ryan were fantastic! They were extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful.  The hikes from the river, hot springs, native history sites, and geological education were outstanding. The rapids on the river were great fun and the food could absolutely not have been better!
~Janette Pippas (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)

Thanks to Wilderness River Outfitters for a wonderful time on the river. I read that we may leave the river, but the river never leaves us. The Middle Fork is a wonderful river, and I am happy to keep it in my mind.
~Teresa Sarmina (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)

Just wanted you to know how much T.J. and I enjoyed the Middle Fork trip.  he food was outstanding and the guides (Matt and Amanda) were more than competent boatmen and off the river they were knowledgeable and fun to be around.
~Jeff Stein (Middle Fork Salmon – 2012)
You should know that the guides did everything possible to provide us with an awesome trip. The river was fantastic but even better was the camaraderie we developed with your WRO family.
~Jeff, Brenda and Jamie Nelson  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Thank you for your strong commitment to the wilderness experience. You did not cut corners. The planning, staff, equipment, supplies, and organization were top-notch. Your family’s personal touch was very evident.
~Alan and Alisha Edmundson  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Brent and Jessie were excellent guides. They were experienced on the river and it showed. It gave me confidence to do more and kayak in a higher level rapid. We also certainly enjoyed the scenery; the opportunity to kayak…and the food was wonderful. A 5 star rating.
~Janelle Travis  (Middle Fork Salmon)

We take outfitted trips in many countries and yours is one of the best. Our highlights were the experienced guides and fabulous fun, all the extras, good food, silly beach games, rock climbing, hiking, the history and good equipment.
~Tamara Blank  (Middle Fork Salmon)

It is amazing to be able to turn 360 degrees and see nature’s beauty in all directions.
~Dennis Austin  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Exceeded my expectations greatly! Every inch of the trip was terrific, and everything about the guides, food, equipment, etc. was excellent. Kyle and I enjoyed every minute of the trip and were happy campers from start to finish.
~Mel & Kyle Bass  (Middle Fork Salmon)

The trip was by far a 5 star experience for me. Your guides Kyle, Gary, Chris & Luke were exceptional!
~Laurie Morton  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Having us leave our watches behind was a great idea. That set a more relaxed time. Kudos to all of you at WRO. I’ve heard about your trips for 30 years from various members of my family, and now we are looking forward to more!
~Judy Shepard  (Middle Fork Salmon)

The guides made the difference! They were friendly, knowledgeable and treated us with the biggest possible attention. Thank you again. It was an unforgettable experience.
~Ursula Kiessling  (Middle Fork Salmon)

Everything about the trip was superb, but the most memorable of all was the people – your family and your guides are the most wonderful group. I am reminded regularly of how kind, generous and unflappable you and your crew were with us. Thanks – you set the standard!
~Martha, Michael and the kids Gangemi (Hayden Creek Ranch/Middle Fork combo)

We feel fortunate to have lucked into an outfitter which caters to smaller groups and which didn’t treat us like a “dude.”
~Glen & Nancy Baisinger  (Middle Fork Salmon)