We are different than the other companies. Why? We are proud of what we do and stand behind our services 100%. From the moment you call Salmon Raft to book a trip to the moment you drive away at the end of your rafting adventure, you will have direct contact with one of the owners. Chris and Lauren have built the business around the goal of being a part of every trip. This ensures that each trip is run the best it possibly can — we are the ones who answer your phone calls, respond to emails, and grocery shop for each trip.
Safety is our top priority. Our gear is replaced frequently and inspected before every trip to ensure that every boat, oar, life jacket, and other pieces of important equipment are in the best working order and you aren’t using old gear. All of our guides are first aid and CPR certified, most are Wilderness First Responders and Swiftwater Rescue Technicians, and many are certified EMTs. In addition to being skilled on the water, the men and women that make up our team are incredible individuals — they hold various Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, have traveled the world, can tell a million jokes, spot wildlife and point out constellations, and transform into expert riverside chefs. Both owners have experience with the rafting industry on and off the water, as well as being a guide and guest. As a paying patron, you deserve what you paid for, and more. You will be treated as a valued guest, no matter what trip you choose. If there is anything that we can do to improve our services or make your whitewater experience better, please let us know!
Tipping is customary and very much appreciated by our guide staff. If you feel that your river guides made your trip special, then a tip is appropriate. Tips are usually given to the trip leader to distribute evenly amongst the guides in the form of cash or Venmo. A good rule of thumb is to tip a percentage of your trip total — somewhere between 10-20% would be generous.
Tennis shoes work fine (although they will get wet!), just no Crocs, flip-flops, or AquaSocks-type footwear.
We are happy to offer modifications to our menu to accommodate guests with dietary restrictions and allergies. Our menu includes daytime snacks, lunches, appetizers, dinners, desserts, and breakfasts. Please note that we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. By the same token, we are often unable to source certain allergen-free snack foods in McCall, so feel free to bring your own items to supplement our supply.
Advance communication is always best, and we can work together to make sure we have what you need.
We can provide options for vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and some other restrictive diets without applying any additional fees. However, to cover any increase in costs for more complex needs and requests (such as plant-based or vegan), there may be a supplemental fee ranging from $5-20 per person per day.
Alcoholic beverages are provided and allowed on Salmon Raft trips. To keep things simple for diverse groups, we bring a calculated supply of beer and wine. Liquor and other specialty adult beverages are permitted, but must be supplied by our guests.
In addition to endless, fresh drinking water, Salmon Raft provides:
- Coffee (plus cream and sugar options)
- Selection of tea, caffeinated and decaf
- Sparkling water
- Soda (limited)
- Domestic beer (such as Coors, Coors Light, PBR, Budweiser, Bud Light, etc.)
The provided alcohol supply is calculated for each adult to have:
- 2-3 beers per day
- 1-2 glasses of red or white wine with dinner
If you would like anything extra (including hard seltzers, IPA or specialty beers, liquor for cocktails, mixers, etc.) you are welcome to bring your own supplies. We provide a limited supply of cocktail ice at camp in the evenings.
What comes on the trip must leave with the trip. We bring a portable toilet on every trip. It gets set up in a private part of camp and a special bathroom tent is used to give you more privacy. This can be a delicate subject for some, so give us a call and we are happy to answer all of these awkward questions!
Rivers are rated on a classification scale of Class I to Class VI based on the difficulty of both navigation and necessary rescue techniques. Salmon Raft operates within the range of Class I to Class IV. Class I is classified as flat moving water, and Class IV means exciting and intense waves in which your guide will maneuver quickly to carefully avoid obstacles. All of Salmon Raft guides are safety experts, and are trained as professionals to get you down the river safely. All Salmon Raft guides are licensed in accordance with the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Licensing Board, and exceed all minimum requirements.
All of Salmon Raft’s overnight trips are designed for everybody. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or have never slept in a tent before, you will be impressed. Our guides set up your deluxe camp for you so that you’re as comfortable as possible. One or two people will sleep in a spacious 4-person tent in a freshly laundered sleeping bag on a plush sleeping pad. Don’t worry about a thing; Salmon Raft guides take everything down, too.
Both the Salmon River and Snake River through Hells Canyon are typically very warm during the summer months. Temperatures usually peak in the upper 80s and low 90s, which makes being on the water the perfect escape from the heat. At night, the averages are in the 50s. You will stay warm in the provided, freshly washed sleeping bags. Rain is rare, but can happen. A rain fly will be on every trip in the event that we encounter a summer storm.
Furthermore, please remember that weather can change suddenly and unpredictably when we’re deep in the river canyon. Please bring plenty of layers and don’t forget your “just in case” items, like a rain jacket. Our packing lists are comprehensive and should be read thoroughly. It is imperative to bring clothing and gear suitable to spending multiple days in a backcountry setting.
The recommended age for children on our trips is 7-8. Early season runoff means bigger water, so 8 years old is usually the minimum age. In the later part of summer, it is safe for kids age 7 and up. Our guides may assign seats for certain sections depending on water level and each child’s ability and comfort level.
Definitely! We love to catch bass and trout on both the Salmon and Snake Rivers. You will need a fishing license to fish on any of our trips.
The Salmon River is all contained within the state of Idaho, so you’ll just need an Idaho fishing license. Hells Canyon guests need both Oregon and Idaho fishing licenses if you want to fish from any side of the river (Hells Canyon follows the border between Idaho and Oregon). Please call for more details about this.
We will bring fishing gear for you to use, and our experienced guides can help teach children. We also feature sturgeon fishing on many of our trips! If you are interested in trying to land one of these prehistoric beasts, please contact us to select a trip where this can be a priority.
We recommend bringing your driver’s license and a credit card for emergencies only. Your cell phone will not work while we are on the water, but feel free to bring it for photos, as well as to use before and after the trip. You can stuff it in your dry bag that we provide to keep it safe. We do have some space in our office to store valuables while you’re on the river, however we recommend limiting these items while you’re traveling.