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multi-generational family adventure

Multi-generational family adventure

Main Salmon Rafting Trips

Six days of blissful beach camping, big water rafting, and
classic Idaho mountain scenery.

A Main Salmon Rafting trip combines everything you need in a multi-day rafting vacation and is the perfect multi-generational family adventure. Exciting big-water rapids connect serene meanders through this deep canyon. Enormous beaches around every corner and steep granite cliffs line the shores while groves of massive old-growth ponderosa pines perch on steep and rocky ledges or provide peaceful shade at camps. The Main Salmon River captures the beauty of Idaho’s wilderness perfectly for all ages, interests, and abilities.

As you float through the depths of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, you’ll gaze at hillsides full of endless old growth forests, wildflowers, and fire mosaics. Your guides will tell stories of a rich human history, of intrepid explorers and lost generations of miners and pioneers who established the historical sites you may visit or glimpse along the way. Early homesteaders worked hard to see these extraordinary canyons. Luckily, your trip will include exquisite meals, cozy camping, and almost zero worries.

Main Salmon Whitewater:

The Friendliest Big Water in the West

The Main Salmon’s fun and friendly whitewater rapids will kick up your adrenaline. Whether you ride in a raft with one of our professional guides or choose to take on the exciting challenge of paddling your own inflatable kayak, you’ll think you were on a roller coaster. Deep pool-drop rapids allow for you to challenge yourself and then rest during the gentle pools in between the rapids. Mostly, you’ll enjoy the refreshing splash of getting wet on hot Idaho summer days. Filled with its own unmatched beauty, wildness, and adventure, the Main Salmon River creates an experience unique to itself and very different from that of its largest tributary, the Middle Fork.

A Hidden Multi-day Rafting Gem:

It is easy to fall in love with the relaxed pace, warmer waters, and grand white sandy beaches of the Main Salmon River. Abundant wildlife including moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, and eagles, reside within the canyon walls. Historic ranches with tales of early homesteaders, miners, and intrepid river explorers dot the river, providing a rich cultural element to your multi-day Idaho rafting trip. Camp life includes surprisingly large beaches with huge swimmable eddies, glittering side creeks, and hiking trails that lead to spectacular ridgetop vistas. And of course, the rafting is
superb with fun, high volume Class III+ IV- whitewater. The surfing and kayak play is unbelievable for any skill level. The Main Salmon’s friendly rapids are fun for everyone! Multiple routes through the rapids allow for paddlers of all abilities to choose between a wild ride or a more conservative line. The friendly nature of this river also provides for amazing Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Try your skills SUPing around the eddy at camp, through the many pools between the drops or down the drops (a.k.a. rapids) themselves. The Main Salmon River rafting trip is simply awesome and is a fabulous multi-generational getaway.Whether you’re in the midst of a rapid or sitting in camp staring up at one of the deepest canyons in North America, there is excitement and enjoyment for everyone.

Main Salmon River Rafting Trip Details


● High water, 94 miles
● Low water, 81 miles
● Average gradient: 12 ft/mile


● Big water class III with some class IV


● June 27,500 c.f.s.
● July 9,600 c.f.s.
● August 4,700 c.f.s.

Age & Skill Level

You don’t need prior rafting experience or skills to enjoy a Main Salmon River trip with us. We
recommend a minimum age of six to enjoy this great family-friendly multi-day river trip. With no
upper age limit, we encourage families to make this vacation a multi-generational one.
Guests should realize that the higher, colder waters of early June are more challenging than
later summer levels. The early-season weather here in Central Idaho can be inclement. For these
reasons, we do not recommend the early-season period for families with young children. A
minimum age guideline for early June is around twelve years old and does depend on water
levels, which vary from season to season. We do recommend that you be in good health and
consult your physician with any health questions or concerns prior to taking a wilderness trip of
this sort.

Dates & Rates

Written by Susan Elliot with Wild River Life

About Guides

The written word by Team Canyons. Guides, Guests and Friends alike, share their creative writings with us, to share with you, here on the RIVERBEAT BLOG.

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