Main Fork of the Salmon Rafting Expedition CME

6 Days from From $2,350

A journey through the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states on a river with a timelessness and mountain grandeur that is matched by few. It is a trip of a lifetime—one of the world’s premier wilderness trips.

Join us on this river trip for an adventure of a lifetime while earning CME credits. Come alone, bring a friend or the whole family!

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Idaho’s Wild and Scenic Main Salmon River

Idaho’s Salmon River is one of the longest free flowing rivers in the United States and cuts through a vast area of incredibly rugged Rocky Mountain wilderness – the largest wilderness area in the Lower 48. The canyon it creates is the second deepest on the continent and it has a timelessness and mountain grandeur that is matched by few rivers anywhere. It is one of the last big mountain rivers remaining in the world that is undammed and for 85 miles it is virtually untouched by modern civilization. It is a rafting trip of a lifetime, a multi-sport adventure, one of the world’s premier wilderness rivers, and an adventure that we are honoured to offer.

Known as the “River of No Return” by early explorers the Salmon is a big mountain river. It has big water with spring flows rivaling that of Colorado’s Grand Canyon and big, fun, roller coaster style rapids; a big, incredibly beautiful,  river corridor set in a massive wilderness with peaks rising over a mile above the river; huge sandy beaches shaded by towering pine and fir trees ; big side creeks full of trout – creeks that would be called rivers in many parts of the world; a long history full of big personalities, characters, and stories; a ton of wild life including Big Horn Sheep, Black Bear, and Bald Eagle; and most importantly it offers a big authentic wilderness experience.

Despite its size, history, remoteness, and early nickname the Main Salmon River is incredibly friendly and comfortable. It features warm summer days lasting until nearly 10 in the evening, cool nights perfect for sleeping under the stars, water perfect for swimming, natural hot springs to soak in, perhaps the best beach camping anywhere, world-class trout fishing, a ton of hiking, and whitewater that is exciting yet safe. People have said that it feels wild, untouched, and rugged but at the same time comfortable, forgiving, and almost luxurious – a journey that combines a perfect beach vacation with the solitude and beauty of a vast wilderness and the excitement of a mountain whitewater river.

The whitewater features big water wave trains punctuated by calm green pools. It is fun and exciting, but great for almost any age level. You have the choice of sitting in relaxing oar boats, participating in more exciting paddle boats, or navigating the whitewater in an inflatable kayak or a stand up paddle board (this adds a big level of excitement to the rapids).

The options for each day can turn the trips into a multi-sport adventure for those interested. The river is perfect for inflatable kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. There are both mellow and epic hiking options and there is world-class trout fishing.  It is not uncommon to have a group leave together in the morning, split for hiking, fishing, or a stop at one of the historic wilderness homesteads, and then come back together as they float into the evenings camp to tell the stories of their day.

Idaho’s Main Salmon is one of those rare river trips that is ideal for the seasoned whitewater connoisseur, someone wanting to make the jump from shorter wilderness trips like Oregon’s Rogue River, or for complete first timers looking for their first river trip or an amazing vacation. The trip can be enjoyed by those wanting high adventure, those wanting a very active trip, and those just wanting a beautiful lazy vacation. Our salmon trips range from groups of families to college buddies to chartered private trips and it is not uncommon to have trips enjoyed by three generations of family or friends.

WILDERNESS & TRAVEL MEDICINE CLASSES: COURSE INFORMATION

Accreditation 15 Hours AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

WILDERNESS MEDICINE COURSE CONTENT INCLUDES:

  • Altitude Illness
  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Heat Illness
  • Snakebites
  • Travelers Illnesses
  • Marine Envenomations
  • Trauma Management
  • Wilderness Orthopedics
  • Water Disinfection
  • Swiftwater Safety and Rescue
  • Basic Wilderness Survival
  • Wilderness Medical Kits
  • Wound Management
  • Patient Assessment
  • Wilderness Dermatology
  • Wilderness Pediatrics

CME ACCREDITATION INFORMATION
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Emergency Medical Education and Wilderness and Travel Medicine. The Center for Emergency Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Center for Emergency Medical Education designates this live activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM.

Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ITINERARY

Please arrive in Salmon, Idaho the night before the trip begins. Salmon is a 5-hour drive (1 hour flight) from Boise and a 2-hour drive from Missoula. Please see section below on getting to Salmon. We have a pre-trip orientation at the Stagecoach Inn (208-756-2919) at 8:30pm the evening before the trip begins. We will get acquainted, answer questions, and have a short orientation to show you how to pack the waterproof gear bags we provide for your personal gear. Pack for tomorrow’s early morning departure for the Main Salmon River! You will meet the Trip Leader tonight and the rest of the guides in the morning at the Main Salmon River.

Lodging at the Stagecoach Inn is arranged on your own.

DAY 1
We meet at 7:30am at the Stagecoach Inn for a 2-hour bus ride to the Corn Creek, the put-in for the Main Salmon River. We will stop after 45 minutes to get last minute items (fishing licenses, beer, sunscreen etc.) at the North Fork Store. Upon launching our rafts at Corn Creek we journey into the pristine heart of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area. We will encounter Killum, Gun Barrel and Alder rapids today, which are all fun class III wave trains. This river calls to adventure seekers, who can choose between the paddle raft, inflatable kayaks or stand-up paddleboards. Or you can ride comfortably on an oar raft in our luxurious “Queen of Sheeba Couch” and take in the scenery. The fishing is excellent for novice and experienced anglers alike. The warm air and water temperatures encourage frequent refreshing dips in the river and we often find guests in calm sections floating next to the rafts. Evenings find us enjoying delicious dutch oven delights, relaxing by the campfire, playing horseshoes, listening to the guides sing and play guitar and watching for shooting stars.

DAYS 2 – 5
Each day brings new discoveries: exciting rapids like Black Creek, Bailey, 5 Mile, Split Rock, Big Mallard, Elkhorn and Growler rapids, historical sites such as Buckskin Bill’s homestead and Jim Moore’s place (maybe you’ll find the fortune he buried in the hillside!), and the much anticipated Barth Hot Springs. Visit Barth Hot Springs, known as the best hot spring in the Pacific Northwest.

We may stop and visit with several families that live along the river year round and they will share their stories of living “off the grid” in the wilderness and take us on a tour of their homesteads. Visit with Sue and Greg Metz at Yellow Pine homestead, Doug and Phyllis Tims at Campbells Ferry homestead and Five Mile Bar, the home of the river’s most famous resident “Buckskin Bill”. There are abundant hiking options up many of the side drainages. Hike up Indian Creek to visit very rare 2,000 year old Yew trees, also called the immortal tree, which the Plains Native Americans used to make longbows from the wood. Hikes up Chamberlain or Bargamin Creeks give you another perspective of the river or hike up to Rabbit Point for amazing views.

DAY 6
We float for 5-10 miles this morning and run challenging rapids like Chittam and Vinegar Creek and arrive at the take-out at Carey Creek around 10am. Please see section below on “last day of trip” for logistics today.

Lodging is needed the night before your trip in Salmon. We will meet at the Stagecoach Inn (208-756-2919) at 7:30pm the night before your trip begins. The best rooms are on the river side of the hotel and a little more expensive but well worth it.

At the end of the trip, the Super 8 in McCall (208) 634-4637 has clean rooms or the Hotel McCall (866-800-1183) is a more expensive and a very nice hotel. For Boise, we recommend the Best Western Vista Inn (800) 727-5006) which is right next to the airport and has a shuttle service. There is also a nice restaurant adjacent to the hotel for dinner. Please call them directly after you have signed up for the trip.

Departure Dates:

September 7-12, 2022

Trip Length: 6 Days
Trip Price:

$2,350 per person, based on double occupancy

Optional CME Credits: $695

Deposit: $600

Travel to Salmon, Idaho

Guests are responsible for their travel arrangements to Salmon. There are two transportation options to choose from, driving or flying. There is commercial air service to Boise, Idaho or Missoula, Montana. Then rent a car and drive to Salmon (5 hours from Boise or 2 hours from Missoula) or fly from Boise in a small 5 or 9 seater airplane with Sawtooth Flying Service (800-798-6105).

If you are driving to Salmon, you can drive right to Salmon, Idaho either by personal car or rental car from Boise or Missoula airports. Please arrange with River Shuttles (208-756-4188). to shuttle your vehicle from the Stagecoach Inn in Salmon to McCall. The cost is ~$300/car and $50 gas deposit. Please make the reservation for this immediately after booking your trip to be sure they have enough drivers to do your shuttle. Upon your arrival at the Stagecoach Inn, there is a desk with paperwork to fill out and an envelope to place your keys and place in a locked box for River Shuttles to pick up. Please be sure you bring 2 sets of car keys, one to leave with the shuttle company and one to bring with you on the river. If you have only one key, you must state on your paperwork you want the key left on the tire outside the car or in the gas cap otherwise they will assume you have an extra key and lock the keys in the car.

If you are flying to Salmon, you can fly into Boise, Idaho and then take the flight (approximately 1 hour) directly to Salmon, Idaho the day before your trip begins. You can contact Sawtooth Flying Service (800) 798-6105) to reserve your flight. These are small 5 and 9 seater aircraft and it is a spectacular flight. When you arrive in Salmon, the Stagecoach Inn will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the hotel. If you have questions about your travel arrangements, please call MFRE.
*Please note we will provide transportation from Salmon to the river put-in point on Day 1 and from the take-out to McCall on Day 6.

After The Trip
We will arrive at the take-out point at Carey Creek at approximately 10am on Day 6. We provide transportation (2 hours) from Carey Creek to McCall, Idaho, arriving by 2-3pm for flights (~$200) with Sawtooth Flying Service (800-798-6105) back to Boise or Salmon, arriving by 3-4pm. If you plan on flying out of Boise this day please book after 6:30pm. We recommend you stay the night in Boise and fly out the next day to avoid complications in flight connections after the trip. We recommend the Best Western Vista Inn (800) 727-5006) which is right next to the airport and has a shuttle service. There is also a nice restaurant/brew pub adjacent to the hotel for dinner.

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