The Middle Fork is without a doubt America's premier alpine whitewater river. It has all the essential features that bring the lovers of wild rivers back time and time again: great whitewater, spectacular scenery, wildlife, fantastic fishing, incredibly clear, cool water, wonderful hot springs, and superb campsites.
Congress recognized the "outstandingly remarkable ... values" of the river in 1968, by including it with the first batch of rivers to be protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Since then it has been the flagship of the Wild and Scenic Rivers System and the nation's most vigorously protected river.
This is the classic mountain whitewater river. The Middle Fork begins close to 6000 feet above sea level in the Salmon Mountains of central Idaho. It is a small, swift stream at the top, cavorting down a steep rocky bed cut through dense spruce forest. The stream quickly grows into a river as countless tributaries join it and the canyon widens. Its waters are as clear as gin, and its canyons serve up views as stunning as they are varied. The campsites are beautiful and spacious, the fishing is excellent. We stop frequently to soak in hot springs, visit pictographs left by the Sheepeater Indians, hike up sidestreams, and stand under waterfalls.
Families on the Middle Fork
A Middle Fork rafting trip is the perfect family vacation. Spending quality time in the outdoors with your loved ones bring families closer and creates memories that last a lifetime. Learn more about families and the river.
Nothing beats a freshly prepared meal after a day of fun & sun on the river. We have tested menus for years and have come up with great recipes that wow our guests. Best of all, our guides take care of the shopping, packing, cooking and cleaning leaving you and your family plenty of time to relax and enjoy the river. We are happy to provide food for those with dietary restrictions we know in advance. Learn more about food on the river.
If you're a hardshell or inflatable kayaker we'd love to have you join us. We have a fleet of modern creekboats and playboats to choose from. Just bring your paddle, skirt, PFD, and helmet. Learn more about kayaking on the river.
You can also join our friends Phil and Mary DeRiemer who offer kayak guiding and instruction on two special trips every summer. Learn more about DeRiemer Kayak Trips.
When Should I Go?
Trips on the Middle Fork vary greatly throughout the season as no dams regulate the flow. Early June is when the river is at peak flow, so you can run the full 100 miles in a quicker trip. Kayakers enjoy the river from June through early July. Families prefer July and August trips, when the weather is warmer and the flow is suitable for children. In late July or early August, the first 25 miles of the Middle Fork get too low to raft. At this point, which varies year to year, you will fly into an airstrip along the river and enjoy the last 75 miles of the river at a leisurely pace. Unlike many outfitters, we cover the cost of the flight. Our office staff is happy to help you choose the best time to experience this incredible river.
Create Your Own Trip
Organize a private trip for your friends, family or business and add custom touches to make it perfect for your group. River trips are the perfect vacation choice to bring people together for any special occasion. Plan ahead to book a date all to yourselves and then add custom options to make it perfect for your group. Check out all of the possibilities.
Northwest Rafting Company
In 2014 we began running our trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River as Northwest Rafting Company. The trip style, quality, and type of river guides have all remained the same.