Guidelines and FAQ

I own my own gear and go on private river trips all the time, can I row my own raft on an ECHO Middle Fork trip?


Our goal is for all of our guests to have the most enjoyable trip possible on the Middle Fork. That means managing the needs and safety of the entire group. In order to row your own boat, you must have great river skills and also have the ability to work seamlessly within the group dynamic.

What is it like to row down the Middle Fork?

The Middle Fork has a steady current for the entire 100 miles, and boatman are continuously avoiding obstacles. There are tons of class III rapids and many challenging class IV rapids. It is a physically demanding river for rowers. You rarely get to kick your feet up and relax when you’re rowing on the Middle Fork.

Big Water at Pistol Creel Rapid

Big Water at Pistol Creel Rapid

You will be expected to navigate the rapids safely and keep up with the pace of the group which covers between 15-25 miles per day. We will sometimes scout some big rapids, but you should feel very comfortable reading water and following the line of the guided boat in front of you.

How do I get my boat to put-in?

You are responsible for getting your boat to the river. Ideally your rigged raft arrives at put-in with you and the other guests the morning of launch. The guides will help you get your boat down the ramp.

Put-in on the Middle Fork

Put-in on the Middle Fork

What gear do I need?

You should be equipped with all necessary gear to take care of yourself and your boat while on the river. Essential items include spare oars, a repair kit, a first aid kit, a throw bag, and a pump.

Can I have passengers?

No. Only licensed Middle Fork guides can carry passengers.

What are the expectations for me on the river?

You are expected to follow all the instructions from guides. The guides will communicate with you on the river and expect you to follow their instructions exactly. It is essential for the safety of group that you are able to fully control your boat and maintain proper spacing and boat order. You should understand basic river commands and have lots of experience running class III and IV rapids. You should have some river rescue training or experience. You should understand that you are a guest under the supervision of the guides who want you to have a fun and safe experience.

What are the expectations in camp? Do I have to help out in the kitchen?

You'll have to repeatedly beg us to help out in the kitchen - you're on vacation! Once you're in camp put your feet up, go for a hike, sit in a hot spring, play cards, take a nap, or go fishing. In short, enjoy the river life!

What if I have an equipment failure or am unable to row for any reason?

You should have the materials and skills to perform routine boat repairs. If you are unable to row for any reason then your boat and equipment will be flown out from the nearest airstrip at your expense.

Can I leave camp early and go at my own pace during the day?

No. You must stay with the group and follow the guided boat in front of you.

A well-spaced boat pod on the Middle Fork

A well-spaced boat pod on the Middle Fork

What should I do to prepare for rowing my own boat down the Middle Fork?

Get out and row as much as possible before the trip! Also, purchase a Middle Fork guide book and familiarize yourself with the river and the major rapids.

Please note the lead guide reserves the final right of refusal at any time on the river. If conditions become too challenging for your skill level then the lead guide may ask you to stop piloting your own boat. Your equipment will be flown out at the nearest airstrip at your expense.