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Old 06-16-2014   #1
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 8
Middle Fork campsites

We have a large group (22+) going down the MFS this July 14th. I was wondering about campsite selection. I understand that the 'round robin' takes places the day before at 330, is this correct? With a big group how important is it to make it to this?

Also, most in our group have never been down, so we were wondering if anyone has campsite suggestions for our large group? Emphasis would be on hotsprings for sure and day by a good playspot would be nice for the kayakers.

One last question about groovers, we plan to rent and pay for shuttle... are there any companies that do both on the MFS other than Blackadar? Just looking to do a price comparision.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-16-2014   #2
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 108
I just got back from my first MFS trip last week. I only saw a few campsites, but from what I can tell, all of them would are awesome.

We stayed at sunflower one night which has a great hotspring pool and and shower. It is likley too small for your group, but there is a site directly across the river you might be able to stay at, then just paddle over for a soak either in the evening or morning.

There were also some nice looking sites upstream of ski jump near the confluence of a tributary. Another one we stayed at was the the cliffside campsite, which was really nice! The rangers were also very helpful in selecting some sites if you give them some criteria like daily mileage, need for side hikes, ect.

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Old 06-16-2014   #3
Dipshit with the most.
carvedog's Avatar
Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,497
Congrats on the permit. Yes camp requests ( although not finalized until permits are issued the next morning) can be made at 3:30. Although not mandatory, with your group size I would plan on being there if at all possible. It is still not for sure that you will get a hot springs camp or a great place to surf kayaks from camp. There are only a few places that have some surfable waves from camp ( Marble left being one).

I know of no other shuttle provider who also rents groovers. Blackadar is a quality outfit all the way through and they have provided great shuttle service for me in the past. No qualms at all on using them. I have not personally filled one of their groovers but I imagine it would be good gear knowing their operation.

An ideal schedule would be something like this ( and your group size limits you to 5 nights):
Sheepeater, Marble Left, White Creek, Driftwood and for the last night you will be limited. Take anything from Elk Bar, Ship Island, Parrot Placer, Cradle, Cliffside or Otter Bar.

Second camp series,

Joe Bump or Fire Island, Stateland Right or Marble Right, Hospital Bar, Lone Pine or Survey and last night selection from above.

Hospital Bar is a hot springs camp and should be "in" at that time. Bring a good tarp or a small paddle boat and a good tarp to stuff in there and it gets even better.

Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2014   #4
the fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 672
i'm a MFS virgin that's about to get my cherry popped on july 1st. i used this site - Rafting the West | The Top Multi-day Whitewater Rafting Trips in the Western USA - and our river guide to put together a list of preferred campsites.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 06-16-2014   #5
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
I wouldn't bother to price shop shuttle co's. Blackadar has gone above and beyond for me and my friends more than once. Most recently one person's truck broke down in Salmon. Blackadar offered to loan him a rig and get his fixed while he was gone. Wow, never heard of anyone doing that! He also called over to the Quick Lube to get him in ASAP. Fortunately it was just the alternator and they fixed it and we were on our way. Rockstars.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 06-16-2014   #6
Nosebleed, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 139
Simplify your life and go with Blackadar.
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Old 06-16-2014   #7
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Reno, Nevada
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 13
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Old 06-17-2014   #8
Anchorage, Alaska
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 56
Campsite list and pictures

Middle Fork was my first experience with assigned camps. Worked out fine. We stayed at the following; Big Bend, Johns Camp, Lost Oak, Rock Island, Funston and Cliffside - we stayed/resupplied at Cache and then pushed down the Main.

All were fine camps some better than others. We had 4 boats on this trip with 9 people - 7 tents. Outfitted/shuttled with Blackadar - no problems. All had plenty of room. We chose Big Bend the first night cause we were beat - same for John's - not many miles the first two days but we found our groove. I'll add here that we put in on May 21st at Boundary and were in a first come first serve situation until Indian.

Try going to Whitewater Rafting Campsites | Resources for Planning Rafting Trips just click on Middle Fork Salmon and you'll get a chance to look at most camps - not definitive but worth a look. Good luck - have a great trip - love that river.
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Old 06-17-2014   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1974
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 59
Great replies on camps. Thanks! We're right behind you on July 16th. Anyone want to make a guess as to flows? I'm predicting 2.35' and dropping. How's the snowpack holding up? Thanks for any predictions you can offer up.
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Old 06-18-2014   #10
boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 36
Blackadar! I had two flats on my truck on the shuttle to Corn Creek. I left shuttle with an inflator pump, a slow leak and a complete flat. They bought a cheap used tire for me in Salmon and delivered the truck to Riggins. Great service
I had another friend whose trailer broke and Blackadar got it welded and delivered it to the takeout

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