All Inclusive Adventure Vacation
Our Salmon River rafting trips begin in the town of Salmon, Idaho and finish in the mountain town of McCall, Idaho. Five days in length, these journeys are perfect for everyone. Thrilling rapids, such as Black Canyon, Elkhorn, and Dried Meat get your adrenaline running. The scenic calm waters between rapids allows you to relax and unwind, just before the next rapid appears around the next bend. Campsites along the Salmon River provide the perfect setting to sit back and relax in the peace of a wilderness area. Or maybe white sheets and whitewater on a lodge stay trip fits your fancy. For your complete whitewater rafting experience, our trips utilize many different types water craft. Self-bailing paddle boats for those wanting to be part of a team, inflatable kayaks for those adventure seekers wanting more control of their own whitewater destiny, and oar boats for those who prefer to just relax, letting your guide row you down the river in true vacation style!
Trip Orientation Meeting Location
All of our trips depart from Salmon, Idaho. Our pre-trip orientation is held at the Stagecoach Inn at 7:00 p.m. the evening prior to your departure date. For reservations at the Stagecoach Inn call 1-208-756-2919. For information about the town of Salmon visit www.salmonidaho.com
On the morning of your departure date a shuttle will arrive in front of the Stagecoach Inn at 7:15 a.m. We will depart the Stagecoach Inn at 7:30 a.m.
Pre-Trip Orientation Meeting
Our pre-trip meeting is held in the court yard out back of the Stagecoach Inn. Here you will meet your trip leader at 7:00 p.m who will give you a thorough presentation of the fun that lies ahead. He or she will also distribute sleeping bags and waterproof “dry” bags in which you should put all of your personal gear and your sleeping bag. You will also get a “day” dry bag in which to put items that you will want as we float down the river. Tents, camp chairs, and sleeping pads will already be packed on the rafts and will be available to you on the river after the first day of rafting.
This pre-trip meeting is a great time to ask any questions or address any last-minute concerns you may have. However, it is important to communicate with the River Time Guide Service office well before your trip to discuss any special needs or wishes you have for the trip. After the meeting, we ask that you please put your personal gear in your dry bags so they are ready.
5 – Day Camp Trip Conclusion
These trips end in the mountain town of McCall, Idaho. We put in at Corn Creek and take out at Carey Creek from early June to mid-September. On the afternoon of Day 5 your trip ends approximately 81 miles downstream at Carey Creek, where we will meet our charter van for the 1.5 hour drive to McCall. All ground transportation to and from the river is included in your price. Once in McCall, you are delivered to your hotel or the airport, depending on your post-trip schedule.
3 – Day Camp Trip / Jet-Boat Back Conclusion
On the morning of day three our chartered jet-boat meets us on the river. Once we are all aboard we take a 3 hour trip up-river to Corn Creek where it all started. We will have lunch at the Corn Creek campsite prior to boarding a shuttle van and head back to Salmon, arriving around 4 p.m. Once you arrive in Salmon you are delivered to your hotel or the airport, depending on your post-trip schedule.
5 – Day Lodge Trip Conclusion
Each night will be spent at a different lodge located on the banks of the Main Salmon River during the course of your trip. Each one will prepare a delicious dinner upon our arrival and see us off each morning with a hearty breakfast. On your last day we arrive at the take out around 1 p.m. where a shuttle vehicle awaits to take you to the town of McCall. Depending on your post-trip travel arrangements you will either be taken to the airport or to your hotel. Or you may choose to end your trip with a scenic flight out of the canyon from Shepp Ranch. We can arrange for a charter flight to arrive after breakfast on the last day of your trip and take you back to Salmon, McCall or Boise. This flight is not included in the trip price.
The Salmon is a class III-III+ river. Each day on the river we run playful and moderately challenging rapids that are ideal for first time rafters, experienced river runners, and families with children of all ages. Certain days are more rapid-filled than others, and there are many long, peaceful, calm pools with scenery that has been described as the most beautiful on earth.
The difficulty of whitewater on the Main Salmon River can vary depending on the water levels. If you are an experienced rafter looking for just the adrenaline rush of big whitewater and a fast flowing river, then you may want to consider a trip in late May or June. Where as, trips in July through late August, with lower flows, are perfect for families with teenagers, young children and seniors.
Class I: – Fast flowing water with small, non-threatening waves and riffles; few or no obstacles; little maneuvering required.
Class II: Easy – Waves may be large, but the rapid is pretty straight-forward. May require some minor maneuvering, but usually prior to entering the rapid. Clear passages are usually evident without scouting.
Class III: Medium – Narrow channels with big and often irregular waves, large holes and rocks. Maneuvering within the rapid is generally necessary; scouting from shore may sometimes be necessary.
Class IV: Difficult – Long powerful rapids that require precise maneuvering to avoid holes, hydraulics and dangerous rocks. Consequences of missing a channel will almost certainly result in a flipped boat. Take all possible safety precautions.
Class V: Very Difficult – Scouting considered mandatory, long rapids with wild turbulence. extremely dangerous rapids that require complex maneuvering while in the rapid. A swim would be extremely threatening.
Class VI: The Limits of Navigation – Rarely run waterfalls and rapids, attempted only by teams of experts under favorable conditions. Serious consequences are likely in the event of a mishap.
Our Main Salmon River rafting trips have something to offer just about anyone looking for an outdoor rafting adventure. There is no previous experience necessary, there is a trained guide in each raft to provide instruction and to insure our guests the safest and most exciting trip possible. In fact, this section of the Salmon River has proven to be the perfect fit for those of every skill level. Including those looking to take their very first rafting trip, families with grade school age kids, all the while still providing excitement for even some of the most experienced rafters.
Minimum Age Requirements
Our minimum age is 6, except on high-water trips, the minimum age is 14. The maximum age is up to you! Your guides will be there to help with any aspect of your trip.
Activity Levels And Participant Fitness
River Time Guide Service trips are created with fun, curious, and nature-loving adventurers in mind. These trips are perfect for first-timers, families with young children and beginners to intermediates looking for manageable thrills. While still having a great deal to offer even the most experienced of rafters.
As with any outdoor activity sport, whitewater rafting does require a degree of physical exertion. It is not a requirement that you be a honed athlete, however you should be fit and in good health for this trip. If you have any questions regarding your physical health, we recommend that you contact a physician before making reservations.
Your trip begins at an elevation of approximately 3,000 feet, depending on the time of year, weather conditions on the river will vary. Early season trips in May and June can be cool with day time temperatures ranging in the 50’s to 80’s and even colder at night. Temperatures in mid to late summer, are typically in the 80’s and 90’s during the day with warm evenings in the 60’s. Of course, it is not unusual for a mountain storm to occur anytime during your trip. Therefore, it is important to closely follow the gear packing list that we provide in the trip confirmation packet.
We serve dutch oven style prepared meals for breakfast and dinner using the freshest ingredients available. Hord’oeuvers are served each evening prior to dinner along with a beverage of your choice. Our delicatessen lunches are prepared on the banks of the Salmon River, complete with fresh meats, vegetables, fresh fruit and other snacks. If you are celebrating a special occasion during your time with us please let us know, we would be happy to prepare a cake to celebrate the special event.
Please let us know if you have special dietary concerns, and we will plan and cook accordingly.
Beverages: Fresh water is available at all times. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and juice are served every morning. At lunch water and powdered drink mixes are available. In addition we furnish a limited amount of beer and wine with dinner.
You are welcome to bring all the additional beverages, alcohol, including hard alcohol that you might like. Please avoid glass containers if at all possible! Plastic bottles and aluminum cans work well. If you are planning on bringing beverages for your trip we recommend that you purchase them in Salmon, Idaho.
On the morning of the launch date the shuttle van driver is more than happy to stop at the North Fork store before heading to the launch site.
Cooking Photo: Eric Evans Photography/CascadeOutfitters
River Time Guide Service provides boats, life-jackets, waterproof bags, camp chairs, tables, cups, plates and eating utensils. We also provide sleeping bags, pads, tents, and, when necessary, wetsuits. A complete list of what you should bring will be sent to you after we receive your reservation and deposit.
We camp along the river in pristine wilderness, usually on expansive sandy beaches or isolated forest glades. In the case of rain, tarps are set up over communal eating and sitting areas. We also carry EZ-Up shade tents that we quickly set up for sun shade comfort at lunch on hot summer days. We proudly practice minimum-impact camping and carry out all trash.
Bathrooms and Showers
River Time Guide Service is proud to provide private bathroom and shower cabanas (we call them “huts”) on all of our Salmon trips. These huts are set up in convenient and private locations. The shower hut features hot water that pours from a thermal bag that is securely nestled above your head. Soap holders and towel racks compliment this incredibly sophisticated camp shower system. For the toilet hut we carry a portable metal box chemical toilet (similar to motorhome toilets) that is set up each evening in a private and scenic spot away from the heart of the camping area. A system that will be explained by your guides allows for all campers to know when the shower and toilet is in use. Our guests are consistently impressed with, and appreciative of, the deluxe River Time Guide Service bath systems.
Fishing on the Salmon river is generally good. You are welcome to bring along your personal fishing gear, which can be placed on on gear boats. Depending on the season, anglers may land whitefish, rainbow trout, and steelhead (which must be released during the summer months).
Although salmon are spotted on the river during the summer, they are considered endangered. Therefore, it is against the law to fish for Sockeye or Chinook salmon.
Idaho requires you to have a fishing license if you intend to fish on your rafting trip. On the way down to the launch site the shuttle van will stop at the North Fork store, were you can purchase a fishing license.
Your guides will make every effort to see that the trip is enjoyable and successful. Gratuities for guides are appropriate, greatly appreciated and at your discretion. The common practice is to give the gratuity to the trip leader on the last night of your trip. It will later be divided equally with the rest of the crew. If you are happy with your trip please let us and your guide(s) know. Thanks!