Preparing for your
Middle Fork Salmon adventure
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!
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
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.
- Drive to the launch point at Boundary Creek
- 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:
Bozeman, MT or other
We will let you know well in advance where your trip is starting so you can make travel arrangements accordingly.
Getting There & Away
- 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.
- 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 is well connected with daily flights from around the country.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.