A rafting vacation on the Main Salmon often entails many questions. What type of boats are used? How does camping on the river work? What is the food like? What do I need to bring and what is supplied by Western River Expeditions? You'll find answers to all these questions and many more in the categories below.
Please consider carefully any medical or health condition that would endanger yourself, or others on the trip, or diminish the enjoyment of an adventure vacation such as this. Factors of age, weight, lack of conditioning, heart or other disease can become exacerbated by the environment, remote distances from a hospital, and physical challenges of a rafting adventure. It is critical that you are in reasonable health and physical fitness at the time of departure so that our staff can focus their attention equally on all trip participants. If you are taking any medications, we should be made aware of these and what these medications are treating. If you have any questions or concerns please talk with us and we can help you consider your options.
If you or any of the participants in your party have special dietary requirements, severe or life-threatening allergies of any kind, a multi-day rafting trip may not be a suitable trip for you. Due to space limitations and the nature of our buffet-style meal service, we are unable to accommodate dietary requests such as Kosher and Vegan. If you are unable to find options on our standard meal service (see below) that meet your dietary needs, you may supplement the existing meals where necessary with some of your own food, as long as it does not require cooking on our limited stove and cookware surfaces.
Please Note: If you have a gluten free, vegetarian or pescatarian dietary request there will be a $50 fee added to your reservation.
Snacks may include: trail mix, granola bars, Chex mix, Ritz bits, Rice Crispy treats, candy bars and honey roasted peanuts. Fresh fruit is also available on request.
We encourage you to carefully evaluate your overall physical, mental, and emotional condition in relation to these environmental challenges. If you have concerns or questions about your physical condition, we recommend you also consult your physician. If you have questions about the specific parameters of a rafting trip with Western River Expeditions, please contact our office at 1-800-453-7450 or 801-942-6669. We would be happy to provide any other information you need to make this decision, or to discuss any of this information in detail.
Physical fitness on a rafting trip is probably the very best way to get the most out of your adventure. Hiking to hidden attractions away from the river's edge, shooting rapids with anticipation rather than anxiety, and possibly even swimming in the river are among the more active things where being more fit will enhance your whitewater rafting vacation. Feeling confident with your abilities is always a great feeling, but the rewards you'll get from physically preparing your body for a rafting trip will pay off in numerous ways, possibly adding years to your life. Now THAT'S living! So, how does one best prepare physically for a rafting adventure? Great question. We've made a list of simple exercises that can be combined together and are specifically applicable to a rafting adventure:
Strength: Gripping ropes (or paddles) is one universal constant for any rafting trip. Start squeezing stress balls or spring-loaded grip strengtheners. Keep these small items handy (pun-intended) while stopped at a red light, working at the desk, or while walking and talking. Legs are another key area to focus on - especially if you want to explore the side trips away from the river's edge. Start with walks around your neighborhood while gripping hand weights to strengthen grip simultaneously. You might as well do some curls with those hands weights while you're at it! Some hikes require some (or a lot of) stair-stepping activity. To really get your legs ready, consider squats, burpees, jump-rope or jumping jacks. All the little muscles in your feet that give you balance will come in very handy (or is that footy)? while walking on uneven terrain.
Lungs & Heart: Breathing heavy is a sure sign your heart rate is up. You probably know lots of ways to get your heart rate up, but one of the best ways to work your entire body (muscles AND heart and lungs) is an exercise with a stupid name, called "Burpees." (No, that's not what you get from consuming a 7-11 Slurpee too fast). You can do burpees at any pace you are ready for, but do it long enough to get breathing hard, then catch your breath and repeat for, say 5 minutes a day. Add in walking your dog, using hand-grip weights or anything else that also strengthens your grip to be more time efficient as you prepare.
Flexibility: Sitting in a raft is different from how we normally sit in a chair. Walking on uneven terrain is different than on a paved path. Flexibility may be more important than strength in helping prevent injuries. Consider that when you absolutely don't want to exercise, but you do have a minute to stretch. Always be stretching.
Balance & Mental Awareness: Of course knowing your own limits is vital for keeping yourself safer - and that responsibility can't be placed on anyone but you! While exercising and preparing for your rafting trip, pay attention to two things: (1) Your own sense of physical balance, and (2) how much harder you can push yourself that you initially may have thought. These two things will keep you safer, while also moving beyond self-imposed limitations and comfort zones. That's the definition of a great adventure!
Drink lotsa water: Get used to drinking a lot of water as you exercise more. In the hot sun, even simply sitting on a raft, you will sweat and burn more calories than you may have thought. Hydration is not an area to "push through" and "be tough" about! Drink water! Reward that hard working body!
Swimming skills are a plus! Swimming is a great way to prepare for a rafting trip too. You may (voluntarily or involuntarily) be doing some swimming on your rafting trip. Don't let that scare you. You've got a lifejacket (PFD) on at all times and may only need to do some strokes and kicks to get yourself back to the boat, or to shore.
Myth #9 on our 11 Myths of Whitewater Rafting page dispels the notion that you must be athletic to enjoy a rafting trip. Take a look there if you want to learn more about what to expect on rafting vacations.If you have concerns or questions about your physical condition, we recommend you also consult your physician. If you have questions about the specific parameters of a rafting trip with Western River Expeditions, please contact our office at 1-800-453-7450 or 801-942-6669. We would be happy to provide any other information you need to make this decision, or to discuss any of this information in detail.
If you are pregnant, you will not be permitted to go rafting. Our trips take place in remote wilderness settings where access to advanced medical care can be hours away (possibly overnight), and conditions such as extreme heat and vigorous activity can exacerbate discomfort and any known or unknown conditions.
Please remember that you will not always be pregnant, but the river will always be here. We do not believe it is worth the risk, no matter how early you are in your pregnancy. We think moms are special and hope you understand.
If you use a CPAP machine, please ensure that you can complete the trip if your CPAP machine fails or your batteries don’t last. Medical evacuation is only available for severe injury or an imminently life threatening condition. You must be able to safely complete the trip without a working device! Please contact our office to advise us if you will be bringing a cpap machine on your trip. 1-801-942-6669
Thank you for carefully considering additional challenges that traveling with a CPAP requires on a multi-day backcountry camping and rafting expedition. It is important to us that you choose wisely, and come well prepared to self-sufficiently manage this need while camping in the backcountry.
An initial deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your space. Deposits may be made by check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express).
We are happy to put a courtesy hold on seats for a 48-hour period of time, we do not require a deposit at this time. Based on the timing of the courtesy hold prior to the trip departure, we may be able to extend the hold time. You will receive an email letting you know that this courtesy hold will expire and you can call and book your seats.
Payment in full is due 90 days prior to trip departure and is non-refundable. Payment may be paid by check (preferably) or credit card.
For your convenience, we offer an automatic payment service to charge the balance due to your credit card 90 days prior to trip departure or you may make partial payments by credit card or check providing the full balance is paid 90 days prior to your trip. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if full payment is not collected by the due date. You may also make payments towards your balance prior to the final due date. These payments may be made online or by phone. Installment payments can be scheduled to run automatically if requested. For payments over $10,000 and for large international payments, a check or wire transfer is preferred.
An initial deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your space. This deposit is non-refundable. Payment in full is due 90 days prior to trip departure and is non-refundable.
Our cancellation policy applies in every instance and there will be no exceptions for any reason. Western River Expeditions will not issue any refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early whether voluntary or caused by other circumstances. Western River Expeditions is not responsible for any expenses incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations, non-refundable airline tickets, or illness. Western River Expeditions assumes no financial responsibility for personal injury, emergency evacuation, or personal equipment lost or damaged in any way.
Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely. However, your trip operator, Action Whitewater Adventures reserves the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions, or the lack of sufficient reservations, or any other conditions which are beyond their control. Action Whitewater Adventures also reserves the right to substitute, when expedient or necessary, anything mentioned in the itinerary with a similar item or river segment. In the unlikely event of a trip cancellation, Action Whitewater Adventures will transfer your trip to the following year. We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance.
If you are concerned about the possibility of having to cancel, you will find information about cancellation coverage at www.travelguard.com/westernriver.
Some of the most difficult situations occur when a guest needs to cancel a few days before a trip because of an injury, a family illness, or some other catastrophic event. In these situations, we generally do not have time to refill the space. Yet, we have already spent considerable time, money, and energy preparing for your trip: scheduling vehicles, flights, drivers, guides and equipment, purchasing food, etc. Because of our short season and very limited number of available seats, we cannot afford the financial loss that cancellations cause. Therefore, consider the investment you are making in your vacation and whether or not you could afford the loss if you did have to cancel.
Not all travel dates are guaranteed. There is a minimum requirement of 6 passengers to confirm any launch. Main Salmon trips appeal to larger family groups so with that, the minimum passenger capacity is usually met. Depending on snowpack, water levels can be high and swift at the beginning of the season which would mean early June could be inoperable. At the end of the season in August, low water levels may cause trips to be canceled. Should the trip be canceled without another option, you will be refunded in full. Any outside travel expenses (airlines, hotels, etc) are not included as refundable.
If the particular date and trip are not available, we are happy to put your name on our waitlist in the event we should have a cancellation for that trip and date. Western River offers many other rafting destinations and we are happy to discuss other trips that would work as an option.
We will be able to take reservations a year in advance of a trip departure (the season prior). You can check availability and make your reservation online or call anyone in our office for availability and reservations.
The maximum permitted capacity for a Main Salmon River trip is 25 passengers.
On a Main Salmon River trip, you will have your choice of oar boats, paddle rafts, inflatable kayaks and paddle cats so every member of the family can choose their own level of activity. An oar boat can take 4 guests with a guide comfortably. An oar boat is larger than a paddle raft and only has the guide do the rowing. A paddle raft has a maximum capacity of 6 - 8 passengers and 1 guide. In a paddle raft, all 6 guests and the 1 guide will have paddles. There are single and double inflatable kayaks, affectionately called “duckies” available for those who want to take on the challenge of the rapids alone or with 1 other (no guide on a duckie). New to the fleet is a 2 person paddle cat. On a paddle cat, there are 2 side pontoons that you sit on top of and each person will paddle on a side.
In order to make sure you and your friends are all booked on the same trip, Western River can send you our direct booking link for that particular trip date. You can then forward that link to the guests you want to travel with. Your guests will make their own reservations online, making note that they are traveling in your group. You can also arrange to put a large number of seats on a courtesy hold, ask your friends and family to call in and make their reservation. From there, we put you all in the same group on the roster.
Any river trip is a great experience for solo travelers. Meet like-minded, adventurous, new friends! On a Main Salmon trip, you have additional pre and post river trip lodging added to your reservation. Those nights are based on double occupancy and would incur a single supplement fee.
The minimum age on a Main Salmon River trip in June is 12 years old, this is high water season. July through August trips have a minimum age of 6 years old. When the water is high and swift, the minimum age is carefully considered. With certain risks that occur on a rafting adventure, it is an ability to self rescue and have a level of maturity that matters most. Age limits are not flexible.
Meals on a Main Salmon trip have a wide variety of food options. But if your kids have particular food tastes and choices, either let us know and we will do our best to pack your trip with food items that your kids prefer. You are always welcome to bring along your own food and it will be packed in our coolers.
The Main Salmon River offers excitement and fun for all ages, especially younger children. Later in the season, when rapids are milder and water temperatures are warmer, kids who are at least 6 years old can really enjoy the Main Salmon River. The minimum age during the early season (June) is 12 years old. The campsites are big with sandy beaches, offering room to play and enjoy your time off of the river.
A detailed packing list is provided before your trip. Each guest should bring their personal items in a soft-sided duffel bag. This should include river clothes for the 5 day trip and camping wear for the trip. All guests are given a large gear bag (33” high x 16” diameter) to put their personal duffel bag into for the trip. You will also have a water-resistant military surplus ammo can. The ammo can will be accessible each day for smaller items like your sunscreen, camera, insect repellent, etc. Be sure to bring a water bottle and a carabiner to clip the bottle to the raft. It is important to stay within a 30-pound weight limit. For safety, the boats must be kept light and maneuverable. If you are taking the travel package which includes the flight from Boise to Salmon, Idaho, weight limit is very important not to exceed.
Dry suits or a splash jacket is highly recommended for any June or high-water July trips. You may bring your own or rental is available online at kayakacademy.com or (866)306-1825. Good quality two-piece rain gear is recommended for July and August trips. Weather in Idaho during the summer months is very nice though the Main Salmon is in the mountains and a storm can come at any time. Ponchos are not effective rain gear.
Guests are not allowed to bring their own life jacket or PFD. Commercial river rafting outfitters are subject to regulations promulgated by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and State Parks. All three of these agencies require that guests of commercial outfitters wear Type V Whitewater life jackets. Personal life jackets are usually meant for lake sports and even Type III jackets, meant for kayaking or canoeing, are not acceptable for use by our guests.
Fortunately, the newer generations of Type V life jackets are very comfortable. They also have a lot more flotation than the typical personal jacket.
Both fly fishing and spin fishing are popular on the Main Salmon. Main species are Rainbow Trout, Cutthroat Trout and Wide Mouth Bass. Fishing on the Salmon River is catch and release only and you will need to have an Idaho fishing license along with a collapsible pole. You can purchase a license online at www.fishandgame.idaho.gov. You can also purchase a fishing license in Salmon, Idaho prior to your rafting trip (if you are spending the night in Salmon the night prior to rafting).
You should be dressed ready to board the rafts. Wear what can get wet and dry quickly. You may want to wear a swimsuit with shorts and quick-dry shirt, have a sunhat with an under the chin strap or clip to your shirt, sunglasses with a retainer, footwear which can be worn on the raft and during the hikes, have your 2-piece rainsuit or splash jacket handy for your day bag.
Always be prepared for all weather conditions, especially sun. The air in the West is much drier than a more humid environment, so be prepared with sunscreen and lotion. Clothing items such as hats and sunglasses are also recommended. For additional relief when the sun is hot, bring along a sarong or head buff or use a quick dry shirt that you can get wet and drape or wear to cool off.
We are not able to supply battery backup or charging devices, you will want to bring along extra batteries or your own charging device.
Personal belongings for your multi-day rafting trip should be placed in a soft-sided duffel bag that will be stored away each day in a large, water tight, gear bag. These gear bags are stored on an Oar boat each day and are not accessible. You will have access to your ammo can on a daily basis. This will protect your smaller items from getting wet.
All of the camping equipment is provided for a comfortable camping experience. You will be given a 2 man tent, ground cover, sleeping bags, cots to sleep on, camp chairs, 1 gear bag and 1 ammo can. US Coast Guard approved whitewater life jackets, Wilderness First-Aid kit and sanitary facilities are also provided.
If you have driven to Salmon, Idaho for the river trip, your vehicle can be shuttled to McCall with your extra luggage. If you have flown into Boise and added the Travel Package to your reservation, any extra luggage not going on the river can be stored at the Vista Inn while you are gone.
We will want to make careful note on our rosters about any medical conditions. Please let us know when making your reservation if you will need to have your medications kept in a cool place. You can carry your medications in your smaller, day bag if you need access during the day, otherwise you can put them away in your duffel bag to have while in camp.
Each day begins with a hearty, western-style breakfast prepared by your guides. Once your tents are down and bags are packed, the boats are loaded for an adventure-filled day on the river. A day on the Main Salmon will have a variety of rapids, hikes, soaking in a natural hot spring or even jumping from large rocks into the rapids along with water fights! Lunchtime will arrive for a good break from the river fun, You will stop on one of the many sandy beaches along the Main Salmon for a buffet lunch. The lunch includes breads, deli meats, cheeses, chips, fruit, veggies and dessert. After lunch, you prepare for more time on the river and possibly choosing a different raft option for the afternoon. This allows ample opportunity for everyone to experience all the raft options if they would like. A few more hours of fun in the rapids and you will stop again on a sandy beach but this time for the night! Deep in the Idaho wilderness, your campsite becomes home for the night. Your guides will prepare appetizers and dinner while you freshen up and set up your camp. Campsites are great for fishing, hiking, swimming and relaxing. Once the night has set, you can watch the stars fill in the sky with their magical performance.
Because you will want to experience all that the canyon has to offer, there will be time spent on side hikes as well as on the river, rafting. You can plan on an average of 1 - 2 hours at a time on the rafts.
June is considered early season and you will experience high water rapids with ratings of class III - IV. This time of year is suited for the hearty, more experienced adventurer. During July and August when the water levels will drop and the water temperature will warm up, there is good technical whitewater that is suitable for all experience levels, some class II to IV rapids during this time of year, a great time for swimming. If going in late August or even into September, you will experience moderate technical whitewater as the levels become lower, this is the perfect time for fishing and relaxing.
A Main Salmon River trip will operate with 4 choices of rafts: oar boats, paddle rafts, inflatable kayaks and paddle cats. This works well so every member of the family can choose their own level of activity. An oar boat only has the guide do the rowing. A paddle raft is a group rafting experience where all guests will have a paddle as well as the guide. There are single and double inflatable kayaks, affectionately called “duckies” available for those who want to take on the challenge of the rapids alone or with 1 other (no guide on a duckie). New to the fleet is a 2 person paddle cat. On a paddle cat, there are 2 side pontoons that you sit on top of and each person will paddle on a side (no guide on a paddle cat)
The water temperature on the Main Salmon can vary from as low as 40 degrees in June to as high as 70 degrees at the end of June and in August.
Swimming in the Salmon River, during the warmer water months, will add to your memories on this rafting adventure. There are all sorts of opportunities to float along with the rafts, cliff jump and play from the sandy beaches in camp.
Because our trips operate in remote, backcountry settings, there are no permanent bathroom facilities. We use portable toilets that we haul with us. We’ve prepared a video describing toilet facilities on the river. Click here for our camping page where you will find the video. If you have further questions, please call us.
The portable toilets described in the video are available shortly after we set up camp each afternoon until we leave camp the next morning. During the day while on the rafts, the guides will make frequent stops at which you can go to the bathroom. Liquid waste goes in the water by wading into the river or going for a swim.
If you expect to be menstruating during your trip, we recommend the use of tampons rather than pads. During the day, you will constantly be getting wet, so pads are not ideal. If you choose to use pads, we recommend wearing a good pair of waterproof rain pants.
A good strategy is to bring several sandwich-sized ziplock bags pre-packed with individual tampons. The same bag can then be used for disposal after use. Toilet facilities will always be available while in camp and the guides will stop as often as is necessary during the day to accommodate your needs. We will always provide a means for discreet disposal of feminine hygiene items. It is best that you bring your own supplies, but we also carry a supply of feminine hygiene products.
Additional tips that have come from previous guests:
It is not possible to be reached while on the river. You can leave the Western River office phone number (800-453-7450) or AWW Adventures numbers (800-453-1482) with your family. A message can be waiting for you as soon as you are off of the river.
There is no cell service while on the Main Salmon River. This is also your opportunity to unplug, leave the rest of the world behind and enjoy your surroundings.
Should there be a medical situation on the river, the guides will have access to Satellite phones to call for help. All guides are certified in first aid and river rescue. Many guides are certified a Wilderness First Responders or Emergency Medical Technicians. All guides carry a satellite phone along with a GPS. Satellite phones are used to contact emergency transport, including helicopters. Depending on the situation, weather and location, evacuation can take from as little as couple of hours to 24 hours in extreme cases.
We do have several guidelines and suggestions for camera use while on your trip. You are free to film and shoot photos during our trips, however, we ask that you consult with your guide before doing so. We have some guidelines you will be asked to follow. These include:
If you’re wondering what type of camera is most suitable for the river, here are a few thoughts.
Waterproof/Shockproof Digital Cameras - These cameras are perfect for everyday use and have become very affordable with most at $100 to $300. They’re rugged and waterproof, but also elegant and trim like any other digital camera.
GoPro and Similar Cameras - Together with their durable waterproof cases, these cameras can take some nice shots while on and off the water. Generally, the wide angle zoom cannot be adjusted so this should be taken into consideration. We ask that you plan to mount these cameras only with the head strap or helmet mount options (bring your own helmet). You will not be allowed to mount the cameras anywhere on the rafts during travel on the river.
Larger SLR Cameras - It is possible to bring a larger SLR camera, but be sure to have something sturdy to protect it. We recommend a hard-shell Pelican Case if you’re planning to bring a more expensive camera. Space is limited on the boats, so we try to keep additional camera equipment minimal.
Aquapac - This is a good solution if you aren’t in the market for a brand new camera, but just want to protect the one you have. It is a flexible waterproof housing to fit a number of camera types -- including video cameras. You do need to make sure the plastic housing stays clean as you’re shooting through it, but a lot of our guests find this to be a nice solution.
Batteries and Cards - While your are in remote areas during your trip, there will not be any location to charge your batteries or devices. Consider bringing extra batteries and memory cards and don't forget to charge your extra batteries before you get to the river.
Small Float - You might consider attaching your camera to a small float that may save your camera if you happen to drop it in the river. GoPro sells a small, attachable float that fits on the back of the camera housing that many of our guests find useful.
A typical day on the river will get you into camp around 4:00 pm. As everyone helps to unload the rafts, you find your gear bag and set off to find your camping spot. After setting up your tents and getting cleaned up, you will find time to play games, hike, fish or just relax. After dinner, a campfire is lit, stories and jokes are shared while the stars dance overhead. The following morning, you will awaken to the smell of coffee and the sounds of your hard working guides preparing breakfast around 7:00 am. Once you have eaten and are ready for the day, everyone takes down their own tents and puts together their gear bags as firelines are formed to help pack the rafts for another day of rafting. Departure on the water is around 9:30 am.
Camping equipment on the Main Salmon River include 2-man tents, cots, sleeping bags and ground cover. Tents are roomy and will fit 2 guests with their dry bags. If you are a solo traveler, you will have your own tent. For most travelers, the option to sleep under the stars is the most desirable.
On many Idaho summer rafting trips, frequent swimming in the clear water leaves you feeling clean. For those guests who want to clean up, it is always done well above the river’s high water line. Bio-degradable soap does not go in the river. Fill a bucket and have a friend help you by pouring water over you after soaping up above the high water line.
It is best to leave your jewelry behind. Rafting is an active vacation and jewelry often gets in the way. Earrings and necklaces can get caught on lifejackets. Rings can also cause injuries when you are holding on tightly to ropes.
The night prior to the trip departure will be dinner on your own. On Day 1, there is a continental breakfast at the Stagecoach Inn in Salmon before you leave for the river. Lunch and dinner will be provided on the river (breakfast on your own). Days 2, 3, 4, you will have breakfast, lunch & dinner on the river. Day 5 will have breakfast and lunch on the river with a group dinner at a restaurant in McCall, Idaho.
The quality of the food on an Idaho rafting trip reflects the quality of the wilderness environment of the river. Meals are plentiful enough for the heartiest of appetites. Breakfasts will be balanced with fresh fruit juices, eggs, pancakes, French toast, omelets, fruits and cereals and a variety of meats including sausage. The lunch menu includes turkey, roast beef, ham and tuna complemented by fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles and cheese. Your choice of bread, chips and fruit, all rounded out by desserts with lemonade and water. Fantastic dinners include crisp green salads, fresh bread, New York steaks, chicken fajitas, and more. Dinners are topped off with desserts like Dutch Oven peach cobbler, chocolate cake and cheesecake.
There will be juice, coffee, tea and cocoa each morning. During the day, water and flavorings for water are available. You are welcome to bring along any additional drinks. No glass, please.
On multi-day river trips, our food service is limited by several factors:
Within these limitations, we’ve crafted a menu that is designed to be prepared quickly and efficiently and to appeal to a large variety of tastes. All of our meals are served “buffet or family style” with any custom, per person preparation being limited to things like “how would you like your steak cooked” or “do you prefer your eggs scrambled or over-easy?”
While we try to accommodate some special dietary needs, we are not always able. If you have a specific food allergy or sensitivity, please let us know. If you have dietary restrictions based on a lifestyle choice or religious practice, please let us know. If your food allergy is severe, we need to have a more in-depth conversation about what can and cannot be done.
Please understand that we may not be able to completely meet your needs. However, we have found that most people find what they need from within our established menu.
The policy we have developed to maximize the common welfare of all guests on a river trip, and to allow our guides to focus their time and attention on critical aspects of a trip is that:
Please let us know of any special dietary needs well in advance. Special food requests made within two weeks of the trip launch date may not be able to be accommodated.
We bring a variety of snacks on every trip. As a general rule, snacks will be served mid-morning and mid-afternoon while traveling down river. If you would like to bring some of your own snacks, small, pre-packaged items are best. We can provide cold or dry storage. If you have special dietary needs, bringing some of your own snacks that work well for you is a great idea.
With runoff on the Main Salmon, June water levels can be high and especially suited for the hearty adventurer. Trips in July through August are when the rafting season is at it’s peak. You will see more boaters in July than in August.
Keep in mind that weather in the northwest is unpredictable. You will want to come prepared for cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes all in the same day! For up to date, current weather forecasts, go to our Main Salmon Weather page. This weather link is for Salmon, Idaho and can change at any time. Weather in the canyon can vary.
There are 2 options to get to your Main Salmon rafting trip. You can meet in Boise, Idaho if you are not traveling by car. This way you can fly into Boise, Idaho (BOI). You will spend the first night at the Vista Inn on the airport property. Early the next morning, at 5:30 am you will meet the charter flight shuttle. You will board a plane that will take you on a beautiful early morning flight over the Central Idaho Wilderness Area to Salmon, Idaho where you will meet your guides and the rest of the group. At the end of your rafting trip, after the last night in McCall, there is ground transportation provided back to Boise by 12:00 noon.
The other option to get to the river trip is to drive to Salmon the night prior to your rafting trip and spend the night there. An orientation meeting is held at the Stagecoach Inn at 7:30 pm that night (this is where you will get your gear bags and ammo cans to pack for the trip). The following morning at 7:30 am all guests meet outside the Stagecoach Inn to get on the road for the rafting adventure. Your vehicle can be shuttled to McCall while you are on the river for an extra fee (you will not return to Salmon).
Transportation from Salmon to the river on the day of your river trip and to McCall on your last day is included in the total price of your trip.
Pre and post trip lodging accommodations are optional and suggested that you choose to add them to your reservation. The cost of these accommodations will be added to the total price of your trip based on your travel plans.
This comprehensive PDF guides include river maps, overview, full itineraries, camping and weather information, details on physical requirements, packing lists and more.