Why Choose Canyons?
Our Staff is our number one asset.
I have no idea when this family of four will be able to have another trip like this one, but what I do know is that this experience helped show me the importance of not only the journey, but that the path a journey takes is different for everyone on that journey. The stars, mountains, cliffs, river, rapids, pools, trees, animals, birds, insects, human visitors, all took paths of vastly different timespans, and difficulty, and direction to get to the same point in time, to set up this experience with my family, my long time friend, and my newfound friends, which has changed some things about me. This adventure and the “forever memories” of this time with Kim, Kyle and Kenna will always be with us. And as a wise man shared with us this week, “life changes and things seem crazy, and the earth continues her journey around the sun ‘slooowly. sooo slooowly’ ” … and the river is always with us. ~Ken Collins (Middle Fork 2017)
We have been operating on the Salmon River since 1985, and some of our guides have been with CANYONS for more than 25 of those years! Nearly half of our client list has returned with us and some for over 15+ trips. This great success is a tribute to our incredible guides and staff. All of the river community is comprised of very talented passionate people, but we feel we have something very special with our guides and the intertwined family we have built. CANYONS is made up of diverse, dynamic, authentic, dedicated, driven, creative, skilled individuals who often form lifetime friendships with our guests. We take good care of our guides with a wellness program that includes a yoga, chiropractic, and massage program as well as the opportunity to bring a family member or friend on a river trip, complimentary, each year. We develop an annual continuing education program with our advising doctor and refresh our guides with a formal whitewater rescue course taught by leaders in the industry (which includes members of our staff). We require above and beyond the standard first aid and training requirements set by the state of Idaho Outfitters & Guides Licensing Board and all of our guides are WFR, OEC or EMT certified. And Ariana, our reservations manager, along with Rick, our driver, are like magicians when it comes to logistics. Though you may not even meet them, these two are invaluable to Canyons and all the preparation that goes into your journey with us.
You have choices…
Now, we realize there are many choices when it comes to choosing and finding your fit with a river company for this very special vacation. Here at CANYONS, we offer a few extras that might just resonate with you…..
- VARIETY. We offer more variety of crafts for our guests than any other company. You can be as active (or relaxed) as you want on a Canyons trip….choose from oar rafts, paddle rafts, inflatable kayaks, hard shell kayaks, canoes, 2 person paddle cats, and stand up paddleboards (SUPs).
- RIVER SAFETY. Canyons founder, Les Bechdel, literally wrote the book on river safety (River Rescue, CFS Press, 2009) and we continue this tradition, with annual staff training and implemented protocols. With decades of experience, our safety record speaks for itself.
- GUIDE CERTIFICATIONS. All of our guides are WFR’s (Wilderness First Responders), Wilderness EMT’s or OEC’s, are licensed through Idaho’s Licensing board and are well educated in all subjects pertaining to the river, Idaho and beyond.
- RIDICULOUSLY TASTY FARM FRESH FOOD. Many of the ingredients in our gourmet cuisine are locally grown, organic, sustainable and can be tailored to meet any dietary needs. We grow salad greens and herbs in raised-beds, right at our warehouse! Our guides LOVE to cook and have some serious skills in the kitchen. Whether it’s baking fresh desserts in our Dutch ovens, preparing our signature breakfast-to-order every morning, or whipping up the perfect sauce to accompany the freshly grilled meat of the night, our guides have it dialed.
- RAFT SUPPORT. For our experienced paddling guests, we have over 75 hard shell kayaks and canoes to choose from, at no additional charge, and our gear rafts carry all the gear.
- 12-DAY TRIP OPTION. Our Middle Fork & Main Salmon permits line up to combine the two rivers back-to-back, for a 12-day, 200-mile river journey….the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. We are based in McCall, Idaho, a beautiful lakeside resort town where you can end your Combo or Main Salmon trip. Stay for an extra day or two, exploring Idaho’s “mini Lake-Tahoe.” Highly encouraged!
- MORNING POETRY AND YOGA. We like to start our days off right, allowing time to appreciate the day and stretch. Why be in a hurry? You’re on your vacation.
- HIKES. We love these canyons, after all, it’s our name. We love them from every angle, and if you are game, we will take you there. If you are particularly interested in hiking, we suggest our June trips that provide a faster flow for more land-based exploration time.
- SPECIALTY TRIPS. Along with our standard schedule of trips, we offer a few specialty trips: from Yoga & Kayaking, Wine Tasting, Art/Photography, Gay & Lesbian-friendly, to Women’s specific trips with an all-female staff. We guarantee that we have a trip that will suit you!
- PHILANTHROPY. Canyons regularly donates trips to help support local and national causes that are important to us, including Idaho Rivers United, Treasure Valley Land Trust, McCall-Donnelly Education Foundation, Children’s Hospital, American Cancer Society, and MCPAWS Animal Shelter.