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(208) 634-4303 | RIVERBEAT BLOG

SIX OR TWELVE DAY RIVER ADVENTURES

MIDDLE FORK AND MAIN SALMON RIVERS, IDAHO

  • Never been Rafting in Idaho?
  • Rafting on the Middle Fork with Canyons
  • These trips will make your kids giggle
  • Never been Rafting in Idaho?
  • Rafting on the Middle Fork with Canyons
  • These trips will make your kids giggle
  • These trips will make your kids giggle
  • Never been Rafting in Idaho?
  • Rafting on the Middle Fork with Canyons
  • Rafting on the Middle Fork with Canyons

A variety of Boats

No prior rafting experience is necessary to take a trip with Canyons. With our “soft options”, you can choose your own level of participation and excitement from our variety of boats. Ride along on a stable oar raft, enjoy the teamwork of a paddle raft, or go solo or tandem in an inflatable kayak. Should you want a change of pace, you can switch around between any of them during the trip. We stop several times throughout our days and can trade crafts so that everyone gets a chance to check out the different options.

Hardshell kayakers, whitewater canoeists and rafters with Class III-IV experience and necessary skill requirements are welcome to join us. More information about this below.

Here are your choices:

Oar Rig

Boats Canyons Oar raft in Cove Creek rapid on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

 

If it’s the lounge experience you are looking for, hop on one of our 18’ oar rigs. A Team Canyons guide will row you down the river while you just ride along. Take in the scenery, enjoy a good conversation, fish or just relax. Our professional guides love to share what they know of the place, tell historical stories and perhaps regale you with a few tall tales!

 

Paddle Raft

Canyons Paddle Boats in Cove Creek rapid on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

 

Team players and speed demons will love our paddle raft! You won’t want to miss a turn in our 16’ paddle raft, where you will join a team of 4 to 6 of your fellow river runners and maneuver the boat downstream, with a Team Canyons guide at the back. No experience? No problem! Our guides will instruct you on how to paddle, when to paddle and when to just hold on! The paddle boat is an exciting way to be active, participate and experience the thrill of the rapids, without the pressure of choosing your own line.

 

 

Inflatable KayaksCanyons Duckie catching air in a rapid on the Salmon river

Are you in for high adventure… solo? We bring a fleet of inflatable kayaks, or duckies as we call them on the river. Again, no experience is required here, just your sense of adventure! Our guides will instruct you on proper technique and away you’ll go, downstream to try your hand at reading the river. Team Canyons guides will give you a description of rapids and advice before you head out into the whitewater. Jump in our tandem IK with your partner for an experience that will test you, and your relationship!

ROW YOUR OWN RAFT (experienced rowers only)

Canyons is happy to host you and your loved ones in your own raft. We require that you are comfortable rowing in comparable conditions (please call our office to discuss). We also ask that you are comfortable with reading and running rapids on the fly, have experience rowing Class III-IV whitewater and can get your raft to and from the river.

HARD SHELL Kayaking & Canoeing Options (for experienced paddlers only)

We take pride in being the premier outfitter for hard shell boaters, looking for a raft supported river trip. When we have hardshell boaters on a trip, we will have a guide in a kayak, to orient you to the river and the runs, as well as to offer assistance if necessary; Our kayak guides have been Olympic world champions, kayak instructors, playboaters and expedition paddlers.

SKILL LEVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR KAYAKERS AND CANOEISTS

  • All kayakers should have a consistent roll
  • All hardshell boaters should be competent in reading whitewater on the fly.
  • June levels are pushy at high flows. The upper and lower portions of the Middle Fork are non-stop Class III-IV+. The Main Salmon is high volume class IV.
  • July and August offer Class III+ water on both rivers.
  • CLASS III-IV experience is a MUST, whether you are paddling your own kayak or whitewater canoe, or whether you choose to paddle one from our fleet (no additional charge).
  • All guests paddling with us in the month of JUNE MUST be comfortable in class IV whitewater, have a VERY proficient roll, and be comfortable on fast-moving, high water flows.
  • We encourage you to call us to discuss water levels and your personal abilities based on the time of year you may be looking to paddle with us.

All kayakers and canoeists should realize that the Middle Fork is a fairly technical river, chock full of rocks. Many of the rapids are long and scouting is usually done from the boat. On the other hand, the Main Salmon is a deep-water river with few exposed rocks. Its rapids are more of the “drop-pool” variety, making it a more forgiving river.

  • If you are a Class III intermediate kayaker or canoeist, then the Main Salmon may be the better fit for you.
  • If you like a challenge and are of an advanced skill level, then the Middle Fork at higher flows may be for you.
  • If you are a Class III+ boater, either river in July and August would be a fun challenge.
  • Both rivers offer great playboating, particularly at later summer levels.

For canoeists, we recommend the July and August time periods. June’s big water makes it tough to run dry, especially for tandem teams. If you want to try June, a reliable roll and prior big water experience are required.

***Please note that if you are kayaking or canoeing with us on a Middle Fork trip where water levels or conditions necessitate an Indian Creek launch, we will need to work with you to find a plan to get your boats in, and there may be additional fees of $100/ per kayak per flight if backcountry flights are required for your boats. Unfortunately, we cannot fly canoes in, due to airplane capacity.

GEAR

Kayakers and canoeists will need to bring their own personal gear including:

  • Helmet
  • PFD
  • Sprayskirt
  • Paddle
  • Dry top or paddle jacket
  • Personal technical clothing
  • We recommend that you bring dry tops or dry-suits for June trips.
  • Optional equipment-throw bag & rescue equipment (All Canyons guides carry these items).

CANYONS provides a spare paddle for the group.

Our kayaks are equipped with stern airbags, adjustable hip pads, adjustable foot braces, and a sponge.

Our Canoes have knee pads that are glued down, airbags, and a bailer. We bring along spray adhesive and minicell foam for custom outfitting if needed.

For more information about recommended gear: What to Bring

 

CANYONS HARDSHELL BOAT INVENTORY (no extra charge)

**You will need to reserve these in advance. You are also welcome to bring your own.

Kayaks:

To view our hardshell kayaks, click here: KAYAKS

Canoes:

Decked Solo Canoes: Perception Gyramax, Dagger Atom.
Solo Open Canoes: Whitesell Descender; Mad River ME; Outrage X; Mohawk Viper; Dagger Encore, Impulse, Rival.     Tandem Open Canoes: Dagger-Caption, Dagger- Caper( both can be solo-ed, too).