The Rocky Story
Rocky Mountain River Tours has a tradition of offering award winning food and the best guides in the business. Founded in 1978 by Dave & Sheila Mills, Rocky has grown into one of the most respected and successful operations on the magical Middle Fork of the Salmon. Building friendships is what sets us apart and our long term guides are the key to make guests smile ten years later at the thought of their river trip vacation with us. We are so lucky to have so many friends from all fifty states and the world.
Chapter 1 – Dave & Sheila Mills
Dave and Sheila Mills founded Rocky Mountain River Tours in 1978 with an old truck and trailer, used rafts, an Airedale named Daisy, two small kids and a big debt at 24% interest. Today Rocky Mountain River Tours is the foremost outfitter on the Middle Fork of the Salmon where Dave & Sheila have created a legacy. Rocky Mountain River Tours is known for their trip excellence, professional guides, attention to detail and award winning food where every meal tastes delicious. About 60% of our vacation guests are women over the last ten summers thanks to repeat customers and their friends. We credit our knowledgeable guides’ skills, camp comfort, beautiful mountain scenery and delicious meals for nearly everyone returning on vacation.
Dave was born and raised in Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University where earned a Masters Degree in Student Personnel and Recreation Management. His enthusiasm about the magic of the Middle Fork is contagious. He has a reputation for treating customers as lifelong friends, doing things right, on time and has a collection of river stories that could fill the library of congress. Sheila is the glue and the grounding force of RMRT for the past 3 decades. Her smile, generosity and ability to direct Dave’s enthusiasm is unmatched. Sheila is a University of Montana graduate and the creative force behind the extraordinary fare served on all the Rocky Mountain River Tours. Sheila’s fourth cookbook published by McGraw Hill Co. NYC has received rave reviews. The Outdoor Dutch Oven Cookbook Second Edition, holds a compilation of recipes perfected on Rocky’s Middle Fork Trips and all can be used in your oven at home and make you look good, too! Her Dutch oven expertise is, in part, the reason Rocky Mountain River Tours enjoys an enviable reputation. She is also responsible for the amazing Rocky guide crew. Her judge of character and maternal instincts toward the guide crew is the reason Rocky guides are not only the best in the business, but extremely loyal and return year after year. Dave & Sheila reside in beautiful Boise Idaho with their furry companion, Doogie the Scottie Dog. Starting in 2013 Dave & Sheila will begin the journey from one of the most successful Middle Fork Outfitter-couples in Idaho history to their next phase. With the Middle Fork in their blood and all of their guests being such a huge part of their lives, this will be easier said than done. Both Dave & Sheila over the next 5 years plan to actively help Rocky Mountain River Tours transition into new ownership.
Chapter 2 – Jared & Roni Hopkinson
Jared & Roni Hopkinson, met at the University of Utah while studying Commercial Recreation Management. In 2001 they dove headfirst into parenthood and business ownership simultaneously. Their daughter Maya has grown spending her summers exploring the Sawtooths and playing on the Salmon River. She has rivers running through her blood and at age 12 is the motivation to create the ultimate family vacation. In 2001 Sawtooth Adventure Company opened its doors offering Sun Valley raft trips on the headwaters of the Salmon River in the panoramic mountain town (two square blocks so you can’t get lost)of Stanley, Idaho. SAC’s adventures have evolved over the years to include float fly fishing trips, guided mountain biking, fly fishing school, stand-up paddle boarding and multi-day trips on the Wild & Scenic Main Salmon. Starting in 2013 Jared and Roni are excited to test their experience on the Middle fork through the merger with Rocky Mountain River Tours.
In addition to running RMRT & SAC, Jared is currently pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Utah while teaching undergrad courses in electronic marketing and commercial recreation management. Jared is also a lead instructor for the University’s U-Explore Outdoor Education Program in whitewater kayaking, backpacking, fly fishing & outdoor cooking. Jared’s heart belongs to the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, and he is the former President (6 years) of the Stanley, Idaho Chamber of Commerce and works for Boise based TMN Events, executing high-end corporate and celebrity events such as the Sun Dance Film Festival. Learn more at Jared’s LinkedIn Profile and please come join us for a vacation of a lifetime.