Salmon River Riggins
Salmon River Riggins Trip Summary
The Salmon River flows past the front door of beautiful Riggins, Idaho, the whitewater capital of the Gem State. This is one of the few sections of the mighty Salmon one can float in a single day and coincidentally also one of the most fun sections of whitewater on the entire 400+ mile river.
On our float trips we offer a variety of river crafts allowing us to uniquely meet the adventure desires of anyone in your group, all while you travel together down the river. For the adrenaline seeker we have our custom designed inflatable kayaks. We will have a guide in an inflatable kayak to teach the skills needed to successfully navigate the towering waves and crashing holes of this section of river. For those wanting more of a tight-knit group experience we have the more traditional paddle raft. With your family or group you will work as a team with a guide steering to take on the Salmon River rapids such as timezone and traps. Choose your river craft and prepare for a day of crashing, splashing, hooting and hollering through the exciting rapids of the Salmon River.
Single day rafting trips on the Salmon River change significantly throughout the summer. Early in June around peak river flows the waves are HUGE and the adventure significant. During this high-water season we only run 1/2 day trips and focus on running the biggest whitewater. Usually by mid to late June the flows have settled into the standard summer flows and the section becomes a family friendly river paradise.
One-day river trips on the Salmon River include lunch and are a great river trip for just about anyone. If you are staying in McCall we are a scenic 40 minutes away and offer a wonderful addition to any summer family vacation so come down to Riggins and join us today.
What our guests have to say...
Reviewed by Amyj23TRIP on September 18, 2014
“This experience can not be beat.”
We had the most fantastic time as a group with this rafting outfit and its guides, Steven and Jake. We had 7 teenagers and 4 adults. The guides let us play, and played hard with us! Everybody had such a terrific time. The guides were fun, kind, funny, and knew much about the river and the surrounding area. The water was warm (kinda: 65), and the weather was excellent too. This experience can not be beat. Thank you so much Orange Torpedo for making our "big outing" so memorable...we all really appreciate it!!!
Salmon River Riggins Trip Itinerary
Trip Logistics Overview
The Full Day whitewater rafting trip on the Salmon River near Riggins Idaho makes for a great family or friends one-day adventure. Our trips meet at 8:30am MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME and conclude around 4pm.
Full Day Itinerary:
Full day trip is available in rafts OR inflatable kayaks. Meet at 8:30 am Mountain Standard Time at our store on the Street of Riggins. From the meeting spot in Riggins we load the group into the van and it’s a 15 minute drive up river to our put-in location. At the put-in the group will receive the equipment for the trip, including PFD’s for everyone and splash tops and helmets as requested (helmets are required for the inflatable kayaks). After getting everyone geared up the group will receive a thorough paddling orientation ensuring you have all the info you need to be successful during your river day. Apply the sunscreen and it’s time to start floating.
The day starts off with some mild whitewater to build those paddling skills and learn the techniques you will need later in the day. Prior to lunch the group will see one class III rapid with some big waves to start testing those paddling skills. Sometime around lunch time the group will pull over to the rivers edge for a riverside picnic and some swimming. On the high-water early season trips some of the biggest rapids are in this section but when the water drops later in the summer they become much more mild and the big rapids are in the afternoon.
After lunch it’s back to the river for the whitewater filled afternoon. After floating past Riggins the whitewater picks up starting with Timezone Rapid. This thrilling bit of whitewater has a few holes and waves so big you want to try and miss them while navigating through the exciting medium sized waves. A few more rapids brings the inflatable kayakers to the surfing spot where we will spend some time learning how to surf our kayaks before continuing on.
Finally as the afternoon winds down with some tired arms, big smiles, and with lots of great rapids behind us, the group pulls into the takeout and the waiting van. The guides will quickly pack up all the gear and it’s into the van for a 10 minute ride back to your waiting car and the conclusion of the trip.
The AM and PM half-day trips are the same trip. Both run the same section of river and both include a refreshing mid-trip snack break. So whether you choose the mornings which are a wonderful time to be on the river, before the wind picks up and the river is less crowded or the also incredible afternoon which is hot and perfect for swimming. So whether you are an early riser or want to sleep in a little we have a trip for you.
AM Half-day trips start at 8:30am MST
PM Half-day trips start at 12:30pm MST.
We will prep you with the gear we need before heading to the river. Upon reaching the river you will receive a thorough paddling orientation before lathering on the sunscreen and starting down river.
Shortly after starting the float the whitewater takes off and the adventure starts. Your paddling team will skillfully navigate through a number of rapids before finding a beach to stop and grab a snack. After the snack numerous rapids dot the horizon line with tranquil pools between them. Kids enjoy swimming in the pools and splashing their parents, while parents simply enjoy the escape with their kids.
On both half-day trips we run the whitewater filled section of the Salmon downstream from Riggins Idaho. Where we launch is somewhat flow dependent but these half-day trips are full of great whitewater and will keep everyone in your group hooting with joy.
EARLY SEASON HIGH WATER TRIPS – All trips in early June are half-day trips and they start further up-river to run the bigger whitewater. Early season on the Salmon is absolutely incredible for those who want a bit more of an adventure!
Travel Information for the Salmon River Riggins
Where to Meet Orange Torpedo Trips
We meet our guests at our shop in downtown Riggins Idaho.
121 N Main St Riggins Idaho.
In Riggins Idaho we recommend a couple of different lodging options.
Numerous camping options exist near the Riggins Idaho area
Spring bar campground is one option but you are near the Seven Devils Wilderness which hosts numerous great camping options.
The closest airport options to Riggins Idaho are Boise Idaho which is about 3.5 hours away and the Lewiston Idaho airport which is about 2.5 hours away.
Summer time weather in Riggins Idaho is typically hot. In late July and August we start to see a few more afternoon thunderstorms, but generally the weather is perfect for going rafting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of boats do you use?
As on most of our trips we offer a variety of river craft to choose from. Orange Torpedo Trips is best known for inflatable kayaking with 80% of our customers choosing this as the way to go down the river, but on this trip we offer 3 types of river craft on this trip. Watch the video to learn more about our 3-boats.
Learn to paddle your own inflatable kayak (Torpedo). We have guides in Torpedo’s teaching you how to paddle and leading you through the rapids in a 4 to 1 ratio. If you happen to fall out the guides have you out of the river in seconds. 45+ years of doing it on the Rogue River and tens of thousands of satisfied returning customers prove that it is extremely fun.
A more traditional type of rafting, paddle rafts are a great way to go if you still want to do some work, but think the torpedo is just a little to much. Work with a team of your friends paddling the big boat through the rapids as the guide sits in the back to help navigate.
Hop on an oared raft and ride in luxury. This is the relaxed way to travel. If taking in the scenery and letting the guide do the work is how you vacation then hop on board. This is how kids 4-11 years old will usually travel.
Q: What is an Orange Torpedo?
An Orange Torpedo is our custom-designed inflatable kayak. We have brought our 45 years of guided inflatable kayaking experience into our partnership with world renown raft builder SOTAR to introduce an industry leading high performance, beginner friendly inflatable kayak which we exclusively use.
Q: Gratuity, is it common to give tips and how much?
Gratuity is certainly appreciated but by no means required. At the conclusion of a trip please just give any gratuity to the head guide who will divide it evenly among the crew.
Q: Does this trip include lunch?
This trip includes a riverside picnic lunch
Q: Can OTT accommodate my food allergy or preference?
While we cannot accommodate all food requests we happily provide, vegitarian, vegan, glutten free, and peanut free meals upon request. Just let us know and we will work
Q: What age is considered “Youth”?
Youth is 17 and under.
Q: How many years have we been running the rivers?
Orange Torpedo Trips was founded on the Rogue River in 1969 by rafting visionary, Jerry Bentley. Within just a few years OTT had spread to numerous rivers throughout the Northwest including the Klamath River, the Main Salmon River and Snake Rivers.
2018 Riggins Day Trip
Please note that all times are MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME
Full Day Trips - Includes lunch
- Daily 8:30am - Adult $109 Youth $79
Trip Start Dates:
- June 15 - Sept 15 -
- Daily 8:30am and 12:30pm - Adult $79 - Youth $64
Trip Start Dates:
- May 15 - Sept 15 -
Salmon River Riggins Trip Packing List
On trips of only a day it’s not critical to have all the gear, but having some of the right things will help you enjoy your experience that much more.
What to pack
- Swim attire shorts and shirt (ideally not cotton)
- Water shoes or sandals
- water bottle - 1 liter
- Ball cap or wide brimmed hat
- Sunglasses with croakies or chums
- Camera to capture the memories.