Whether you’re an experienced angler or you just love the outdoors, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is perfect for all ages and skill levels! Imagine bonding with your family or group over sunny days on the crystal-clear river, surrounded by breathtaking scenery and wildlife. This trip is the stuff of dreams!


Experience the “River Of No Return”!

Located in the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness lies the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, a.k.a “The River of No Return”. This wilderness area is nestled in central Idaho and is the 2nd largest gorge in the lower 48 states. Dubbed the crown jewel of the rafting world, you, your family, friends, or company group, can experience the vacation of a lifetime floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. This trip combines all of the best adventures that Idaho has to offer: Nature, whitewater, great fishing, hiking, camping, tasty backcountry Dutch oven cuisine, hot springs, ancient history, sunshine, campfires, starry nights, no cell phones, wildlife galore, and so much more! If you’re looking for an experience that delivers unforgettable memories, then this trip is for you.

Over 6 days, you’ll continuously witness dramatic changes in geology and scenery, as you travel up to 100 miles on modern, self-bailing rafts and inflatable one-man kayaks (an optional way to witness the river, if you’d like to try riding solo), with extensively trained and qualified guides. The equipment is excellent and the rafts are high, dry, and very stable. The season is broken into 3 sections (early, mid, and late season), each featuring a different experience on the water. This is a highly sought-after trip, recommended for all skill levels and all anglers and outdoors(wo)men ages 4 and up, with previous clients rating this mountain adventure as “over the top fantastic”! This is the trip of a lifetime, specializing in making memories.

Your week of adventure will begin the evening before, where you and up to 23 others will gather into the picturesque alpine town of Stanley, Idaho. In Stanley, you can bear witness to the beauty of the Sawtooth Mountains and enjoy the simple things the evening before launch (and gather any last-minute supplies/snacks). Here is where you’ll meet the family-owned and operated guiding company that will do everything they can to ensure your trip into the wilderness won’t be your last. You’ll meet for a group pre-trip orientation at a local shop to go over any questions, do a quick introduction to each other, and be given dry bags to keep your gear dry for the journey ahead. That evening, you’ll stay in a local lodge (not included in the rates, but we will arrange lodging for you upon booking).

At 8am the next morning, a chartered bus will be ready to take you to the beginning of your wilderness vacation. A 2-hour scenic drive will drop you off at Boundary Creek, and a US Forest Service employee will give an educational river use orientation, followed by the guide’s river safety orientation.

Once you become an expert in all the safety requirements asked of the government and guiding company, you’ll be given a life jacket to wear for the week, and then you’re ready to take off on the water! Over 6 days, you’ll dive deep into the forest, with little intrusion from the outside world. The river starts off in the alpines, so it’ll be a little cold to begin, but this class IV river will drop 28 feet per square mile, so it won’t be long before you’ll be enjoying sandals, bathing suits, sunscreen, and basking in the sunshine.

This is a place to get away from society and be wild and free, and the energetic crew that will be guiding you through your journey on the river will help to take your experience over the top.

The tireless crew prioritizes service, kindness, attention to detail, and they are extremely professional. The outfitter holds true to his mentality of “if I wouldn’t trust them with my family, I won’t entrust them with yours”. Each guide is extremely knowledgeable of the landscapes and will share fun hikes, special hot springs, historical areas such as where the Sheepeater Indians made their home, and of course their amazing backcountry cooking skills and customer service. They also have a “go with the flow” attitude, meaning, aside from specific circumstances (like going through a rapid), if you want to fish, then fish… if you want to swim, then swim; There’s little rules on the river and they want you to enjoy every second of it.

Other things to look forward to include, but are not limited to, jumping off rocks, laughing, making new friends, abundant wildlife like Shiras Moose, Rocky Mountain Elk, Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, majestic Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Idaho’s state bird (the Mountain Bluebird).

You will not want this wilderness vacation to end!

There’s really nothing like waking up next to the river and the cool mountain air! Each evening you’ll land on a new beach on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, with fresh scenery and wildlife opportunities. Even though you’re “roughing it”, you’ll be well catered to and provided with comfortable and private tents, ample sleeping space, and plush bedding, with plenty of room for all your gear. Everything is provided and set up by seasoned guides, so you can kick back and enjoy the river life! 

A typical day on the river looks like this: Wake up and enjoy hot beverages such as coffee, tea, or hot cocoa while the guides prepare breakfast by the river, break down the tents, gather your gear, and get the boats ready for the day. You’ll leave camp and head on the water, where you can relax, fish, swim, etc. and stop at a beach for lunch. The “Sweep Boat” will be ahead of you, with all your gear and the camping supplies, so by the time you arrive at your next camp spot for the evening, all your gear and tents will be set up for you (you can ride the sweep boat if you’d prefer to get to camp a few hours ahead of everyone for extra alone time).

When you arrive at camp, you’ll have plenty of time to change, unwind, drink, and more, as dinner is being prepared. The guides will accommodate any dietary restrictions and allergies, and you can watch as they prepare healthy, delicious food on the open fire. Dining tables, chairs, cups, real plates, and silverware are included, along with a kitchen ensemble that travels with you, including Dutch ovens. Each night, you’ll have a bonfire after dinner amid the arid climate. 

You will have bathing opportunities in camp and the river is a surprisingly hygienic environment, with little to no insects.

With over 100 miles of river to raft, you’ll be sure to catch some fish! Fishing on the Middle Fork is legendary; You’ll have plenty of opportunities to fish for common species indigenous to Idaho such as Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, Whitefish, and even more uncommon species in this river such as Steelhead Trout, Salmon, and Bull Trout, with most fish ranging 4-18 inches in length. The prime fishing season on the Middle Fork is July to Early August. (after the “Big Water Blowout” and before the water temperature hits its highest for the year)

Fly fishing or spin casting equipment are both acceptable to bring and you’ll be provided a gear list upon booking. Please be mindful that all fishing on the Middle Fork is catch & release and you must fish with artificial flies or lures with a single barbless hook; Lures with treble hooks need to have 2 hooks removed and the barb flattened on the 3rd hook. If you’re fishing with flies, you only need to flatten the barb. 


Early Season (Late May – June) 

Late May to June means big whitewater! If you’re looking for the biggest waves and the wildest ride of the year, the early season is a must! Be prepared for wetsuits and lots of action! June 5th consistently produces the highest water levels of the year, and is great for adrenaline junkies or those looking for less fishing and more rafting. The water generally starts to tame down after the big water blowout, around the 14th (but nothing’s guaranteed and water levels can still be flowing heavily and elevated a little later). The temperature is generally in the 80s during this time.

This is a great time to see the Middle Fork in less time and for less money!

Mid Season (Late June – July)

This is prime time for fishing; The water is calm, the levels have dropped, rapid stretches are more defined, with plenty of action still. There are generally a lot of families on the water at this time and is very busy, so spaces book fast! 

Late Season (End of July – August) 

The end of the season starts to taper down, but is phenomenal for fishing! There are less people towards the end of the season, and the water is calm and warm for drifting and swimming. If water levels get too low, you’ll need to fly into a remote landing strip to access a safe part of the river. Flying in with our Backcountry Fly-In trip can give you a great opportunity to have the river to yourself (and can save you a few bucks too)! 

In most cases, you’ll begin your trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River by traveling to Stanley, Idaho. Later season trips (in August) typically begin and end in Challis, Idaho (just about an hour north of Stanley). We also have a backcountry fly in trip, if you’d prefer to fly directly to the river.

To begin this adventure, you’ll fly into Boise, Idaho (1) (most domestic airline companies will have direct flights). From Boise, you’ll either take a small plane to Stanley (2) or rent a car and take a scenic 3-hour drive. Once you arrive in Stanley, you’ll spend the night in the small, alpine village for the evening, before heading to the river (3). Once your trip is complete, you’ll be shuttled back to Stanley, where you can return to your rental car or fly back to the Boise Airport. Although, we recommend spending a second night in Stanley to refresh before your travels back home.


(1) Boise Airport (BOI)

(2) Stanley, Idaho

(3) Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Gear will be hauled via the “Sweep Boat” and you’ll be provided with dry bags prior to launching to pack your belongings in. You’ll be responsible for certain items to insure a successful rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. If there’s anything you can’t get in time, Stanley has several well-equipped stores that carry almost anything you will need.

Here’s a general list of items you can expect to bring with you:

(a comprehensive gear list will be provided upon booking)

  • Personal Gear & toiletries
  • Warm and waterproof layers
  • 3wt or 5wt rod and reel
  • Assorted flies
  • Extra line (minimum 4lb)
  • Leaders (minimum 4lb 5X)
  • Fishing license (can be purchased online or in Stanley)
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Hard case for your rod and reel
  • River shoes
  • Hiking and/or tennis shoes for camp
  • Bathing suits
  • Personal medications
  • Alcoholic beverages: you buy it, they’ll haul it (no glass)


  • 6 days of guided fishing through 100 miles of the wilderness
  • Professional guides with years of experience
  • Dutch oven backcountry cooking
  • Standard condiments 
  • All of the camp chores, set up/tear down, cooking, dishwashing, and raft navigating (you can relax and be catered to)
  • Transportation to Boundary Creek (start)
  • Transportation back to Stanley from Cache Bar (finish)
  • 1 Large dry-bag for your personal gear 
  • 1 Small dry container for camera & other small items
  • Sleeping bag with a 40°- 80° rating, and a good quality sleeping pad
  • Life jacket
  • Oar rafts, paddle raft, 1-man inflatable kayaks (Depending upon water level & group size)
  • Chairs, tables, tents
  • Kitchen equipment and utensils
  • Water purification system
  • Plenty of non-alcoholic beverages (pop, juice, etc.)
  • Wine & Margaritas
  • Fishing advice
  • Whitewater advice 
  • History lessons
  • Entertainment


  • Alcoholic beverages (if you buy it, they’ll haul it – no glass)
  • Gratuity for guides
  • Travel to Boise & Stanley
  • Hotel accommodations for Stanley 
  • Fishing license
  • Forest Service Fee
  • Fishing Gear

Normal rafts and inflatable kayaks are included in the rates. If you’d like an aluminum frame (for fishing), those will be available at an additional cost per angler.


  • Early Season (5-Day Float) (May – mid June) // $1,925 / person
  • Peak Season (late June – mid August) // $2,950 / person
  • Late Season (late August – September) // $2,150 / person


  • Early Season (5-Day Float) (May – mid June) // $1,925 / person
  • Peak Season (late June – mid August) // $2,950 / person
  • Late Season (late August – September) // $2,150 / person


If you’re interested in talking to a consultant or booking this adventure, please complete this form.