Middle Fork River Trip – 5 Days

Rocky’s late summer river trips offer the perfect blend of solitude, adventure and relaxation. The Rocky Crew has hit its summer stride guaranteeing a truly relaxing vacation through the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness

Trip Details

June 13-17 – *Special Early Season Price click here for details
August 26-30
Sept 3-7

Adults – $1795
Students (10-24) – $1595

Call Jared (208.345.2400) or Contact Us for availability.  We HOLD seats for 7 days without a deposit while you rally your group

Trip Notes – Rocky’s late summer trips offer the unique experience to explore America’s #1 wilderness river at a relaxed, casual pace. Our 5-day trips begin with a scenic flight from Stanley, Idaho to the River. This gorgeous flight allows us to optimize the river, rapids and exploring of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. There is one factor that makes our late summer trips shine above the rest…the fly fishing. Experience why the Middle Fork of the Salmon has been identified as America’s #1, multi-day, blue ribbon trout stream.

The Rocky Crew – The guide crews on our late summer trips offer an amazing experience. They usually  have a unique celebratory tone after a fun and successful summer on the water. The crew has hit their summer stride and have the end of the season in their sites. They will take extra care sharing all of their favorite places, knowing that winter will soon take hold and 8 months will pass before they return.

Food – Dutch oven cuisine is a specialty of Rocky Mountain River Tours. From sticky buns to gourmet delights like Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Pinwheels. Rocky’s late summer trips bring out the summers best recipe’s, guaranteeing your food experience will rival the world class wilderness. Buy Sheila’s The Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook to gain a glimpse on what to expect during your Middle Fork Adventure. We are happy to accommodate special dietary requirements.

Boat Options – In an effort to accommodate all of our guests comfort levels, Rocky brings along oar boats, paddle boats, and inflatable kayaks to accommodate all ages and abilities. I you prefer to spend your week in the fun and wet paddle boat, or exciting inflatable kayaks let us know!

Beyond the Banks – It is true our 5 day trips are shorter in duration but we re-arrange the logistics to optimize time for hiking, fishing, exploring waterfalls, discovering pictographs, experiencing historical homesteads, soaking in natural hot springs and witnessing wildlife. This is essential as the Frank Church Wilderness & Middle Fork of the Salmon offer America’s most awe-inspiring landscapes and its mysteries extend beyond the river.

Rapids – Fun Class II, II, III and IV Rapids.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting There

Fly into Boise via United, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, Southwest and Horizon. Plan to arrive in Boise the day before your trip with plenty of time to get to Stanley. We will meet the group at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Mountain Village Lodge. Transportation from Boise Airport to Mountain Village Lodge in Stanley is easy and can be arranged with car rental companies, Sawtooth Flying Service or Caldwell Transportation. Driving time from Boise to Stanley is 3 hours and air taxi flight time is 45 minutes.
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What is a typical day like?

Coffee, tea, and juice by 7:00 a.m. Fresh breakfast from scratch around 8:00-8:30. Following breakfast, the guides break camp and prepare the rafts for a mid-morning departure. We spend the morning exploring the Middle Fork, seeking out the perfect stop for our midday gourmet lunch. Following lunch we continue downstream exploring hot springs, fun rapids and historic homesteads. We will arrive at our evening’s camp by late afternoon. After setting up your tent and settling in you are free to go for a hike, go fishing, read a good book and relax. Appetizers are served around 7:00 and dinner around 7:30.

4 or 5 hours on the river is typical, although some river days are shorter and some are longer. Remember this is a vacation, we maintain a leisurely pace and stop to check out historical sites, take a swim, fish a good hole, or to visit a point of interest. The length of time on the water varies with water levels.
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Will I be comfortable camping?

Most of our guests would not describe themselves as campers, in reality most claim “I do not camp” prior to their week on the Middle Fork. Rocky’s comfy camping techniques have been making our guests camping converts for the last 30 years. River camping is not ‘roughing it’… it’s easy, comfortable, and great fun. We bring along everything but the kitchen sink to ensure your comfort. Rocky provides freshly laundered, spacious sleeping bags, thick & comfy river mattresses, 3 person Mountain Hardware dome tents for two, comfortable camp chairs, and a huge sun/rain canopy. Most important we bring along our clean and private backcountry toilet system that will remind you of home…but with an amazing view while you take care of business. Running water hand wash systems are always available. We allow guests to choose their own tent site (find some privacy, escape the kids, or distance yourself from the snoring neighbor) and pitching it is fun and easy after a guide demonstration on the first night in camp.
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How many people to a tent?

Two people in our 3-person tents, big enough for a small revival meeting. If you like to snuggle or make it a party they fit 4 people.
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What is the size of the group?

Our maximum group size is 24 guests with 6 guides.
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What type of rafts do you use?

Sweep Boat- This is our 18 wheeler supply boat-this carries duffel, camp and kitchen gear…everything including the kitchen sink. No guests ride on this craft. Oar boats-controlled by a guide rowing with oars. Up to 5 guests can ride on this raft. The perfect choice for those wanting to sit back, relax and take in the scenery or fish.

Paddle rafts-controlled by a team of guests and a guide; everybody paddles and the guide captains the team of 6 guests. This is the Ferrari of our fleet. Fun, maneuverable, wet and the 6 person team creates an unmatched camaraderie amongst strangers.

Inflatable kayaks-used in selected portions of a trip and are an absolute BLAST! No experience is necessary. The guides will offer an instructional and safety demonstration.
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What about fishing?

The Middle Fork is a designated blue ribbon trout stream and considered the BEST multi-day fly fishing experience in the US. This is the perfect opportunity for you to get your fish fix, or learn the art of the fly cast. The Middle Fork is a dry fly fishing dream. Let us know if you are interested in fishing and we will send you all the information you need including current conditions, licensing, flies, and gear rental.
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Difference between fishing on a summer raft trip and September float fishing trip with Salmon River Anglers?

Fishing is welcome and recommended on all rafting trips. Every fall our Salmon River Angler fishing guides from across the west cumulate on the Middle Fork when the fishing is prime. native west slope Cutthroat trout are abundant and the fishing is magic. Our September fishing trips are reserved for those that want to fish, every day, all day. We bring along a blend of 2 person Middle Fork specific fishing rigs and oar boats. Anglers will get a choice of fishing from a boat with a guide, or part of a guided Walk & Wade group that gets to explore the amazing side streams and confluences of the Middle Fork.
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Can I go on a September trip if I am not an experienced fly fisherman?

YES! The Middle Fork is an amazing place to learn to fish and SRA guides do a phenomenal job of teaching beginners yet are sensi masters on putting veterans on fish …all day long. Often times we will have couples where one is a trout-addict and the other prefers the views, food, and reading a good book. Either way, get ready for the trip of a lifetime.
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What about beverages?

Water is always available on every raft and in camp. The guides serve Rimini roasted coffee, hot chocolate, orange juice, apple-cranberry juices, an assortment of teas, lemonade, dinner wines, margaritas one night and champagne another.

Refreshing drinks are desirable on the trips so bring plenty, such as a case of your favorite soda, canned beer, bottles of wine, mixers and liquor. We will collect personal drinks at the river put-in, please do not try to store them in your personal bags. We have cooler and dry boxes in which to carry them. Beverages are available at the Sawtooth Mercantile in Stanley across the road from Mountain Village Lodge. No liquor sales on Sundays, beer and wine only.
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How should I dress on the river and in camp?

If you follow our “Checklist” according to the time of year you are going on the river you will be comfortable. Avoid wearing cotton clothing on the rafts because once they become wet, they will take forever to dry. Cotton clothes are comfortable and great for camp.

On the rafts, guides typically wear nylon shorts, T-shirt or quick dry sun shirt, cap/visor, sandals (with heel straps) or tennis shoes, and keep rain gear and a polypro layer handy in a day bag (we supply) in case the weather turns chilly. If you are going on an early spring trip, you will need to dress accordingly. Don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses!
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What do I do with my phone?

In the old days we asked you to leave them at home. In today’s world we understand that many of you use your phone for your camera, music, notepad, book etc. If you choose to listen to music, earphones are required. Consider a waterproof case or a Zippy to keep it safe and dry. There is absolutely ZERO cell service once we leave Stanley. Thank god.
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Are there lots of biting bugs?

This is where the Middle Fork rises above every other river in the world. For some reason biting insects don’t dig the Middle Fork. We experience almost no mosquitoes and no black flies on the trips. Occasionally, we will have one night of mosquitoes and encounter some horse flies during the day on the upper portion of the Middle Fork. If you are allergic to bees please let us know and bring your Epi-pen. Most likely you won’t even see one.
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What about trip insurance?

We highly encourage the purchase of Travel X vacation trip insurance. Due to the popularity of our Middle Fork trips we do not offer refunds, not to mention we operate in the largest Wilderness in the United States. Forest fires, floods, drought, weather and a number of other factors can cancel a trip at anytime. Again, we highly recommend Trip Insurance.
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Are there bugs?

Thankfully there are very few bugs on our whitewater river trips. The constant moving water does not provide the stagnant water required for mosquito. We agree...AWESOME!!!
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What additional expenses can I expect?

Rocky Mountain Trips are all inclusive. The variables are gratuity, personal beverages, souvenirs or ice cream at a riverside ranch, and the potential charter flight. Water levels, road conditions, and other factors can result in a mandatory flight from Stanley to the river’s edge at the beginning of your trip. If this is the case, flight cost is $120 additional per person and will be collected during the pre-trip orientation. Cash, check or card.
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What about luggage and car storage?

Mountain Village Lodge offers free, secure luggage storage to Rocky Mountain River Tours’ guests. They also offer a parking lot if you drive to Stanley.
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Can I purchase books, maps & pamphlets about the middle fork?

Yes. You will find a great selection at Riverwear. But you can also find the following on Amazon.com. We recommend the following:

  • The Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook, Second Edition by Sheila Mills
  • The Middle Fork–a Guide by Carrey & Conley
  • Middle Fork Guide Book, Matt Leidecker.
  • The Middle Fork of the Salmon Map & Guide.

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Do you accept credit cards?

We will always accept cash and checks for payment. Starting in 2013 we offer safe and secure credit card (American Express, MasterCard, Visa) payment through the www.rafttrips.com website. We are happy to reserve space for 10 days via telephone or email.
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What is the best way to get in touch with you?

Email is the best way to get a hold of Rocky, especially as the summer season begins. During the summer season are days are busy and we are in/out of phone range during business hours. Email works great because we can respond in the late evenings and wee hours of the morning. You can always call 208.345.2400 and leave a message. It follows us everywhere we go from Idaho to Nicaragua to Mexico and beyond.
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What our Guests are saying…

I can’t tell you how much we were impressed with our river trip. I honestly didn’t
know what to expect,but it will be one of those memories that will stay with me
and my family for a long time. This was a trip of a lifetime—one that everyone
wants to repeat. Mitchell and Katie bought me Sheila’s cookbook and Impassable Canyon for Father’s Day. Please email me when you post next year’s schedule!

Bill Orben, Kissimme, FL 6/4/12

I cannot possibly convey to you how much we all enjoyed our trip. Our guides were
more than wonderful, especially with mobilizing my dad into and out of the raft and
never failing in their offers to assist him in any way possible. We hated to leave the
river and shed tears as we left.

Mary Sprouse, Walhalla, SC 6/22/12

It was a perfectly wonderful trip even though the guides allowed 23 drops of rain to
fall on us at dinner time that last evening. Your leadership has been prominent on
all our trips. As always, trip success was due to collective guide responsiveness,
professionalism, diligence, creativity, good-humor, teamwork, and kitchen skills. The
food, as on every trip, was absolutely first rate.

Bud Grantham, Newton, MA 7/1/12

Incredible! It’s the only word that comes to mind as I think about our trip. We are
still flying on the high of that trip. Considering that my expectations were through
the roof after our trip in 2005, it is amazing to say that they were met and even exceeded. We will be back!
Noah Borrero, San Francisco 8/2/12

Our family trip with Rocky Mountain was one of the best of our lives and probably
second only to the Tanzanian safari we did last summer. I love writing about both
trips for the New York Times.

Tom Redburn, Business Writer for New York Times, Montclair, NJ

Middle Fork River Trip Photos

Photos coming soon