The Main Salmon River in Idaho, AKA ‘The River of No Return’: carves through the heart of Idaho Wilderness and forms the second deepest canyon in the US. Broad sandy beaches, Class II-IV whitewater, wildlife, canyon walls, hot springs, and history all come together to make this an outstanding river trip experience. The full wilderness run encompasses 80+ miles of river and drops 1200’ in elevation. We recommend 6 days to explore this unique river although shorter trips can be arranged.
A trip on the Main Salmon is an exciting yet also relaxing wilderness adventure. While you do not need prior whitewater experience, you will need an adventurous spirit and reasonable fitness. Age requirements are a minimum of 6 years old and the ability to cope with normal camping routines. You will be expected to carry your personal gear short distances and erect a simple tent. We will provide you with tents, sleeping bags and a large, comfortable sleeping pad. A portable toilet affectionately called ‘the groover’ is provided at camp. Our camping equipment is all up to date and our style of river camping is considered first-rate. SOAR Northwest’s top priority is to keep you safe as well as comfortable. This includes healthy & hearty meals, campfires & chairs, personal assistance when needed, and guidance in dealing with the elements and weather. SOAR NW operates on the Main Salmon River from the end of July through October when the water levels are typically lower and warmer. We emphasize family trips, youth programs, Military Veteran programs, and Steelhead fishing. We also offer ‘row your own raft’ supported adventures for those with prior boating experience.
Part of our mission in the backcountry is to respect and deepen the wilderness experience. Therefore we strive to keep our trip guest numbers more intimate than most other outfitters. We prefer a 12 guest maximum although we can expand if needed. As a small family operation we take great pride in personalizing your river experience.
Learn more about the history of the Main Salmon on the Salmon History page (coming soon) and please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with any questions.
Salmon River Trips begin and end in Missoula, Montana.
Our Salmon River trips begin and end in Missoula, Montana at the Doubletree Hotel on the Clark Fork River. SOAR Northwest is happy to make your hotel reservations for the pre and post trip nights at a discounted rate. This cost is not included in the trip cost. The Doubletree Hotel offers free shuttle service to and from the Missoula airport. The hotel location offers a river-view restaurant, a walking path along the river into Downtown Missoula, and easy access to a grocery store, restaurants and even hiking to the regionally famous ‘M’. Air Service to Missoula is serviced by Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, & United.
Trip Orientation takes place at The Doubletree Hotel the night before the launch date at 6:00 pm. During orientation you trip leader will answer questions, complete all necessary paperwork, and issue you your personal gear for the trip. You may leave your extra luggage in a hotel locker during your trip and, if you are driving, you may leave your vehicle in the hotel parking lot.
We depart The Doubletree Hotel at 7:30 am on the morning of the launch date. The shuttle van will take you to the river put-in at Corn Creek, approximately a 4 hour drive. Along the drive we will make a limited number of last minute stops for fishing licenses, tackle and liquor if desired. Our return trip to Missoula at the end of the trip will begin after we arrive at the take-out at Carey Creek. At approximately 12:00 noon on the last day, we will load into the shuttle bus for a 6 hour scenic road trip back to Missoula through several historic western towns, up the Lochsa River and over Lolo Pass.