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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!
Jim
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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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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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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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Campsite Round Robin

you best be at the round robin, it's a fun game but I'll lend you some hard won advise- when you settle on a camp, be prepared to flip for it when there is a dispute, some of the outfitters will try and offer you "sage advice" on alternate camps to avoid the flip and get their way- flip for it! I've been sold a total bill of goods on a "nice alternate camp". On the MF, avoid camps that have negative names, the only exception I've found was Lightning Strike, and I camped there during an electrical storm. The camp across from Sunflower is up a high bank quite a ways, that in itself wasn't that big a deal, the fact that it was a total snake den was a game changer. Mostly friendly bull snakes, but the rattler killed on the groover trail showed the diversity of the species there. I don't like snakes much so I black listed this camp for future use. You only get one hot springs camp per trip so enjoy the one you get! Have some fun out there!
 

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There's some good info on campsites in Leidecker's MFS guide book, and lots of photos of camps at whitewatercampsites.com Blackadar is a great company and they've gone the extra mile to help us out - highly recommend them for shuttles. We've had nothing but good experiences swapping info with commercial trips at the campsite round robin. Going down every week, they often have current info on which beaches are in or out. Since we always have a small group, they're more than happy to help us with info on small camps - we're not really competing with them for the big sites. We launch July 8 and my prediction is 3.01 feet on that date :p
 

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I have not in 27 years and 40+ trips on the MFS had an outfitter try to out maneuver me out of a campsite through sage advice or any other means. I once voluntarily offered an outfitter fire island camp so he could get his sweep in, he gave me shelf and otter camps (great camps)in return. The truth in the matter is, camp spots are not that important to outfitters and guides! I always have believed outfitters on the MF are true friends on the river!
 

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Mostly friendly bull snakes, but the rattler killed on the groover trail showed the diversity of the species there. I don't like snakes much so I black listed this camp for future use. You only get one hot springs camp per trip so enjoy the one you get! Have some fun out there!
Correct on the hike up to Lost Oak, but if you don't like Rattlesnakes here's a few more to cross off your list. Stateland Left and Right, Shelf Camp, Loon, Big Creek, Survey, Marble Left, Little Pine, Cradle Creek, Funston and Otter Bar. And that is just off the top of my head ones that I have personally seen.

I have not in 27 years and 40+ trips on the MFS had an outfitter try to out maneuver me out of a campsite through sage advice or any other means. I once voluntarily offered an outfitter fire island camp so he could get his sweep in, he gave me shelf and otter camps (great camps)in return. The truth in the matter is, camp spots are not that important to outfitters and guides! I always have believed outfitters on the MF are true friends on the river!
This. I have seen it from both sides too. My old boss refused to flip for camps, if challenged he would give it to them.
 

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Rock island too. Little guy looked like a pile of poo amongst the cobble at the landing. We distracted the dogs and he went away on his own. Sure am glad we give them rattlesnake vaccine. Never needed it, but it sure calms the worries.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 
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