Idaho Salmon – Rafting the River of No Return

One Of The World's Premier Wilderness Trips

TRIP LENGTH

6 days

WHEN TO GO

Mid June – Mid September

WHO IT'S FOR

Class III+ to IV
Options for everyone
Minimum age 7

TRIP COST

$1990 - $2390

ACTIVITIES

Rafting, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, fly fishing, hiking

GATEWAY CITY

Boise, Idaho (BOI)

MEETING LOCATION

Boise, Idaho
 

Idaho’s Salmon River, the Grand Canyon of Idaho, is one of the longest free flowing rivers in the United States and cuts through a vast area of incredibly rugged Rocky Mountain wilderness – the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48. The canyon it creates is the second deepest on the continent and it has a timelessness and mountain grandeur that is matched by few rivers anywhere. It is one of the last big mountain rivers remaining in the world that is undammed – and for 85 miles it is virtually untouched by modern civilization. It is a wilderness trip of a lifetime, a rafting trip with beach vacation afternoons, a multi-sport adventure, and one of the world’s premier wilderness rivers.

Where is the Salmon or ‘Main Salmon’?

The Salmon is also known as the ‘Main Salmon’ to separate it from its tributary, the Middle Fork of the Salmon, and its lower more desert like sections. The Salmon cuts through the huge ‘Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness’ located in the middle of Idaho. This is the heart of the Idaho Rockies and it is absolutely filled with remote and wild rivers.

Many of the rivers have been named with a confusing collection of points of the compass and forks. For example there is an “East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon!” But the Salmon, or ‘Main Salmon” is where all these forks run into. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s remote, and it’s fun.

Known as the “River of No Return” by early explorers, the Salmon is a big mountain river. It has big water with spring flows rivaling that of Colorado’s Grand Canyon and big, fun, roller coaster style rapids; a big, incredibly beautiful, river corridor set in a massive wilderness with peaks rising over a mile above the river; huge sandy beaches shaded by towering pine and fir trees; big side creeks full of trout (creeks that would be called rivers in many parts of the world); a long history full of big personalities, characters, and stories; a ton of wildlife including Big Horn Sheep, Black Bear, and Bald Eagle; and most importantly it offers an authentic wilderness experience.

However, despite its size, history, remoteness, and ominous sounding nickname, the Salmon River is incredibly friendly and comfortable. It features warm summer days lasting until nearly 10 in the evening, cool nights perfect for sleeping under the stars, water perfect for swimming, natural hot springs to soak in, perhaps the best beach camping anywhere, world-class trout fishing, a ton of hiking, and whitewater that is exciting yet safe. People have said that it feels wild, untouched, and rugged but at the same time comfortable, forgiving, and almost luxurious – a journey that combines a perfect beach vacation with the solitude, beauty, vast wilderness, and excitement of a mountain whitewater river expedition.

The whitewater features big water wave trains punctuated by calm green pools. It is fun and exciting, but great for almost any age level. You have the choice of sitting in relaxing oar boats, participating in more exciting paddle boats, or navigating the whitewater in an inflatable kayak or a stand up paddle board (this adds a big level of excitement to the rapids).

The options for each day can turn the trips into a multi-sport adventure for those interested. The river is perfect for inflatable kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. There are both mellow and epic hiking options and there is world-class trout fishing.  It is not uncommon to have a group leave together in the morning, split for hiking, fishing, or a stop at one of the historic wilderness homesteads, and then come back together as they float into the evenings camp to tell the stories of their day.

The River of No Return is one of those rare river trips that is ideal for the seasoned whitewater connoisseur, someone wanting to make the jump from shorter wilderness trips like Oregon’s Rogue River, or for first timers looking for their first river trip or an amazing vacation. The trip can be enjoyed by those wanting high adventure, those wanting a very active trip, and those just wanting a beautiful, lazy vacation. Our salmon trips range from groups of families to college buddies to chartered private trips and it is not uncommon to have trips enjoyed by three generations of family or friends.


Options and Info

 
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• Transportation to and from Boise Idaho is included - we make it easy to access the largest wilderness area in the lower 48!
• A small company committed to amazing trips & our wild places.
• Safety: All our guides have a minimum 5 years of experience leading trips around the world.
• Excellent meals featuring local and organic produce & products.
• All inclusive: all camping gear included if needed (ultra-comfortable 3” sleeping pads).
• Most importantly - we are friendly, we love what we do, and it shows!

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Recent Testimonials

  • "This was our 6th trip with Pete and Momentum! The quality of the guides remains stellar! Thank you Rebecca, Jeff and Jane, it was great to be in your company. I have been rafting with my friends for 30 years and Momentum always takes EVERYTHING up a notch. The food is gourmet, in fact no desire to go out to dinner after 6 days on the river because we knew nothing would compare in quality!!"
  • "Never before have I had every expectation met, and, once met, utterly surpassed to the point of obliteration. Maybe someday I’ll get to slide down the gravity well of a black hole. Until then, there’s Momentum… The guides on our trip embodied a quiet confidence and calm competence that was infectious. Never once did I feel endangered, even beneath my kayak in the middle of a rapid– it happens, and I enjoyed the ride… Momentum guides could lead a one-way expedition to Mars, and I’d sign up tomorrow. They also have some great late-night stories– and the night skies have never been so clear to my jaded eyes. The other guests on our trip were equally amazing. Between the guides and the guests, I have never been surrounded by so many kindred spirits. We were all there for a true time-of-our-lives, guides and guests alike. Once our child is barely old enough, we’re absolutely inflicting him on some folks. The brochure proclaims gourmet meals in the wilds of, in our case, Idaho. “Gourmet” does not adequately describe the effort and attention given to these meals. To get off an already amazing day on the river to an already prepared spread of brie and crackers was mind-blowing. Every single meal, breakfast lunch or dinner, was nutritious and deeply soul-satisfying. I was enabled to make the best sandwich I have ever made for myself beside a creek across from an abandoned mine trail. I took photos of that sandwich. These guides truly do love food and sharing their love of cooking as much as they love sharing their love of nature. I cannot recommend Momentum River Expeditions more highly. I’m not naive enough to believe that I’ve made friends for life on this trip, but I can honestly say that I met people with whom I would want to be friends with for the rest of my life. "
  • "Mike and I returned last week from our Salmon River trip. I just wanted to let you know that we found it absolutely fantastic! It was a little bit hard to wrap my mind around the idea of “camping” in the same sentence as “luxury”—I’m not really used to having my gear packed off, my tent set up, and appetizers waiting—but it was fantastic in every way. Great staff, great food, very well planned and organized in the many details such as transportation to and from the ends of the river, amounts and variety of food, timing of the details of each day (sending the gear boats off, having meals and appetizers prepared on a schedule). The Salmon River canyon is also a fantastically beautiful area." - Ann
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