Hughes River Expeditions

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Our Middle Fork of the Salmon rafting trip is a spectacular outdoor vacation! The Middle Fork is famous as America’s best river rafting trip. From the put-in at Boundary Creek (elevation 5,700 ft.) to the take-out at Cache Bar, 100 miles downstream, the Middle Fork descends 2,700 feet. We float through dense forests, along sage and mountain mahogany covered hillsides, and finally between the sheer granite cliffs of Impassable Canyon.

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Rafting the River

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There are plenty of rapids. Velvet Falls, Powerhouse, Pistol Creek, Tappan Falls, Tappan III, Haystack, Bernard Creek, Waterfall Creek, Porcupine, Redside, Rubber, Hancock, and many more make the Middle Fork a first-class whitewater run. At the put-in, the river is small, steep, rocky, and tricky. Tributaries gradually quadruple the Middle Fork’s volume. As the stream transforms into a major river, quiet pools and calm stretches alternate with the rapids. The last day, the Middle Fork’s full force is focused into the whitewater of Impassable Canyon. Middle Fork is a Class III-IV whitewater river, with several Class IV rapids.

Fly Fishing

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Fishing on the Middle Fork of the Salmon is excellent. The Middle Fork is a “Blue Ribbon” Westslope Cutthroat trout fishery, and a spectacular dry fly fishing stream.

Every one of our Middle Fork trips is outfitted for fly fishing included in the price of the trip! Many of our summer guests plan to include fly fishing as some part of their Middle Fork trip. Fishermen often prefer to bring their own gear, but we have everything you need available on the trip. Check with the Hughes office for details.

More experienced fishermen can arrange fishing rafts with 2 fishermen and a guide per raft. Check for rates and details.

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middle fork feet in hot spring

Wilderness Expedition Raft Trip

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The area offers an incredible variety of wildlife, including Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mule deer, elk, cougar, black bear, otter, coyote, osprey, eagle, forest grouse, chukar partridge, and kingfisher.

We stop to enjoy hot springs and to investigate Sheepeater Indian (Mountain Shoshoni) pictographs, hunting blinds, and teepee rings. Camps are beautiful. You can plan a morning or evening hike directly from camp. Other highlights include visits to the White Goat Mine, “Set Trigger” Purcell’s grave, Rattlesnake Cave, Waterfall Creek, Cathedral Cave, and the cabins and ladders of “the hermit of Impassable Canyon” – Earl Parrott.

The Middle Fork was protected by Congress in 1968 as one of the original National Wild Rivers. We float inside the Salmon-Challis National Forest and the huge Frank Church- “River of No Return” Wilderness (the largest wilderness in the continental U.S. – 2.36 million acres).e per raft. Check for rates and details.

Guest Experiences on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

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What a fantastic trip!  Hughes river guides killed it for us all!  Thanks for a ton of fun!
DeZarn, Eugene, OR (2021)

Middle Fork of the Salmon River - Schedule and Rates

5 or 6 Day Expedition – 75 or 100 River Miles

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June 4-8* 5 Days $3,150 $2,999
June 13-18** 6 Days $3,425 $3,299
June 22-27 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
June 30-July 5 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
July 8-13 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
July 16-21 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
July 24-29 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
August 1-6 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
August 9-14 6 Days $3,625 $3,499
August 17-22+ 6 Days $3,425 $3,299
August 25-29+ 6 Days $3,425 $3,299
September 2-7+ 6 Days $3,425 $3,299

*June 4-8 Whitewater & Wildflowers Special
**June 13-18 Hot-Springs & Hikers Special
+Mid August to Mid September is PRIME FLY FISHING SEASON!

June 4-8* 5 Days $3,275 $3,150
June 13-18 6 Days $3,550 $3,400
June 22-27 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
June 30-July 5 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
July 8-13 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
July 16-21 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
July 24-29 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
August 1-6 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
August 9-14 6 Days $3,775 $3,625
August 17-22 6 Days $3,550 $3,400
August 25-29 5 Days $3,275 $3,150
September 2-7** 6 Days $3,550 $3,400

Deposits to Confirm

5 Days – $550/person
6 Days – $700/person

Middle Fork Fishing Boat Rates

(based on 2 fishermen/boat and guide)
5 Days – $950 Additional/Angler
6 Days – $995 Additional/Angler

  • Final Payments are due 60 days prior to Launch.
  • Recreation Enhancement Act Fee requires collection of $4/day/person. This fee will be added to the above listed trip cost.
  • This institution is operated under Special Use Permit by Salmon-Challis National Forest. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Youth Rate applies to kids, teens, and undergraduate students.
  • Flight cost from Stanley to the river is $160/person when required by road, water, and weather conditions.

We’re here to answer any and all of your questions!

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