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Middle Fork of the Salmon

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In the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness of central Idaho
Salmon River
Class III - IV
River Length
96 miles
4 to 6 days
May to August


The Middle Fork of the Salmon has frequently been rated one of the ten best whitewater raft trips in the world. Among the first recipients of the prestigious Wild and Scenic River designation, the Middle Fork is entirely enclosed in the sprawling Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area, the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states. Miles away from roads and cities, the Middle Fork of the Salmon is one of the most isolated rivers in the nation.

Six to eight day trips begin at Boundary Creek, on the edge of the wilderness area. This is the highest upstream the Middle Fork can safely be rafted, and early in the season may not yet be open. Shorter trips begin at Loon Creek, after a beautiful flight in a private plane.

In either case, rafters will float through pine-covered mountain slopes and narrow gorges, surrounded by wildlife and untouched natural splendor. Thrilling and frequent rapids of up to Class IV difficulty will keep rafters on the edge of their seat throughout the length of the river, and some of the technical stretches are not recommended for first-time rafters. At the end of the day, riverside hot springs invite a relaxing soak, and those wishing to stretch their legs can make use of hiking trails that adjoin the river.

Most trips end at Cache Bar, just after where the Middle Fork joins the Salmon River proper. From there, it’s about a 90 minute car ride to civilization in Salmon, Idaho.

Tour Companies

  • Main & Lower Salmon
  • Rafting
  • 800-624-6323

Holiday River Expeditions - Rafting Since 1966, Holiday Expeditions has provided trips to the most spectacular landscapes on earth. Today, we offer whitewater rafting in Utah, Colorado and Idaho, on the Colorado, Green, Yampa, San Juan and Salmon rivers. Click here for the ride of your life!

  • Outdoor Adventure Leader
  • Rafting
  • 800-451-6034

ROW Adventures We are Idaho rafting! Why are we different? Famous gourmet meals, hand-selected interpretive guides, just relax-we set up the kitchen and campsite, and we are the only outfitter with over 30 years of first-class rafting vacations on the Middle Fork Salmon, Lower Salmon, Snake River in Hells Canyon and a dozen others. Choose us today!

  • Salmon River, Snake River, Hells-Canyon-National-Recreation-Area
  • Rafting
  • 866-904-1161

Western River Expeditions Idaho River runners at any level of experience are bound to find the right rafting trip with Western River Expeditions. If you've never run a river or slept outdoors, you are like many of our guests. Relax. We design our trips to be comfortable and accessible to most everyone, regardless of experience. After all, this is your vacation.

Forested canyons
Class III - IV
River Length
96 miles
4 to 6 days
May to August
Guides Available?
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