EL CERRITO, Calif. -- Adventure specialist Mountain Travel Sobek
added a five-night rafting trip of the Middle Fork branch of
Idaho's Salmon River to its domestic product offerings.
The Middle Fork runs through central Idaho's 2.2 million-acre
River of No Return Wilderness Area -- said to be the largest
wilderness area in the U.S., outside of Alaska.
The river provides more than 100 stretches of rapids over 100
The rapids range in intensity from Class II to Class IV,
according to James Ellsworth, Mountain Travel Sobek's director of
On the first day of the trip, clients will depart from Stanley,
Idaho, and be driven to the launch point at Boundary Creek.
Clients can choose to raft down the river in oar boats paddled
by guides; in paddle boats that they work themselves or in one-man
The inflatable kayaks are typically only used during the
low-water season -- July and August -- when the rapids are slower,
However, he said this year the river is running low in general,
so kayaks will most likely be available for use on any
For safety purposes, sweep boats -- large barge-like boats --
ride ahead of and behind the participants' watercrafts.
The lead sweep boat carries all the camp equipment and, as it
reaches the campsite first, MTS guides have the area set up by the
time the rest of the group arrives.
For the next four days, clients, in addition to whitewater
rafting, can choose from optional hiking excursions through canyons
and to see historical homesteads and cave paintings by American
Catch-and-release fishing is an option for clients who bring
their own gear.
On two nights, camp sites are planned near natural hot springs,
which are suitable for swimming.
On the last day of the trip, after lunch, clients are driven to
Salmon, Idaho, for the return trip home.
Ellsworth said the rafting program is ideal for small groups,
including families or for corporate retreats.
"This is a trip for anyone from 9 to 80 years of age who has an
adventurous spirit," he added.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River rafting trip has departures
set for July 1,
9, 17 and 25 and Aug. 2, 10 and 18.
The company will be announcing additional departure dates for
The land-only rate for most departures starts at $1,690 per
person, plus tax. The rate for the Aug. 10 and 18 departures start
at $1,590, plus tax. There is a 10% discount for children ages 15
The minimum age for participants is 9; for high-water trips,
clients must be at least 12 years old.
The rate covers services of the guides, all meals (prepared by
MTS staff members who serve as chefs as well as guides), rafting
and camping equipment, ground transfers, entrance permits and fees,
and medical and evacuation insurance.
For clients who want to have a vehicle shuttled from Stanley to
Salmon, there is an $85 fee.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon River package is commissionable at
Trips are available for six to 24 people.
All departures are guaranteed.
For additional details, contact Mountain Travel Sobek at (800)
MTSOBEK; fax (510) 525-7710.
The e-mail address is [email protected] and the Web site address is www.mtsobek.com.