Saddle & Paddle River Trips
Wilderness horseback riding & whitewater rafting combination trips
Our horseback riding & Middle Fork whitewater rafting combination
trip provides a truly unique perspective of the River of No Return Wilderness Area. Combining horseback riding on breathtaking mountain trails with an Idaho rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is a wonderful family or group vacation opportunity. Typically you fly into a high-country airstrip at the edge of the River of No Return wilderness area, spend the night at a lodge there, then begin wilderness horseback riding through pine forests and meadows above the Salmon River. You’ll camp for a couple of nights in wall tents, then visit and fish several glacial lakes. Your gear is carried on pack mules. You may reach 9000 feet elevation, which is about timberline at this latitude. We have always seen mountain goats and bighorn sheep on these trips.
Then down, down, to the Middle Fork of the Salmon to meet our boats at about 4500 feet elevation. You’ll trade trail-dusty boots and jeans for river sandals and shorts, and run some of the best whitewater in the country on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River.
We’ll float down the Middle Fork Salmon River for three more days to end the rafting trip at 3000 feet. This range of 6000 vertical feet of elevation that you visit is a cross section of this wilderness area, extending from timberline down to hot sandy beaches. Total horseback riding and river rafting trip length is usually six to eight days. These horseback riding/whitewater rafting trips are coordinated with a separate, licensed and permitted horse outfitter. Each trip is specially arranged, so contact us for greater detail and variations.