More than any other trip we offer, this trip changes lives!
For seven or eight glorious summer days you will float 90 miles of the Salmon River in the heart of the Idaho backcountry. Long, full days on the river, wonderful, relaxing nights under the stars, countless memories. Rapids, beaches, creeks, hikes, campfires, lessons, stories, friends. Sore muscles that last a week, cool tans that last a month, memories that last forever. You'll gain confidence and come away energized by learning a new skill and making new friends.
The goal of this school is to get you as much rowing time as possible. We'll take lots of rafts, big ones with instructors and little ones with just a single student each. The rapids are pretty straightforward, great for learning how to navigate whitewater and the water is pretty warm, just in case you don't learn fast enough. The campsites are wonderful, ideal for figuring out how to do the whole cooking thing and the length of the trip is just right, full but not long days and relaxed evenings. And, best of all, our instructors are patient angels, ready to teach, show, share, and laugh with you.
We hope you can join us.
Day 1: Pre-trip meeting at 8:00 pm at the Stagecoach Inn in Salmon.
Day 2: We will re-convene at the Stagecoach Inn and travel by van to the launching point on the Main Salmon, (2-3 hours). After a thorough safety orientation, we will head downriver. The first day has a few small rapids (Killum and Gunbarrel) and plenty of places to practice basic skills. We will make camp in the early evening, distribute camp chores, and have time for relaxation, exploration or education.
Days 3 - 6 or 7: We will continue downriver, traveling about 10 miles per day, plenty of time to work on ferrying, pivoting, and catching eddies. Each day will present new challenges, both in terms of whitewater and instructional topics such as rigging, safety, repair, self-rescue, swift water swimming and interpretation. The most difficult rapids (including Split Rock, Big Mallard and Elkhorn) will come on days 5 and 6. We will also take time to explore the Main Salmon canyon, including stops at hotsprings and historical sites along the river. As the school progresses, students will take a more active role in the day-to-day logistics and decisions; instructors will offer advice and encouragement and will present challenging scenarios.
Last day: We will take-off the Main around mid-day, de-rig the rafts, load the trailer and drive to McCall. The school will end in McCall. Due to the unpredictable nature of the school and the potential for delays, we recommend spending this last night (August 24th) in McCall.
Our Idaho rowing school promises to be a true adventure! This is a great course for those who want to develop rowing skills for private trips, for those who want a little guidance as they delve into extended wilderness excursions, or for those who just want to row a raft and enjoy a week in one of the west’s most majestic canyons. The Main Salmon offers excellent solitude, camping and hiking, as well as fun and exciting rapids. It is a great place to be and a wonderful place to learn how to row a raft.
Our school will cover over 80 miles of river between Corn Creek and Carey Bar. The Main is a large-volume river with a variety of Class II and III+ rapids. Generally, the rapids are long and wide with big waves and holes although there are some that require more technical maneuvering. Strong eddies and good expanses of smooth current provide valuable time to practice ferrying and eddy-catching techniques. We will take advantage of the warm, late-season flows to practice swimming, self-rescue techniques and righting flipped rafts. We will also have time to enjoy numerous off-river activities including soaking in hot springs, visiting historical sites, and taking adventure hikes. While our primary purpose will be to learn and improve our rowing skills, many students enjoy the off-river aspects of the school as much as the on-river portions; come prepared for a full and fulfilling adventure.
There are three transportation options for the school. Please select the one that best fits your travel plans and let us know your choice when you complete your registration form on-line.
Meet in McCall Option: Meet at 5:00 pm the day before the school starts (July 23 or August 16) at the airport in McCall and fly to Salmon before the school. If you are driving from the west, this is probably your best option; you can leave your vehicle at the McCall airport (free) and ARTA will arrange and pay for your flight from McCall to Salmon before the school. The Stagecoach Inn can provide airport pickup service when you arrive in Salmon. We will return you to the airport in McCall on the last day of the school (July 30 or August 24).
Meet in Boise Option: Meet at 5:00 pm the day before the school starts (July 23 or August 16) at the Gem Air desk at the airport in Boise and fly to Salmon before the school. If you are flying to Idaho for the school, this is probably your best option. ARTA will arrange and pay for your flight from Boise to Salmon before the school; the Stagecoach Inn can provide airport pickup service when you arrive in Salmon. We will return you to the airport in McCall on the last day of the school (July 30 or August 24) and you will need to arrange your own flight from McCall back to Boise for after the school. Contact McCall Aviation (800/992-6559) or Gem Air (208/756-7382); the cost of the flight is about $200 per person.
Meet in Salmon Option: Meet at 8:00 pm on the day before the school begins (July 23 or August 16) at the Stagecoach Inn in Salmon and fly back to Salmon after the school. If you are driving from the east, this is probably your best option; you can leave your vehicle at the Stagecoach (free) and ARTA will arrange and pay for your flight from McCall back to Salmon on the last day of the school (July 30 or August 24). The Stagecoach Inn can provide airport pick-up service.
If you have any questions or need more information, just give us a call.
The full details (where to meet, what to bring, etc.) are here. If there are any questions we haven't answered, send us an e-mail or give us a call (800/323-2782). We love to talk about our trips, so don't be shy.