Like peanut butter and chocolate, the Middle and the Main were meant for each other; two incredible things combined into one to create something even better. You get the Middle Fork of the Salmon with its clear water, pristine wilderness, abundant hotsprings, intimate scenery and incredible fishing PLUS you get the Main Salmon with its beautiful beaches, warm water, fascinating history and relaxing pace. You get 185 miles of everchanging scenery and over 65 named rapids. You get to experience almost an entire watershed – starting within 20 miles from the headwaters and ending within 40 miles of the confluence. You get envious hugs from the departing Middle Fork guests, then “turn the corner” and get respectful handshakes from the newly arriving Main Salmon guests. You get to disconnect from tomorrow and reconnect with now. You get 12 days of life on the river. You get 12 days of life.
More about the Middle Fork and Main Salmon
This is the ultimate combination of two of the west’s premier rivers: the Middle and Main Forks of the Salmon River. We float 185 miles through the heart of the Idaho backcountry.
The Middle Fork is the classic mountain river and is widely considered America’s best wild river trip. For 97 pristine miles, the river cuts through a canyon of remarkable history, beauty, and solitude, providing the setting for one of the finest wilderness whitewater vacations available. The river is diverse and unpredict-able. The upper reach, (which we only run on May, June and July trips), is intricate and intimate, as the creek-like stream cascades over rocky ledges and winds through an evergreen forest. The middle section, (where we begin our August trips), is more open and arid with longer vistas of expansive hillsides and isolated stands of giant pines. The lower stretch (where we spend the final days of all our trips) is awe-inspiring as the river cuts through the impressive rock walls of Impassible Canyon. All along the way, the river provides plenty of excitement with rapids that range from short abrupt drops to long, technical boulderfields. Velvet Falls, Powerhouse, Haystack, Redside, Rubber and Hancock are a few of the river’s better known rapids.But whitewater is only one of the Middle Fork’s special attractions. We will stand beneath shimmering waterfalls, soak in miraculous hotsprings, and swim in water too clear to believe.
And then we’ll “turn the corner” and see what the Main Salmon has to offer!
Known as The River of No Return, the Main Salmon offers a great passage through the Idaho backcountry and into the history of the old west. Our trips begin where the road ends at Corn Creek, and finish where the road ends at Carey Creek. Here the river alternates between stretches of lively whitewater and sections of peaceful current, providing a balance of excitement and relaxation. Each day is filled with fascinating things to see and interesting places to explore. Clear, cascading sidestreams, natural hotsprings, Native American artwork, abandoned mines, decaying homesteads, and plenty of wildlife are just a few of the attractions.
Early season trips are scheduled for 6 days because the water is high and fast, giving us the rare opportunity to travel 185 miles in 6 days. Later in the summer the rivers are a bit tamer and slower, and 12 days are needed to enjoy the entire stretch. Both trips offer a chance to see a vast section of wilderness and to immerse yourself in the rhythms of life on the river.
I’d done the Middle Fork before and I was so curious and felt so deprived when we got to take-out and stopped with all this glorious, unmet river and canyon beckoning to us. I knew I had to come back. I am so glad I did – I feel complete now.