Middle Fork Snowpack and Streamflow Forcast
Stay tuned for semi-regular snowpack updates as Spring has sprung in Central Idaho.
The Middle Fork is currently at 116% of normal snowpack
In the river business we watch the weather & snowpack like baby-boomers obsess over the Dow and S&P. Luckily for us, we have our own in-house snow specialist. Chris Lundy, owner of Sawtooth Mountain Guides by winter, Rocky Middle Fork guide by summer. Chris spends his winter ski guiding on the same snow that feeds the Middle Fork.
“Despite warm temperatures and a lack of snow during the past month, the snowpack at higher elevations is still hanging in there. Thanks to substantial snowfall back in December and January, many mountain weather stations are still reporting near-average snow water equivalent. Not to say we couldn’t use more snow, but we’re in much better shape than many people realize.”
-Chris Lundy, Sawtooth Mountain Guides
“Putting on a neoprene wetsuit at 7 AM to step out in a 40 degree Stanley, Idaho morning can only mean one thing: Adventure! This is the coldest we’ll be all week, we are assured by Jared, head honcho at Rocky Mountain River Tours. The snow blanketing the Sawtooth range peaks, as well as several hillsides our bus zooms by on the way to Boundary Creek, leads to me to believe otherwise. This may be more camping than glamping (glamorous camping) after all.
Over the next six days, we’ll drop over 3,000 feet in elevation. Wetsuits give way to shorts and T-shirts as the river cuts its way to meet with the Main Salmon 100 miles away. We begin at 6,000 feet in an alpine forest of Lodgepole and Douglas Fir on a river that resembles more of a steam. Narrow, but fast-flowing with rapids in succession, I could tell right from the start our guides were on their A-game to navigate this stretch.
A few short hours and a few dozen rapids later, several of us are stipping our Scuba Steve outfits off on a sandy beach to swim in the crystal clear water of the Middle Fork of the Salmon on the trip’s first lunch break. I never needed the wetsuit again, just sunblock and some shades to “battle” the elements. The Middle Fork is relaxing yet wild, scenic, magical and remote. It is like no other place.
The 100 miles and six days would feature hot springs, bottles of wine paired with cheese and smoked salmon for happy hour, short walks and demanding hikes to
incredible views, impassable canyons and food. Lots of delicious food. Sleekly packed rubber rafts, when unloaded reveal a full kitchen, comfy tents with luxurious sleeping pads and pillows, full sized camp chairs and enough food to feed an army. Far from roughing it in the largest wilderness area in the lower 48. I don’t always camp, but when I do, I prefer to glamp.”
The 2014 summer on the Salmon River of No Return (RoNR) aka…Main Salmon, aka…the best family vacation on the planet… is looking great! This trip is perfect for families with little or no camp and rafting experience. The RoNR’s massive sand beaches make for very comfortable camping and ample room to get your play on. Horseshoes, bago, bocce ball, and Koob are some of the evening activities. The history found on the RoNR is world We bring along SUP’s tandem Inflatable kayaks, and our PaddleCat to make sure everyone in the family gets their adventure fix. Rocky’s River of No Return trips kick off with an overnight experience at the Salmon River Lodge . A beautiful riverside property deep in the Frank Church Wilderness. The first evening of the trip our guests and crew will celebrate the upcoming week over an Idaho-style feast. Guests and guides will wake up to a home-style breakfast before pushing off downstream into the largest roadless wilderness in the US.
2014 River of No Return Availability
June 27- July 1: Sold Out!
July 4-9: 4 open seats
July 12-17: 6 open seats
July 20-25: Sold Out!
July 28-Aug 2: 9 open seats
August 5-10: Sold Out!
Adults $1895 Kids(5-18) $1050
Idaho rafting is like all other world class vacation destinations. Savvy travelers seek out the shoulder season to receive the ‘Prime Season’ service at ‘Low Season ‘ rates. The Middle Fork is no different.
Act fast! We have limited availability on the following 2014 Shoulder Season Trips
In addition to a better price, Rocky’s shoulder season trips have their own unique draw. Our June trips are all about the Middle Fork’s World Class Whitewater. While our August trips offer amazing fly fishing. In fact Rocky’s August, shoulder season trips sell out quickly because of the world -renowned dry fly fishing found on the Middle Fork in August
Middle/Main Epic: June 13-18, 2014 Adult: $2,195.00 Young Adult: $1,995.00
Rocky Mountain River Tours is stoked to offer America’s Premier Rafting Vacation. Imagine 6-days and 185 miles of the best whitewater and alpine scenery in the world. This trip includes 1-night at a riverside lodge and scenic flight back to Stanley.
Attention: Tell us you heard about the Middle/Main Epic via this email and save $150 per person
8th Annual Kids Trip on the Wild & Scenic Salmon: July 21-25 Adult: $1,895.00 Children: $1,050.00
Rocky’s most popular family adventure. Rocky caters this trip to families with children aged 6-18, resulting in the ultimate family adventure. We adjust menus, bring extra beach games, lots of sunscreen and break out all the toys for the trip. Book Now…this trip sells out quickly!
1st Family Trip on the Middle Fork – Aug 2-7 . Adult: $2,295.00 Student: $2,095.00
Loyal clients have demanded that we start a family rafting tradition on the Middle Fork. This Early August trip is catered to multi-generational families (age 10+) offering perfect water levels for paddle rafting, inflatable kayaking, fishing and shenanigans. We keep the kids busy, allowing parents and grandparents ample time for relaxing, socializing, fly fishing and enjoying the largest wilderness in the United States. Reserve now!
SUP the Salmon -Aug 4-19 $1895
Join Rocky and experience the fastest growing watersport in the world, Stand Up Paddle Boarding. The fun, safe, rolling rapids of the Wild & Scenic Salmon has been identified as the #1 SUP river in America. Great for beginners and advanced paddlers. Not all participants need to SUP, rafts and IK’s available.
As you know Sawtooth Adventure Company and Rocky Mountain River Tours joined forces in 2013 to offer the best wilderness river trips available. This past July Rocky Mountain River Tours inherited SAC’s most popular trip, The Annual Kids Trip on the Wild & Scenic Main Salmon. This trip is catered to families with kids between 5-18 years old. We pull out all the stops and celebrate the kids! We bring along a photographer, all the river toys , the best beach games, adapt the menu and invite our most kid-fun guides. All of this not only insures your kids have the time of their lives, but also guarantees an unforgettable week for the parents.
Trip includes 1st night lodging at a riverside guest ranch, food, beverage, river equipment, camp gear and ground transportation. Seriously… all you need is your toothbrush, personal clothing and sense of adventure.
It is an exciting time in the Rocky home office as the Idaho Rafting season is quickly approaching. The phone is ringing with excited guests as they plan and prepare for their magical journey down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon.
As I talk with guests about our world-class rafting trips and I find myself constantly being poised against our desert counterpart, the majestic Grand Canyon. This comes as no surprise as It is common knowledge that the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the Grand Canyon are America’s (and the world’s) “must-do” river trips. Both have world-renowned whitewater, amazing scenery and great history…but in our humble opinion, it’s not even a contest.
The obvious reason…the Middle Fork is untouched by mankind. In a world where mankind’s fingerprints have touched nearly everything, it is refreshing to find a place that is the same today as when the Shoshone and Sheepeater Indians called it there home. This fact seems especially poignant with the timing of Earth Day and America’s one day reminder to take their shoes off, walk barefoot in the grass, take a deep breath of fresh air, listen to the birds, and appreciate our natural world. On the Middle Fork, Earth Day is every day. This amazing free-flowing river runs the same course as it did when the dinosaurs roamed. You won’t find National Parks, dams and man-made floods. The Middle Fork has very few endangered species ad even fewer invasive species. What you will find is towering Yellow Pines, cascading crystal clear creeks, native West-Slope cutthroat, returning spawning Salmon and hardly the fingerprint of man. Simply put….like no other place on earth.
Lovers (and future lovers) of the Middle Fork owe this ageless gift to the former US senator from Idaho, Frank Forrester Church III. Senator Church was extremely influential securing protection for the unparalleled wilds of central Idaho. Frank Church lead the charge for the Wilderness Act of 1968, The Wild & Scenic River Act, and the Frank Church –River of No Return Wilderness. The result of these three historic pieces of legislature created the majestic Middle Fork of the Salmon. Nowhere else can one find a designated Wild & Scenic River that slices through the largest protected Wilderness Area in the lower 48.
The Middle Fork remains one of the last places in the United States where young generations can visit and experience wilderness in its pure form. It is no surprise Rocky Mountain River Tours has such a large number of returning clients each summer. Once you experience the magic of the Middle Fork you will swear to return, and share it with your closest family and friends. As a steward of the Frank Church Wilderness and and partner with the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain River Tours is committed to continuing the legacy of the amazing Frank Church Wilderness and the wild Middle Fork of the Salmon for future generations to visit and enjoy.
Our 2013 trips are filling fast. Give us a call to reserve your week in the wilderness and to learn more about our world-class Idaho river trips.