White-Water Rafting on the Salmon River

Middle Fork Wilderness Outfitters • Salmon, ID

deal over

Escape Kit

  • A Six-Day, Five-Night Rafting Trip for One Person, Including:
  • Ground Transportation from Mountain Village Lodge in Stanley to Boundary Creek Launch and from Take-Out to Salmon Airport
  • Two-Person Tent, Sleeping Pad, Sleeping Bag, Fleece Blanket, and Small Pillow
  • Life Jacket, Wetsuit, and Two Waterproof Bags
  • Dutch Oven Meals, Drinks, and Unlimited Water
  • Pre-Launch Orientation and Experienced River Guides

You may not be named after a ferocious animal or star in a survival TV show, but that doesn't mean you can't hold your own in the wild. Venture out into nature on this week's Escape from Middle Fork Wilderness Outfitters.

You'll headline a six-day, five-night rafting expedition on a 100-mile stretch of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River ($975). But never fear: No one expects you to make pine-needle shelters or survive on snake tartare. You'll be provided with a two-person tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, fleece blanket, and small pillow. Also included are a life jacket, wetsuit, and two waterproof bags, as well as gourmet Dutch-oven meals, drinks, and unlimited water. Check out the packing list for what to bring.

This episode begins with an orientation session in Stanley, Idaho, on the eve of your trip. You'll make vehicle arrangements if necessary and find your own lodging for the night, then meet at the Mountain Village Resort the following morning to catch an included shuttle to the Boundary Creek put-in. And you won't have to go it alone; seven experienced river guides will accompany your group.

Typical days begin with coffee and breakfast prepared by your guides, putting you back on the water by 10 a.m. Instead of log-and-vine contraptions, three types of inflatable crafts let you experience the river your way. Sightsee and fish while guides paddle the large oar boat. Or, maneuver the rapids aboard a paddle raft. No man is an island, but adventurers who crave the solo spotlight can tackle the white water in a single-person kayak.

The rapids vary depending on the time of year, with cooler, rougher white water in early June that becomes warmer and shallower in July and August. No matter when you travel, paddling the Middle Fork is worthy of its spot on the Wild-Water Life ListOutside magazine's top ten water adventures in the US.

Though rafting will take up prime time, you'll still have plenty of slots in your lineup for fly fishing (inquire about rod rentals and permits), swimming, soaking in hot springs, and hiking on trails along the river.

At midday, you'll lunch on a spread of meats, cheeses, and more. And by the time you retire from the water, river guides will have set up camp and prepared dinner appetizers to greet you. Gourmet, healthy meals of grilled meats, fish, vegetables, and fresh-baked desserts are served each night. Wash your feast down with limited supplies of beer and wine at evening happy hours.

Conquering the Impassable Canyon white water will be your trip's finale, after which the Middle Fork joins the main Salmon. A shuttle will await you at the take-out location and deliver you to the Salmon airport, where you'll pick up your vehicle or catch a flight back home.

You can watch wilderness TV shows until you're blue in the face, but they'll only demonstrate how to survive. Set your sights higher with this week's Escape and let the Salmon River teach you how to thrive.

  • "The American river you've got to run before you die is Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon. The water's so clear you can eyeball straggling steelhead at a hundred yards... The rapids ain't bad, either. There are some 100 of them on the 100-mile float."

    -- Outside


escapes 30-day promise

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the fine print

  • Entire value must be used in a single visit
  • Limit 2 per purchaser, up to 4 additional as gifts
  • Limit 1 per reservation
  • Reservations required and subject to availability
  • Cancellation/re-scheduling policy of 21 days applies; voucher subject to forfeiture
  • Not valid on existing reservations
  •  Taxes not included; payable directly to the merchant
  •  Children must be at least 6 years old
  •  Lodging not included in Stanley night prior to orientation
  •  Fishing rod rentals not included; call 800-726-0575 for rental and permit information
  • Other conditions apply • PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON August 31, 2012 • Enjoy By August 31, 2012