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Idaho River Adventures

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Stanley, ID, USA
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About Idaho River Adventures
A trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon is like no other. Situated in the largest Wilderness Area in the lower 48, the 105 mile long Middle Fork of the Salmon cuts the Frank Church-River of no Return Wilderness Area directly in half. You will see Native American cultural sites, remnants of early Euro-American homesteaders, and wildlife including bald eagles and osprey, mule deer, Rock Mountain bighorn sheep, river otter, and many others. The Middle Fork of the Salmon was one of the eight original river sections designated in 1968 under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and has been managed as a catch-and-release, blue Ribbon Trout fishery since 1973 making it the best dry-fly fishing Wilderness experiences in the World. You will not be disappointed with a trip down the Middle Fork of the Salmon.
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JayTee338 wrote a review Sep 2019
Denver, Colorado36 contributions11 helpful votes
Wow! We just returned from our trip down the Middle Fork. What an amazing place. Dustin and his crew are top- notch. They pick you up at the Boise airport and take you back there. Everything in between is completely taken care of. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable about the history and geology of the area as well as the ecology of the river. We tried to ride with a different guide every day, just to learn more about them and get each one’s perspective. The trip was not rushed in any way. Each day included side activities like hot springs, hikes, and pictographs . We were also well fed with delicious meals of Salmon, Pork Chops, Lasagna, and Filet Mignon. Deserts were incredible too, They even made a birthday cake one evening. I highly recommend Idaho River Adventures.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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KerriSchroeder wrote a review Aug 2019
Sammamish, Washington, United States1 contribution
Dustin and his team of guides made our week on the Middle Fork of the Salmon amazing! Every detail was taken care of, and the guides were knowledgable, funny, and willing to do anything necessary to make sure our family of two parents and four somewhat rowdy teenage boys had a great time! The river was fun, the food was excellent, music and wine in the evenings made for a truly memorable trip. Highly recommend!
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Date of experience: August 2019
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jerben22 wrote a review Aug 2019
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma25 contributions12 helpful votes
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Words cannot describe how amazing this trip was, but I will try my best. Before you actually put in on the Middle Fork, you will probably spend several months corresponding with Dustin (Owner of Idaho River Adventures) or a member of his team prior to arrival. Dustin was always quick to respond, and he wants to make sure you are prepared. Thanks to his input and the packing list provided, my wife and I were very comfortable the six days on the river. Follow his instructions and trust this should ease a large portion of your anxiety. We are from Tulsa and flew into Boise the day before the check in and took advantage of the shuttle from the airport. If you live closer to Boise then you may look into driving to Stanley. The shuttle from Salmon to Boise stops in Stanley on the way back and you have the option of getting to pick your car up there (please verify with Dustin that this is the case for your specific trip). The day you put in is an exciting one. There is a lot going on but make sure you take the time to really look at everything it takes to launch. This is the beginning of understanding just how valuable and important your guides are. I won't spoil what each day looks like as I feel it will be best self-discovered. I can tell you that you are fed exceptionally well, personally treated even better and given plenty of chances to hike, swim, paddle, fish (make sure you get your license), relax and sight see. Typical Day - Wake (under the stars if weather permits). Coffee is generally ready around 6:30 am. Breakfast is served around 7:30. During this time, one of the guides will give you the itinerary for the day (hikes, hot springs, rapids, etc.). There is plenty of time to chat, eat and visit the groover prior to launching for the day around 9:30. Breakdown the tent, pack your bags to be put on the sweep boat and plan what boat/raft/kayak you want to try that day. We recommend doing each one at some point. You get the most wet on the kayak, then the paddle raft then the oar boats. Break for lunch which gives a short amount of time to dry out, eat and possibly do a quick hike, swim or some fishing. Back on the river until about 4:30 where you will come around a bend, see the sweep boat and the tents set up. Grab your bag, bed roll then pick out a tent. This is a great time to grab a beer and get your tent organized. Dinner is served around 7:30 which gives a lot of time to hike, fish, plays some games or just visit and reminisce about the day’s events. Hopefully you will have a musician or two in the group that will provide some entertainment. We had a jazz musician who played trumpet. The day ends with a fire (if weather permits) and a star filled sky like you have never seen before. Did I mention sleeping under the stars? Many folks had waterproof cameras, and a few action cameras. I personally used my iPhone XR and kept it in a waterproof sleeve that was always attached to my body or my dry bag in the raft. Next time I will invest in a waterproof point and shoot. Our guides worked their tails off each and every day and remained approachable, knowledgeable, gracious and fun. Not only is what they do physical, it is mentally taxing navigating the river and making sure everyone is comfortable and safe. Did I mention they are great chefs as well?!?! Huge shout out and appreciation to Joseph, Bren, Greg, Alex, Taylor and Tom. We started out as a group of 23 passengers and my wife and I feel that we made new friends and became a very tight knit group by the end of the trip. We had one of our group members volunteer to capture names and emails and has created a place to share photos. I highly recommend this. The River - The Middle Fork of the Salmon is breathtaking. As you make your way down elevation the scenery changes and you are treated to something new on a daily basis. You will learn a lot about this area from your guides but if you want to get an early start, check out the information on the Frank Church Wilderness area which the Middle Fork is a part of. There are several outfitters you could select for your trip down the Middle Fork. After tons of research, phone calls and emails, we landed on Idaho River Adventures. I can't fathom how another outfitter could have done any better than IRA. Dustin and his team are true professionals and have thought of everything to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime. Please put them as your first consideration. Jerry and Michelle
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Islandlovers44 wrote a review Jul 2019
Boise, Idaho9 contributions3 helpful votes
Taking a 6 day trip into Idaho's Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is a privileged experience in itself. Add the white water of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with a top notch outfitter, and it becomes a trip of a lifetime. Dustin Aherin has put together that quality team of guides and equipment that make this experience safe and fun. I had my cousin, his family, and my 14 year old granddaughter booked for the last week of June. Perfect water level for a recreational experience. Our guides went the extra mile to make our trip special, especially for the younger members of our group. I saw my granddaughter gain self confidence while jumping off a cliff, being part of the paddle boat team with her cousin for a couple of days and even going solo on an inflatable kayak for a couple of hours. All four of those young people in our party will remember this experience for the rest of their lives. Alex, thanks for being the guiding light for Ellie and Emma. Tom, for your patience with a couple of new fly fishermen. When you are forced to put aside your electronics for a week, you begin to tune out the static, the news, and the stress, and start to appreciate some of the great natural wonders of the Rocky Mountains. You meet a wonderful assortment of personalities and if you are with the right outfitter, you get a little bit spoiled. So let the guides cook up some magical feasts on the beach each day and set up your tent each afternoon. For those days on the river are great. I highly recommended Idaho River Adventures.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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Kevin C wrote a review Jul 2019
2 contributions
First, I will comment on the trip itself, and then on the Outfitter (Idaho River Adventures). During the last 5 years, I've rafted down the Colorado in Grand Canyon, and joined group hiking trips in the Himalayas, the Alps and Patagonia. The MFSR rafting trip is as beautiful and exciting as any of the other trips, and I sincerely doubt anyone could organize this river trip better than Idaho River Adventures. There is way, way more whitewater on the MFSR than on the Colorado. Seems there was a Class I-III rapid almost every mile during the 105 mile trip -- and the water is still "choppy" in between rapids. You have a choice of experiencing the river in a relatively "dry" oar boat rowed by a guide (it's pretty dry in the back seats but not the front), getting very wet in a 8-person paddle boat or paddling solo through the rapids in an inflatable kayak, which will certainly raise your heart rate in 4' waves and 3' waterfalls. The scenery is beautiful and variable (forests, desert hills, rocky cliffs). There are natural hot springs to soak in 100 degree water at days end, and several interesting, challenging hikes (like a steep 1,300' climb at 6am). The campsites are beautiful and the food is amazing. As for Idaho River Adventures, I have to rate them even higher than the legendary OARS outfitter that i took in the GC. I rated OARS a 4.5, but IRA is a 5+. Here's why: (1) The guides were so friendly, positive and helpful that it was almost unbelievable. Really, they are that good. (2) They set up the whole camp (including your tent) before you arrive in camp, knowing you will be tired and wet (3) The tents are extra large, fitting 3 people so you could have your gear inside (4) They provide a superior meal situation by providing tables to eat off & cleaning up all the dishes & bring lots of beer and wine (5) They offer a solar shower to cleanup on shore (soap is not allowed in the river) and shelter the toilet in a duck blind (6) They put up a tarp over the dining areas if it rains. Dustin really seems to care about both the big stuff and the little things that make a trip like this so special. He has a world class team, and offers a world class experience. As for the negatives, I usually can come up with several...but sorry...can't identify any this time.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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