Preparing for your

Middle Fork Salmon adventure

Trip Overview

You are about to embark on an unforgettable adventure along Idaho’s favorite wilderness river – The Middle Fork of the Salmon. This 5-6 day expedition is fully catered, so all you have to show up with is a smile and your personal belongings for the week. We’ll handle the rest!

Welcome to Camp

Preparing for Your Trip

You probably have lots of questions about your upcoming trip and how you can best prepare for it. We’re here to help. While we’re always a phone call away, here are some helpful tips to get you going in the right direction:

  • Download and print this helpful packing list
  • For each guest we provide a clean sleeping bag, pillow, waterproof camp bag, waterproof day bag, life jacket, sanitized helmet, and water bottle
  • All you need to pack are your personal clothes and belongings
  • For trips starting in June, you will need a drysuit. See the section below on drysuit rentals.
  • If you plan to fish, you will need a fishing license. Get one online here. Kids under the age of 14 do not need a fishing license.
  • Still need some last minute gear? We have a great selection of BE hats, sun-shirts, hoodies and more in our BE Gear Store.

Packing for your trip

You can also check out these videos on how to dress for both camp time and river time.

Getting Oriented

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River flows south to north right through the heart of Idaho. Because it is surrounded by wilderness there are only two ways to access the river.

  1. Drive to the launch point at Boundary Creek
  2. Fly to a backcountry airstrip alongside the river

    Either way we start, it’s a beautiful piece of Idaho backcountry you will get to experience as we access the river!

    Trip Start and Getting There

    Every trip starts with a pre-trip orientation meeting the evening before trip launch. This is a fun time to get to know each other, ask questions, and get outfitted with your waterproof river bags.

    Depending on the time of year, water level, and your interests we will host the orientation meeting at one of the three following locations:

    Stanley, Idaho

    Early season trips (June – mid-July) typically start in the scenic mountain town of Stanley.

    Salmon, ID

    Later in the season (mid-July – September) we typically start at our boathouse in the river town of Salmon.

    Bozeman, MT or other

    For private trips, we offer the option of a custom trip start location – typically Bozeman, MT or Sun Valley, ID.

    We will let you know well in advance where your trip is starting so you can make travel arrangements accordingly.

    Getting There & Away

    Getting There

    Stanley, ID

    • The closest commercial airports to Stanley are: Sun Valley or Boise.
    • Gem Air offers daily flights from Boise to Stanley and return from Salmon to Boise.
    • There is no car rental or return availability in Stanley.

    Salmon, ID

    • The closest commercial airports to Salmon are: Missoula, MT, Idaho Falls, ID, Boise, ID, or Bozeman, MT.
    • Gem Air offers daily round-trip flights from Boise to Salmon
    • There is no car rental or return availability in Salmon

    Bozeman, MT

    • Bozeman is well connected with daily flights from around the country.

    Trip End

    All Middle Fork Salmon River trips end at the confluence with the Main Salmon River. From here, our comfortable Boundary Expeditions bus shuttles you back to our boathouse in Salmon, ID.

    At the Boundary Expeditions boathouse, you will have the opportunity to freshen up, shop the BE Gear Store, leave a guide gratuity, and prepare for your onward journey.

    If your trip is starting and ending in Bozeman, your afternoon flight to Bozeman typically departs between 3:30-4:00 pm and lands in Bozeman between 4:30-5:00 pm.

    GEM AIR – (208) 756-7382

    We’re happy to help find solutions for your arrival and departure travel!

    Other FAQs

    Dry Suit Rentals

    For early season trips, guests are required to wear a drysuit. You’ll appreciate the comfort and protection from cold water that these provide.
    For rentals, we recommend Pacific River Supply:

        • Follow the instructions on their rental page
        • If you prefer to have drysuits shipped to us, you may set delivery to: Boundary Expeditions, 11 Hugh Lane, Salmon, Idaho 83467
          • *Please Note: dry suits will need to arrive 2 days prior to trip launch for us to have them ready for you
        • For a $75/dry suit cleaning and shipping surcharge, we will be happy to return your dry suit for you at the end of the trip

      To purchase your own dry suit, we recommend NRS.

    Car Shuttles

    If your trip starts in Stanley and you drive your own vehicle, you will want it to be shuttled to the Boundary Expeditions boathouse in Salmon while you are on the river. We recommend booking with River Shuttles. We are happy to help with any questions you may have.

    What About Left Luggage

    Any luggage, valuables, laptops, etc. that you would like to leave behind while on the trip, can be securely stored at our boathouse in Salmon. If your trip is starting from Stanley, we can arrange to have your items safely transported to our boathouse with our bus driver.

    Do I need to bring my own helmet or life jacket?

    We will provide you with a life jacket and helmet. If you would like to bring your own, you are welcome to, but life jackets must meet US Coast Guard type III or V ratings and also pass our guide inspection.


    You’ll need a place to stay the night before your trip launches. We’ll let you know if you need to make a booking or if we have secured a group booking for you.

    Recommended Reading

    The Middle Fork of the Salmon River, A Guide

    By Matt Leidecker, 2006
    This is the river map our guides used to learn the river. With lots of great information about the rapids, hikes, and geology it’s a fun and handy waterproof guide to carry with you on the boat.

    Middle Fork : A Guide

    By Johnny Carrey and Cort Conley, 1992
    Interesting read on the Middle Fork of the Salmon and its history.

    Roadside Geology of Idaho

    By David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman, 1989
    The middle fork is very unique geologically and this book comprehensively covers the geologic story.