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The Best in Family Vacations &
Adventure Vacations
Main Salmon River, Idaho

Main Salmon River, ID

Six Days, Class III

Departure Dates
June 7, 14, 21 -Two Trips- (Family & Solo Travelers), 29; July 7, 15, 23 -Two Trips- (Family & Craft Beer Tasting), 31; August 8 (Family); August 16, 24; September 1, 9

Special Family Departures: June 21; July 23; August 8

$1588 adult / $1435 youth

Visiting Idaho is like taking a step back in time a few hundreds of years – an intensely wild land still untouched by modern development. Idaho is one of the country’s true final frontiers, showcasing hundreds of miles of protected wilderness areas that have changed very little first since appearing on the map. In the valleys, mountains, forests, and canyons of these wild regions lies innumerable opportunities for most every outdoor adventure – hiking, climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and of course, river rafting on the almost 3,100 miles of whitewater that push through Idaho's backcountry.

Idaho's river system provides us access to some of the most unspoiled terrain in the state. These rivers are abundant in flora and fauna life, a remarkable network of hiking trails, and some of the country's finest whitewater. The Main Salmon displays all these characteristics like no other river. Possibly the most popular river trip in the state, the main section is the longest free flowing river on the mainland U.S., the Main Salmon provides a rich river experience. Free-flowing whitewater rated a Class III that's suited for any age and experience level, it’s huge sandy beaches are ideal for camping, the beautiful mountain scenery, natural hot springs and rich wildlife are among a few of the hallmarks of the Main River. Inappropriately nicknamed the “River of No Return” by early river rats, the Salmon is a river you'll want to return to more than once.

Why the Main Salmon?
The Main Salmon is the perfect setting for a multi-faceted river adventure. Here are just a few highlights:

•  Very few rivers can offer whitewater suitable for the wide range of both experience level and age that the Main Salmon does. Its Class III rapids are a safe yet exciting introduction to whitewater for the beginning, yet still challenging enough to arouse that adrenaline rush that experienced rafters are seeking. The rivers water flow free from any obstructions, allowing rafters to surge through this scenic river canyon experiencing exciting drops and rolling wave trains, broken up by lazy stretches that give you time t o sit and enjoy the company of your fellow travellers.

Natural Hot Springs
•  A highlight of any Main Salmon trip is the Barth Hot Springs, a natural steaming hot mineral bath near to the shore of the river. This refreshing pool is just three feet deep, wide enough for 10 people, and one of our favorite attractions.

National Wild & Scenic River
•  Following the passage of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers Ac in 1968, the Salmon River was soon under federal protection. This piece of legislation recognized the Salmon for having “unusual scientific, aesthetic and recreational value” and stated that it “should be allowed to remain in a free-flowing state and natural setting without manmade alteration.” It was one of the original eight rivers to be granted this designation.

Family Trips
•  The Main Salmon is an excellent setting for a family river trip, offering something for all generations. Inflatable kayaking, wildlife viewing, fishing, swimming, hiking, and beach games are activities the whole family will love – even your teenagers won't mind spending quality time with Mom and Dad in this setting! Floating down the river, worries are swept away as families come closer together with each passing mile. TV, computers and telephones are replaced with campfires, tents and time in the rafts – memorable moments you'll always share with your kids. Since we take care of all the details of the trip, from meal planning to camp chores, your time is absolutely free to enjoy yourself and one another. Ask about our Family Friendly departures: trips specifically designed with your children in mind.

Wine on the River
•  An adventure that's ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs alike – or those who are simply looking for an incredibly unique getaway – our “Wine on the River” series combines the excitement of river rafting with the delights of good food and fine wine. Our 6-day trip on the Main Salmon, “Best of the Pacific Northwest Wines,” introduces our guests to a variety of quality vintages from renowned viticultural states including the Pinot Noirs of Oregon, paired with a different delicious meal each evening. Renowned wine connoisseur Robert Wolfe will accompany the trip.

Variety of Boats
•  As a result of the river's volume, we can bring the full gamut of O.A.R.S.' river vessels on the Main Salmon so that you can experience them all! Riding in an oar boat one day and a wooden dory the next, then challenging yourself on the whitewater hands-on in a paddle raft or inflatable kayak, promises both a diverse and exciting river adventure for everyone in your party.

Sample Itinerary
We pride ourselves in running both a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water and sometimes even the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like.

The Day Before Your Trip
•  The day before our adventure begins, w will meet at the Stagecoach Inn at 8:00 PM for our pre-trip meeting. This is a great opportunity to get acquainted with your guides and fellow travelers and to ask any final questions. Your guides will provide you with a thorough trip orientation before passing out your waterproof bags.

Day 1

•  We'll depart for the 2 hour drive to our Corn creek launch site as at 7 AM.. Stopping at the North Fork Store along the way, we’ll take care of last minutes such as lures, fishing permits, and any personal goods that you might have forgotten. After a brief paddling instruction and informative safety talk at the river, we start off on our river adventure! The day’s first whitewater action includes the Killum and Gun barrel rapids.

•  The scenery that soon surrounds the rafts will immediately transfix us, and we’re mesmerized by the intense beauty of the river canyon for the remainder of the trip. The Salmon River canyon is the second deepest gorge in North America and is densely forested with soaring conifers and pines and, early in the season, covered with lush wildflowers. Our welcome to the river may be by a herd of bighorn sheep, a family of otters, a giant moose or elk or moose wading in the waters, or if we're lucky, perhaps a black bear standing on guard at the shore.

•  Our first day tends to set the pace for the following week on the river. We typically spend a few hours on the river before lunch, maybe stopping for a hike, a soak in a natural hot spring, or a visit to a historic site. Once lunchtime comes, we break at a sandy beach to enjoy a lavish picnic. After we’ve feasted and relaxed on the beach we get back into our boats for more exhilarating whitewater. Be sure to take this opportunity to try the paddleboat or inflatable kayak! Mid- to late-afternoon, we make the final stop of the day to make camp; you grab your gear and set up your tent while we make sure that the kitchen and “living room” – comfortable camp chairs and the campfire (if permitted), are taken care of. It won’t be long before you'll be enjoying a cold beverage and tasty hors d'oeuvres – delicious as these refreshments are, food always seems to taste better following a day on the river! Take the time then to read, nap, or sit back and laugh with family and friends as we prepare dinner. Perhaps some music, jokes or stories will bring us together tonight, or the pop of the fire, the sounds of the river and the huge country sky will encourage personal reflection on the wilderness that is, for the next week, our home.

Days 2-5

•  As we travel into the pristine centre of the Frank Church, every day brings with it a new discovery. Exciting rapids like Big Mallard , Salmon Falls and Growler, the site of Buckskin Bill's former homestead and Jim Moore's place ( perhaps you'll find the fortune believed to be buried somewhere in the hillside!), and the anticipated Barth Hot Springs. Seasoned hikers may wish to challenge themselves with a climb up to Rabbit Point. The fishing is alsoprime during these days, and on July and August trips , the combination of warm water and air encourage frequent dips in the river.

Day 6

•  Today, as the path of the Salmon River begins to stretch parallel to the forest service road, our adventure meets its end. After bidding farewell to our guides and the river, we'll make the two-hour drive to McCall, where another lovely town awaits us. You may want to spend the evening, or even a few days, in McCall so you can fully appreciate its beautiful setting along the shores of Payette Lake and some more small-town Idaho charm. Salmon Air runs return flights from McCall to Boise beginning at approximately 10:30 the next morning.

What's Included?
•  Expedition equipment, including 2 person shared tent, sleeping bag and pad, life jacket, wetsuits for paddlers when required and waterproof bags to hold your gear
•  Skilled professional guide services
•  5 nights camping and 6 days rafting
•  The vacation package includes meals from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on Day 6, with limited beer & wine at dinner

What's Not Included?
•  Transportation back and forth between Salmon and McCall
•  Personal Items (an equipment list will be provided)
•  Pre / Post - trip accommodations and meals

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