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Old 11-27-2011   #31
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
We did the main Salmon years ago (like around 10) with an outfitter. Probably the most trouble free trip I've ever been on. They even will set up your tent for you if you want that kind of thing. You show up and they do the rest. We even had 2 female guides on the trip too.

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Old 11-27-2011   #32
wildh2onriver's Avatar
irvine, California
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,197
Greats posts on this thread! Another thing to consider about an outfitted trip: you and your daughter will enjoy interacting with the other folks on the trip, especially if there are other kids her age. Cataraftgirl has it right--getting to the rivers in Idaho is just as easy as anywhere else for a commercial trip.

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Old 11-27-2011   #33
Toronto, Canada
Paddling Since: 20
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 30
Ok, so I am able to get to Boise with my 2 kids on airline points.

Next.... flights to Salmon and back to Boise after the trip add up to around $1100.
Add in a few nights of local hotel $375.

Still looking at $4,000. for a 4-5 day rafting trip when you factor in all the expenses.

Working hard.... to make this work.
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Old 11-27-2011   #34
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 71
Try Idaho Afloat (800-700-2414) they run the Main Salmon and Hells Canyon, both of which are great runs during the time frame you are looking for (though the Main is THE best family trip).
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Old 11-27-2011   #35
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
I'm assuming your are looking at Salmon Air, with their rafters round trip special (Boise-Salmon-McCall-Boise) $360 per person. I wish I had a cheaper suggestion, but Salmon Air and McCall Air are about the only choices you have. We use Salmon Air every fall to fly us & our gear into Indian Creek for the Middle Fork. They are great people.
Good luck. I sure hope you can swing it. It's a trip you'll never forget.
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Old 11-27-2011   #36
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Main Salmon or Middle Fork Salmon are trips of a life time

and I hope you and your family get to float them.

It appears to me you have put some strong specifications on your trip. Gonna be hard to get the trip done on the cheap, my opinion only.

Having said that, if you are flying and going commercial with three people it is going to be really hard to do it much cheaper than 4 thousand bucks USA.

Only tip I can offer is for you to drive to Boundary Creek, get a shuttle driver to take you car down to Salmon and hitch a ride from the take out to Salmon ID. That means driving all the way which will take probably at least a couple maybe three days. You can run the numbers.

And, my bet is it will not ever get any cheaper the way things are going in the US.

Time to start saving big time and find a way for next season as commercial trips on these rivers often times fill up fast especially during the warmer float times.

I have floated both these rivers commercially and private trips. Both are exceptionally good times. Commercial floats are really deluxe with gear, guides and especially food being outstanding. Private may end up a bit cheaper unless you have to buy a lot of gear. But, you will do a lot more "work" on the trip. Advantages on either method. Commercial might sound like a lot more expense but when you figure in the fact you get to go the time you want to go, all you do is show up at the put in and all the logistics are taken care of including the expertise and gear needed to transport you down the river in style and safety - going commercial has a lot going for it on value for money spent.

I have used Salmon Air several times and they are great. The scenery from the air is outstanding on both Main and Middle Fork flights.

Good Luck and if you do make the trip, please give us Buzzards a trip report.
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Old 11-27-2011   #37
Grangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 102
While I agree with all recommendations about Main and Middle Fork of the Salmon; I'll recommend looking into the Lower Salmon as well. Still a great family trip and probably the easiest to fly in and out of. Fly into Lewiston ID and most companies will pick you up there in town and take you to the put in for a 4-5 day trip, then drop you back off in Lewiston when trip is done. Some companies to consider - OARS, Salmon River Experience, ROW, Exodus just to name a few...
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Old 11-28-2011   #38
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 221
Sounds like a nice trip....... my dad used to take us to the bars with him and get us a roll of quarters to play video games. You might be a better man than him.

Don't forget to take cash to tip your guide staff...... very customary down in these parts. If you enjoyed your ride don't forget to tip your guide!

You guys got me sold on the salmon for 2013....... 2012 is the Grand for 19 days....april may.
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Old 11-28-2011   #39
Toronto, Canada
Paddling Since: 20
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 30

I have looked at the TOTAL cost of this trip including challenges to get there from Toronto, local flights, hotel nights, outfitter costs and other activity options in the area once we arrive.

Another person has suggested Gates of Lodore on the Green River.
This trip would allow us to fly direct to SLC and not have to incur additional local flights. I would rent a car in SLC.
My kids are avid fossil hunters so being in the area of Dinosaur Park would be an additional activity that they would love.

Any impute on outfitters and points of interest on the Gates of Lodore would also be greatly appreciated !

Just looking at all the options...
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Old 11-28-2011   #40
Toronto, Canada
Paddling Since: 20
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 30
Someone on here suggested Dinosaur Expiditons in Vernal.
I noticed that they offer packages where the kids would go for free.

Obviously that would be a HUGE savings for me.

I understand this company has new owners.
Has anyone have direct experience with this company?

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