Owners Chris and Lauren have made the Salmon River their home. It is our honor to share the beauty of this incredible place with people from around the globe. We are lucky to live year-round in beautiful McCall, Idaho, a slice of paradise in the inland northwest. Chris has a degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership and has guided river trips in Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Oregon and has thousands of river miles under his belt. He is an EMT and spends his winters as a professional ski patroller. Chris orchestrates training, packing, planning, and guiding all of Salmon Raft’s river trips. Lauren has degrees in Marketing and Spanish. She decided after a river trip in Idaho in college to make the river her life. Like Chris, she works in the ski industry in the winter, and stays on top of off-season rafting projects. She runs the back office show for Salmon Raft; booking the trips, keeping the books, and managing the staff’s needs. Our professional life is balanced with being parents to our son, Weston. He’s the youngest river guide on our roster, born on May 1, 2020. He keeps us on our toes, and is eagerly awaiting the day he can float the river with us.
A Boise, Idaho native, Tanner is the youngest of three brothers in the Griffith clan. Being so close to McCall growing up, Tanner spent many summers and winters boating and skiing in our neck of the woods. He has nearly a decade of guiding under his belt and three years of professional ski patrolling. Tanner is known for his sense of humor and endless supply of jokes, but don’t let it fool you: he’s an incredible whitewater kayaker, EMT, fly-fisherman, and all around awesome river-guide.
Jasper was born and raised in Missoula, Montana and grew up rafting the Salmon and Selway rivers with her family who is from Kooskia, ID. She moved to Alaska to explore the north as a sea kayak guide, but realized she dearly missed the mountains, rivers, and sunshine of Idaho. She’s an avid traveler and multimedia artist who finds endless inspiration in the enchanting canyons of the Salmon River. When river season comes to a close, Jasper returns home to Missoula to spend the winter skiing, riding horses, and finishing her degree in English Education.
Born and raised in Boise, Preston grew up spending summers and winters in McCall, learning to ski at the timelessly iconic Little Ski Hill, and rafting on the Salmon and Payette Rivers. He recently finished his geology degree (with an EMT certification on the side!) at the University of Utah and spent the winter after graduation testing water quality in cities around the country! Preston is a passionate steward of the river, and helps our company push forward in our sustainability values. Eternally good-natured, there’s never a dull moment on the river with Preston–be sure to ask him for one of his famous riddles!
Growing up just south of McCall, McKenzie has rowed the Lower Salmon dozens of times and knows the Salmon like the back of her hand. Her favorite rapid is Sluice Box (for good reason!) and her favorite part of the river is the confluence, at the moment the Salmon and Snake rivers join. Warm and outgoing, it’s no surprise that McKenzie is passionate about helping others: she’s going to school for nursing at the University of Montana.
A McCall local, Kert joined our team after several seasons studying Chinook and Steelhead fisheries of nearby rivers. He possesses a keen and vast knowledge of the Salmon River’s intricate and amazing ecology–if you’re lucky enough to be on a boat with him, be sure to ask him about it! If he’s not on the river, Kert is probably off discovering secret hot springs in the Salmon River Mountains. Originally from the midwest, Kert grew up wrangling and galloping horses and interestingly enough, these skills seem to transfer right to the river because he reads water like an open book.
Hailing from Texas, Blaine brings a healthy serving of southern charm and quick wit to our team! He grew up exploring the waters of Texas and fishing with his family. Endlessly curious and intrepid, Blaine spent the past couple summers in Alaska, guiding on rivers in the shadow of Denali and the Mendenhall Glacier and going on all-night adventures beneath the midnight sun. During the winters, Blaine taps into his studious side; studying real estate and finance at Baylor University.
A born-and-raised Idahoan, Jack is well versed in running rivers all over the west. He is currently working on his Masters degree in Public Policy at the University of Utah. He ultimately hopes to use his education to protect the wild places he loves and the deep, unique histories woven into them. Level-headed and calm, Jack is someone you know you can always count on, even when the days get long and hot. When he’s not on the river, he’s either skiing (Jack is also a ski patroller in Colorado), mountain biking, or climbing.
Metta is a recent graduate from Montana State University with a degree in Community Health. Metta’s infectious positive attitude and endless energy make her a guest favorite and a pleasure to work with. She grew up in Cascade, Idaho and spent her childhood rafting Idaho’s rivers. So it’s no wonder she ended up as a commercial river guide. Metta has a passion for health and wellness and hopes to someday work in women’s health and public outreach.
Originally from Alaska, Esme is one of the hardest working gals you’ll ever meet. She graduated from the University of Montana with a unique degree – Russian! She’s actually needed to use these skills on some river trips, as we have enjoyed the company of guests from across the globe. Esme has a background in environmental education, is a whiz in the kitchen, and tends to prefer any activity as long as it’s in the outdoors – biking, skiing, hiking… she does it all.
Austin joined us in 2021 all the way from Texas! Although new to the guiding world, he quickly meshed right in with our crew and operation because of his eagerness to learn and positive attitude. He is an EMT and savvy kitchen guy – you can usually find him leading the way during dinner prep. Austin may be one of our most enthusiastic guides, as his appreciation for the river’s beauty and Idaho’s natural resources is unmatched.
We were thrilled to add Rachel to our roster in 2021. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Sierra Nevada College, and has used her degrees as a community advisor for high schoolers, as a teen mentor, and outdoor program instructor. Rachel has a lively personality, and has a knack for facilitating awesome river experiences, especially with kids. She takes the extra time to make sure all her guests are comfortable and safe, as her main goal is always to empower others through outdoor experiences and self-discovery.
Claire joined us after being recruited by her brother, Jack! She is currently enrolled at the University of Utah, but finds herself looking forward to the summers so she can return to the river. Like many of our other guides, she works during the school year at her school’s outdoor program, facilitating adventures for fellow students. She is a smart and natural leader with a passion for the outdoors, and has a unique ability to see the bigger picture with respect to running a safe and fun river trip. Claire is always down for a costume night on the river and she is a true joy to spend time with.
Olivia has a background in teaching, and is currently going to school for social work. She’s one of the funniest people you’ll meet, with an easy-going personality and a healthy appreciation for having fun. She prefers dance parties over almost anything else! Olivia has worked as an early childhood educator at McCall’s Outdoor Science School among other locations, and works at Salmon Raft in many capacities – river guide, shop help, and nanny for Weston.
Salmon Raft owners Chris and Lauren adopted Mac Dog from McPaws (McCall’s local animal shelter) in the summer of 2013. He was about a year and a half old when he joined our family. We believe that he’s probably a mix of Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, and a bunch of other stuff, making him 100% mutt. He loves to swim, play fetch, raft, nap, and shed enough to warrant sweeping the house almost daily. He trains as an avalanche rescue dog, and can find buried people in the snow within minutes. We are lucky to have this goofy pup as part of our family!