Added by CampCo

A heart-pounding, non-stop adventure rafting down a short section of the Salmon River under the experienced care of professional guides.

There’s a very good reason why Idaho has been dubbed “The Whitewater State.” Stanley is located on the banks of headwaters from the famous Salmon River, and is a starting point for world-class rafting adventures that draws people from around the world. There is no better way to fully immerse yourself in the outdoor spirit of Stanley, then to throw yourself at the rolling waterways of the Salmon.

There are a few different operators in the Stanley area that offer a variety of whitewater activities ranging from SUP floats all the way to multiday rafting trips.  One of the most reputable among them is The River Company. For family fun and getting your appetite wet for whitewater, the Family Trip with Lunch is perfect!

After getting checked in and suited up at the headquarters, the crew will hop in a van for a quick and scenic drive along the Salmon to the put in point. Here the guides will unload and drop the boats into the water. They will conduct a very informative but highly entertaining safety brief before loading everyone onto the boats. 

The adventure gets off to a very quick start with Piece of Cake rapid, the first Class III, waiting right around the corner. The river calms down after the rapid giving ample opportunity to either watch other boaters run it, or simply to enjoy a relaxing float while the guide sprinkles interesting facts between sarcastic comments, keeping the moods high and bright.

Ahead lies the best part of this trip: The Narrows. Here the river siphons itself down into a beautiful, narrow canyon and the second Class III rapid section begins. It’s an extremely fun wave train run that should result in some splashing and screams! There is an area that the boats can pull over that makes for some epic cliff-jumping during the calm stretch leading your way to the lunch area.

Even in the summertime, you will be chilled after getting splashed for a couple of hours on the water, so you will be very thankful that the team will have already started a fire at the lunch area to get you warmed back up. At the ring of a triangle bell, you will find a gourmet meal to enjoy while you swap stories and get set for the last section.

The final stretch truly is a very mellow float that helps you ease into digestion and soak up the crazy adventure of the morning. This whole adventure is perfect for anyone to get their first experience, or to bring young ones on, as the river is very forgiving in this section. That, combined with experienced guides makes for the perfect Stanley whitewater experience. 

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app


Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Raft Down the Salmon River Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Photograph the Sawtooth Mountains

Fly Fish at Valley Creek

Valley Creek Hot Springs

Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek

Goat Lake via Iron Creek

Ski to Redfish Lake

Visit Idaho

Idaho is a picturesque state filled with beautiful scenery and warm, wonderful people. It's an ideal destination for family travelers, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, or those just looking for a relaxing getaway.

Learn More