RIVER RATING: Class III-IV
TRIP MILES: 80 - 100 Miles
PUT-IN: Boundary Creek or Indian Creek
TAKE-OUT: Confluence of the Main and Middle Fork Salmon River
RETURN TIME: 5:00 PM MST Salmon, Idaho
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 10 to 12 depending on ability
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft
Daily on the Trail
The Middle Fork Canyon is a place of superlative beauty. Your interpretive guide will point out prehistoric cave and rock paintings from the days of the Tukudeka, or Sheepeater Indians. You will hike through granitic pine-studded mountains rising to a sky of magnificent dimension and often enjoy transparent views to a golden pebbled river bottom. There are several hot springs along our route and we’ll stop to enjoy them, perhaps even making camp at one.
In this unspoiled land, we’re very likely to see bighorn sheep, probably more than once as they use licks along the river. We’ll also see eagles, hawks, songbirds and waterfowl and if we’re lucky, we’ll have sightings of deer, elk, mountain goats, mink, and river otter.
This trip offers luxury camping and fine dining. Around 4:00 pm we arrive at camp. The cargo boat has gone ahead of the walkers and has the kitchen set up as well as the spacious 2-person tents that ROW provides. All you have to do is carry your personal gear to the tent of your choice and roll out your thick sleeping pad and sleeping bag. This leaves plenty of time to relax, climb a mountain, read a book, take a dip, watch for birds, throw out a fishing line or soak in the rays of the sun.
On the fifth day of our adventure, we enter Impassable Canyon, a narrow, granite-walled canyon of spectacular dimension. When the trail was being built by the CCC in the 1930’s they got through just eight miles before they gave up to the vertical walls of granite and turned the trail west to head up Big Creek.
On our last day, you enjoy a long day of whitewater fun on the river. For about 20 miles we are in a narrow granite-walled gorge of spectacular dimension, the constriction of the river, coupled with the large volume of water makes for an exciting day. Then a 2-hour bus ride will put everyone in the town of Salmon at about 5 pm. We make hotel reservations at the Stagecoach Inn that evening. Therefore, you can make your return travel plans the next day.
Enjoy our gourmet hors d’ oeuvres and meals. dinner. The quality of our food reflects the quality of the wilderness environment in the Middle Fork canyon. We hand-select the freshest fruits and vegetables we can find and pack them carefully in huge ice-coolers. Likewise, these coolers carry fresh dairy products and meats. From these ingredients, we prepare bountiful, healthy meals. Sustainably harvested wild Alaskan Salmon served with a fresh garden salad; Prime Rib combined with a fresh Chilean salad and Idaho mashed potatoes or made-on-the-river lasagna is a few possible entrees. Big salads of vegetables and fruit add color and variety to every meal. Desserts are made each evening in our Dutch ovens and range from authentic cobbler and pineapple upside-down cake. We serve juice each morning and moderate amounts of bottled wine with dinner. We also provide two beers and two sodas or juices per person per day. There's always plenty of cold water, lemonade mix, tea, coffee, and cocoa. You're welcome to bring your own beverages or alcohol as well. We always have plenty of ice to keep your drinks cold.
When to Go
The cooler months in June and September have been our guest's favorite for hiking the Salmon.
ROW will make your pre-and post-trip hotel reservations for you and this will be reflected on your invoice. The evening before the trip we stay in Stanley, Idaho at the Mountain Village Resort or on trips from July 30 on, at the Stagecoach Inn located in Salmon, Idaho.
At 7 pm MST ROW’s Team Leader will meet you for a one-hour orientation, to answer last-minute questions and give you your waterproof bags to pack. This is an important meeting, so please be on time. The next morning, we meet at the designated time set by your Team Leader and transport you to the river.
May/June, when flows are adequate, we go by bus for about two hours to the put-in point at Boundary Creek. At lower flows, we fly from Stanley to Indian Creek.
August/September, if flows are adequate to float from Boundary Creek, we fly from Salmon, Idaho to Bruce Meadows, and then transfer by bus about 30 minutes to the put-in at Boundary. At lower flows, we fly directly from Salmon to Indian Creek.
Please have breakfast on your own before we meet. At the end of the trip, we return you to the Stagecoach Inn in the town of Salmon by 5 pm where we encourage you to spend the night. The Stagecoach Inn will be happy to provide transportation to the airport in the morning after your stay.
Note: As noted above, in a typical year, the first 23 miles of the Middle Fork becomes too low to float by late July or early August. Logistics are explained above. The additional expense for this flight (about $160 per person) will be billed to each trip member. The same situation sometimes occurs on early June trips due to too much water and/or the put-in road being closed due to snow. To learn more you can read our blog about Middle Fork Flows.
August/September: Drive to Salmon, Idaho, and leave your car in the parking lot of the Stagecoach Inn. There is currently no charge for this.
IF YOU FLY:
For trips meeting in Stanley, May/June: The nearest major airport is Boise and you need to arrive in Boise the day before the launch dates listed, arriving no later than 4-5 pm. From Boise you have two options: 1) Take an air taxi from Boise to Stanley and then from Salmon to Boise at the end of the trip. The cost is roughly $400 including tax. Please call Gem Air at 208-756-7382 or Sawtooth Flying Service directly at 208-634-7774, to make these reservations. 2) Rent a car and drive about 3 hours to Stanley. Then have it shuttled to Salmon for about $140, not including gas, reserved online directly with River Shuttles. The Mountain Village Lodge charges an additional $15 per vehicle left for shuttling. Then your car will be awaiting you at the trip's end. It's about a 6-hour drive back to Boise from Salmon. If you are flying back to Boise, you should not book your return flight out of Boise until after 8:30 am the day after your trip gets off the water.
(Example- On the July 6th trip, you'd fly to Boise on July 5, be on the river July 6-11, spend the night of the 11th in Salmon, then the morning of the 12th take the air taxi flight to Boise, and fly out of Boise sometime after 8:30 am.) The air taxi service will take you from Salmon to Boise (1.5-hour flight) whenever you need to leave, based on your commercial flight from Boise and the schedules of any other passengers who might have flights within an hour or two of yours. The exact flight time from Salmon to Boise will not be confirmed until the evening before the flight.
For trips meeting in Salmon, August/September: The nearest major airport is Missoula, Montana. The most economical solution is to rent a car and drive 2 ½ hours south to Salmon where you leave your car during the trip.
If you have luggage that you won’t need on the trip there are a couple of options.
- If you need to reach ROW at the last minute, try our office first at (208) 765-0841 or 800-451-6034.
- Mountain Village Resort in Stanley: (208) 774-3661 or 800-843-5475
- Stagecoach Inn in Salmon: (208) 756-2919
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
- A cool day on the river.
- A warm day on the river.
- Time spent lounging in camp.
- One large waterproof bag (16” in diameter x 33” tall) per person. This will contain your sleeping bag as well as your personal clothing and items. This bag is NOT accessible during the day as it goes ahead of the group with our cargo raft.
Note: This bag will also contain additional gear provided by ROW: Sleeping bag, flannel liner & pillow
- A small daypack (9” in diameter x 20” tall) for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
- Two T-Shirts (1 quick dry and 1 cotton for a hot day)
- One light long-sleeved shirt for sun protection and cool evenings. Popular options are a rash guard or sunscreen shirts.
- Two pairs of shorts (nylon quick drying always better than cotton).
- Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
- Swimsuit – two-piece suits are easier for women - tankinis with river shorts are a great option.
- One pair of river sandals (must have an ankle strap, no flipflops!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen, or Merrells. Tennis shoes with polypro socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold. These shoes are for creek crossings and the last 20 miles through Impassable Canyon where raft ride is required.
- Well broken in high top boots.
- Water bottle with carabiner.
- One Cap, Sun Hat or Visor (ROW hats are available when you arrive.)
- One rain suit, jacket & pants (windbreaker without cotton liner works well, but no cheap ponchos)
- Mid-weight to light-weight long underwear tops and bottoms. Best worn over a swimsuit and undershorts.
- One synthetic or wool mid-weight sweaters for layering on the river on cool days.
- Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
- Bee Sting kit for those allergic to bees
- Sun Screen
- Water bottle with carabiner
- Extra Cap, Sun Hat or Visor
- Two Short sleeve shirts (Enjoy clean and comfortable)
- One pair of pants (lightweight nylon, cotton or fleece)
- Pair of shorts
- One synthetic mid-weight sweaters for cool evenings
- Underwear and socks
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra bulb and batteries
- Skin lotion, lip balm, waterproof sunscreen, etc.
- Toilet kit - toothbrush and paste, soap ( biodegradable is best, no soaps can be used in the river), camp towel, washcloth, comb, handkerchief, a small pack of tissues, small mirror, moist towelettes, shaving stuff, feminine sanitary supplies, etc.
- Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses strongly suggested. ALL glasses need a head strap!
- One pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes for cooler weather and hiking. (We don’t recommend you bring large hiking boots as they take up too much space and aren’t necessary.) Flip-flops are also comfortable for easy walking on sandy beaches!
- Stocking Cap/ Beanie for cool nights
- Two pair wool or polypro socks to wear on the river
- One additional synthetic pile or wool shirt
- Wool or poly gloves & wool or poly cap (like a skiing hat)
- Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case is also highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
- Hiking gaiters.
- Paddling Gloves
- Sarong – many uses for both ladies and men
- Sundress for camp – ladies
- 2-3 Carabiners for clipping items to the boat
- Plastic garbage bags (2-3 for separating dirty/wet clothes in your waterproof bag)
- Cards, games, books, musical instruments, journals
- Fishing gear and Idaho fishing license if you plan to fish - must be in a protective case & disassembled. We suggest you buy lures at the Stanley Fly Shop (208-721-7151) as they have daily updates of what the fish are hitting. Only catch and release fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed!!
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester. A cotton T-shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
- LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and synthetic or wool shirt as a base layer. You do not want to wear cotton on the river on cool rainy days. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
- LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
- LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
ROW provides Farmer John style wetsuits for our cold weather trips through July 6 (long legs, but no sleeves). These are often worn with your polypro long underwear underneath for extra warmth. You will still need your fleece sweater and rain jacket for warmth on your upper body. Wool or fleece socks can also be worn with the booties if your feet tend to get cold.
Middle Fork Reading List - Some of our favorite books at the Middle Fork and Salmon River.
Boise Guide - Helpful ideas on what to do before or after your trip.
Middle Fork Salmon River Flow - See how the River is running.
Weather Report - Check the local weather before you go.
Trip Photo Album - Browse a photo album from a recent trip.
Trip Advisor - Read guest reviews.
Save our Wild Salmon - Get educated - Join the cause.
Terms and Conditons
Our hope is that your first trip with ROW Adventures is just one of many. Thus our goal is to provide thorough and complete communications and be clear with the details of our agreement with you. Because the fine print sometimes changes, you will receive the most current Terms & Conditions along with your travel documents at the time of booking.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We do our best to provide you with all kinds of great resources to prepare for your trip. These include packing lists, reading lists, detailed itineraries and more. All of our multiday river camping trips include tents, sleeping bags, and pads. In most cases, we will even help you book a hotel room prior to and after your trip. The reservation packet that we send you will include a detailed gear list of what you should bring.
Most of our trips are suitable for beginners; however, some are more active than others. A spirit of flexibility and adventure is a good thing to bring along. It’s important that you understand the physical requirements for whatever trip you choose. If you’re not sure about this, or you’re not sure which trip or date will best meet your needs, please call for advice from our talented and knowledgeable Adventure Consultants. Be sure to read the “Trip Member’s Responsibility” below and if you have any medical concerns we encourage you to speak with your doctor before reserving space on a trip.
If you are planning a special event during the trip such as a birthday or anniversary, please let us know as always have a few surprises up our sleeves. On our trip application form, you can indicate any food need you might have and we’re happy to accommodate those.
HOW TO SIGN UP
To make a reservation, please contact us by one of the following methods:
1) Call us at 800-451-6034 – Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
2) Send us an email at info@ROWadventures.com
3) Use the “Book Now” tab found on some trip pages on our website.
We accept all major credit cards for the initial deposit. When we receive your reservation request we will hold your space and send you a confirmation packet including, invoice, trip application, waiver, and a suggested packing list. However, confirmation is not final until we also receive a copy of your completed trip application and deposit. Credit cards are accepted for deposits – balance is preferred by check. Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee. While it is often possible to join one of our trips on short notice, space is limited and we recommend you sign up well in advance.
The following deposit amounts are required to confirm your space(s) within 10 days of your reservation:
Trips lasting 6 or more days: $600 per person.
Trips lasting 5 days: $500 per person.
Trips lasting 4 days: $400 per person.
Trips lasting 3 days: $300 per person.
USA-based trips: Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure.
Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee.
Reservations made after the balance due date must be paid in full at the time of booking. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if full payment is not received by the due date.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately. If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit. Deposits are not refundable. If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded. If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself. Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason, we strongly recommend you consider purchasing the Travel Protection Plan ROW offers.
If you transfer from one trip to another, there is a $75 per person charge for USA-based trips (within the same season) up until 60 days prior to departure. Transfers made after these times are treated as cancellations.
GROUP AND CHARTER RATES
On most trips, we offer a Group Rate for groups of 10 or more. We are also happy to arrange private charter trips. Contact us for details.
TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan which can include a full trip refund should you cancel at any time for medical or health reasons. Coverage also includes medical evacuation, trip delay, and other elements. Because so many of our guests purchase this plan, we add the cost to your invoice as a convenience and it becomes effective on the day your premium is received in our office. Should you not wish to purchase this travel plan, simply deduct its cost from your invoice.
TRIP MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITY
Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. We are happy to discuss the trip with you if you have any questions or concerns. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the trip. Members are also responsible for studying all pre-departure information; for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as detailed therein and, for acting in a manner considerate of fellow group members.
Any person who is diabetic, epileptic, or asthmatic or has a history of heart trouble, is allergic to bee/scorpion stings or takes daily prescription drugs should include this information on the reservation form or inform our office. Trip members will also alert their guide (s) of any medical history that could become a problem on the trip. People with a history of heart trouble, pregnant women or any other potentially serious medical condition should consult their doctor before coming on a trip.
RESPONSIBILITY ~ AN IMPORTANT NOTICE
Payment of your deposit represents your acceptance of the following conditions: ROW Inc., ROW Oregon LLC and Remote Odysseys Worldwide, Inc. (dba ROW Adventures), its subsidiaries and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agents for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever for injury, loss or damage to person or property, however caused, in connection with any service, including, but not limited to, that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, irregularity, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from strikes, theft, quarantine, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, government restrictions or regulations, civil disturbances, and discrepancies or changes in transit over which we have no control.
ROW Adventures reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good-faith discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or re-price any tour, trip, or expedition. This includes the possibility of moving to a different river or river segment due to extreme water conditions, forest fires, road closures and/or acts of God. If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to ROW Adventures.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to cancel trips that are below the trip minimum (usually 4-5 persons). All trip members will be notified a minimum of 30 days before the trip departs and will receive a full refund.
In the event of trip cancellation, ROW Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by trip members, such as penalties incurred through the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, and passport and visa fees.
ROW Inc., and ROW Oregon, LLC, each doing business as ROW Adventures, are proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider under separate permits from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Idaho and Washington State Parks. These permits allow us to provide services and access to some of America’s most astounding resources that might otherwise be inaccessible to most members of the public.
ROW Inc. operates under special use permits granted by the Bureau of Land Management: Jarbidge, Vale, Cottonwood, Coeur d’Alene, and Judith Resource Areas. We operate under a special use permit granted by the U.S. National Forest Service on the: Salmon, Payette, Boise, Challis, Clearwater, Umatilla, and Panhandle National Forests. Also the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
ROW Oregon, LLC operates on the Rogue River under permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District along with the U.S. Forest Service in Siskiyou National Forest.
All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”
ROW Inc. is bonded and fully licensed by the states of Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Oregon. We are members of America Outdoors; Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association; Montana Outfitters and Guides Association; National Association of Interpretation; Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation and many other effective organizations.
If you wish to be wait-listed for a full trip, the normal deposit is required. If an opening occurs on the trip, you will be informed and automatically transferred to the trip roster if you wish to join the trip, subject to the normal cancellation policy should you accept the slot. Otherwise, your deposit will be refunded in full.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to take photographic or film records of any of our trips and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to decline to accept- or restrain from further participation- any person whose actions or deportment impede trip operations or rights, welfare or enjoyment of other trip members. A refund based on the cost of unused land services is the limit of ROW Adventures’ responsibility.