Main Salmon River 5 or 6-Day

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The historic Main Salmon River, or “River of No Return,” is commonly viewed as one of the best river trips in America for its white water, camping, lodges, hot springs and scenery. This float through the lower 48 states’ largest wilderness has become the premier adventure at Orange Torpedo Trips, hailed by all who do it as a “must-do” life experience.

Days on the Main Salmon River are spent riding over big waves in numerous class II, III and IV rapids, where the guides lead you safely through the obstacles. Nights on the beach are spent with a glass of wine, a beautiful sunset and your closest friends. On lodge nights or full lodge trips grab a hot shower before a delicious home-cooked meal and a soak in the hot tub before bed. Not a bad way to see American wilderness at its best.

View Pictures Location/Details
2014 5-day July 1st - Combo
9th - Camp
17th - Lodge
25th Combo
2014 6-day August
2nd - Camp
10th - Combo
18th - Camp
26th - Camp
When Meet at the Salmon Air desk in the Boise Airport the day before your trip
Length 5 or 6 Days
Who Anyone 5 and older.
All Camping
Adult $1649 | Youth $1499
Adult $1799 | Youth $1649
Half Camp/Half Lodge
Adult $1999 | Youth $1899
Adult $2149 | Youth $2049
All Lodge
>Adult $2299 | Youth $2199
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Trip Itinerary

Day before start date: Meet your Salmon Air flight by 3:00 PM at the Boise Airport. A onehour flight over the scenic Sawtooth Mountains will bring you to Salmon, Idaho. At the Salmon airport you will be picked up by a shuttle from the Stagecoach Inn (your night at the stagecoach is not included in your trip price and requires you to call and make a reservation 1 (208) 756-2919. Please tell them you are with Orange Torpedo Trips. That afternoon is your chance to roam the fine town of Salmon Idaho.

Day 1: The bus to the put-in and your head guide will meet you out front of the Stagecoach at 7:30 AM. After some handshakes the group will board the bus and head towards the river. At the put-in you will receive all of your water gear including: a dry bag for your stuff, wet suit, life jacket, optional helmet, and boat to go down the river. After switching your stuff from your luggage to our dry bags the group will have a thorough safety and paddling orientation to teach you the ins and outs of your Orange Torpedo. By 10:30 AM the group is floating into the heart of the Frank Church Wilderness, headed towards exciting Class III rapids like Killum, Gun Barrel, Lantz, and Devil’s Teeth. By late afternoon, we float into one of the many beautiful Salmon River beaches for camp. If you choose the popular all lodge option we will be floating into the beautiful “River of No Return” lodge. After swimming, a cocktail, and a couple games of horseshoes, (and a hot shower on a lodge trip) you’ll be ready for appetizers, dinner, and some exquisite dessert. After dinner and socializing, relax under the stars and then find your bed.

Day 2: Wake up and enjoy freshly made coffee along with a hot cinnamon role right out of the dutch oven. After breakfast, the guides will pack up the rafts while you get ready to head down river. By 10 AM, the group pushes off and we start drifting towards the Black Canyon and Salmon Falls–a great place to hit some waves. At Barth Hot Springs, we stop and soak in the tub before heading down river and stopping for lunch. As we float though this spectacular canyon keep your eyes peeled for black bear and big horn sheep; both are commonly seen in this area. After more exciting white water, we hit the beach and set up camp for another relaxing evening. On lodge trips we pull into the unique “White Water West Ranch” for the evening. For those who brought their hiking boots, tonight you will have the chance to beat your feet a little before dinner.

Day 3: Wake up to another hot and filling breakfast before another “big water day”. Depending on lodge or camp day two ended with or day three will start with multiple Class III and IV rapids like Baily’s, Split Rock, Big Mallard, Elk Horn, and Growler, this is sure to be a thrilling ride. Under the hot afternoon sun we arrive at Buckskin Bills. Buckskin was known as the last true mountain man and built his home on the Salmon River. At this isolated retreat, you can climb his old tower, watch the short documentary on his life, and purchase some ice cream. You will always remember your stop at Buckskins as an interesting and beautiful oasis with plenty of fascinating history on the last of the true Salmon River hermits. When you finish your ice cream, we head back to the boats for more white water before floating into camp or Mackay Bar Lodge.

Day 4: Another great day on the river! After breakfast, we float through what we like to call “boat party canyon.” This scenic gorge is the second deepest canyon in the lower 48 states and provides great opportunities to swim and spend time relaxing with your family or friends. After a stop at “the swimming hole” we float into Shepp Ranch. If you have chosen the lodge option on the 5-day you can hit the beach and walk up to fresh lemonade and cookies before finding a soft bed, a hot shower, and a community hot tub. Spend the rest of the day hiking, playing volleyball, or relaxing in an adirondack chair in the river. Whatever you choose, you’ll regret having to leave this paradise in the morning. If you have chosen the all camping option the group will float a few more miles downstream for the last night of sleeping under the stars. This is “formal river wear” night so plan to see your guides dressed in their best.

Day 5: After a hot breakfast, we have our final morning stretching session and head down the river. The last day ends with a bang at Vinegar Rapids. This is a great spot to take photos of your friends and family running through the exciting wave train. Around lunchtime, we will arrive at the take-out where a van is waiting to take you back to the Holiday Inn at the Boise Airport. Repack your bags and change clothes before saying goodbye to the guides and climbing in the van for the final leg of your journey. You should arrive in Boise between 6 and 7 PM. Travel time to Boise can vary. Plan for your flight out the next day.

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