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Starting at $2295

Main Salmon River Idaho Kayak Trip


6 DAYS | 80 MILES August 17-22, 2024
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    Ages: 12+

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    Difficulty: Class III

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    Includes: all meals and group camping gear
Download Trip Guide

Includes trip overview, packing list and travel logistics

Join the Wet Planet Kayaking instructors for a multi-day kayaking journey down the Main Salmon River in Idaho.

This incredible wilderness stretch of river is a great place for beginner and intermediate kayakers to develop both river running and play-boating skills. Over the course of 6 days and 80 miles, Wet Planet instructors will work with you to improve skills and provide constant support. Rafts will support the trip by carrying all personal gear, food and camping equipment, allowing you to focus on the incredible experience of an Idaho multi-day kayaking course.

We invite you to join us for a 6 day kayaking adventure on the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. We like to think of it as a:

Full Immersion Kayak Instruction Vacation.”

Transport yourself into the mountains and true wilderness of Idaho’s Main Salmon River, where big water splashes, warm sandy beaches, and rugged scenery fill your multi-day kayaking expedition. The Main Salmon River weaves a story of early explorers, deep wilderness, and a free-flowing river for an amazing 6 days of paddling. Flowing through Idaho’s Frank Church River of No Return wilderness area, the largest tract of protected wild landscape in the lower 48 states, the Main Salmon’s class III big water rapids and sandy beaches provide an escape for any kind of adventure seeker.

Protected as a Wild and Scenic River since 1980, the Salmon River watershed is one of the last great free-flowing rivers in the west. Even Lewis and Clark could not penetrate the deep canyon on their river expeditions to the Pacific Ocean. Today, our six-day kayaking trips will journey into this same canyon with luxuries that Lewis and Clark could not have even imagined.

A multi-day kayaking trip on the Main Salmon River combines big and friendly white water rapids, warm water, rugged wilderness scenery, natural hot springs, and Wet Planet’s characteristic exceptional instructors and service.

Wildlife and Historical Tales on the Main Salmon River

The Main Salmon River multi-day river trip explores 80 miles of central Idaho’s rough and remote terrain. Bighorn sheep, black bear, moose, eagles, river otters, and more call these canyon walls their home.

This Eden has also lured intrepid explorers for centuries. Instructors and guides will tell tales of the travelers who sought fortune and solitude along the river. Hiking to the scattered historic cabins and ranches hint at the collection of characters who were determined to live out their days along this grand river corridor.

Make your next vacation a multi-day kayaking trip on Idaho’s famed Main Salmon River for exciting whitewater rapids, 6 days of paddling instruction, white sand beaches, delicious food, and plenty of stories to take home.

For additional trip details simply give us a call at 800.306.1673. We would love to answer any questions you might have.

Difficulty: Class III; Intermediate – Please refer to our Skill Level Overview to determine if your skills meet the difficulty of the trip, and give us a call if you have any questions prior to signing up. This trip is specifically for hardshell whitewater kayakers. If you have never kayaked before, consider joining a 6-rafting trip, where you can paddle an inflatable kayak!

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Main Salmon River Kayaking: a Typical Day

Kayaking on Idaho’s Main Salmon River is all about maximizing paddling time in the warm river. Warm summer days combine with fantastic Class III whitewater rapids and stretches of meandering calm water, allowing your instructors plenty of opportunities to help fine tune your technique. By building upon skills every day, students find this kayak course to increase comfort levels on the river astronomically. White water rapids, such as Rainier, Black Creek, and Chittam put up a big show with large waves and boulders, while calm pools between rapids provide plenty of time for recovery.

This kayak adventure is supported by rafts, allowing us to travel with all of the camp luxuries and food found on a typical rafting trip. A lunch buffet, prepared by your five-star guides restores your energy for more river play and enjoyment in the afternoon. Ready for a moment out of your kayak? Grab a stand-up paddleboard for one of the gentle river meanders or take some time to relax in a raft.

Landing on a white sandy beach, your guides and instructors will provide camp comforts and exquisite meals while you relax by the river’s edge. There is always time for a game of frisbee or bocce ball as you nibble on appetizers and the Wet Planet team prepares the evening meal. Eagles soar in the skies above as you enjoy your warm and tasty dinner. The sun sets among the ponderosa pine tree groves and jagged mountain peaks as you sink even deeper into the wilderness and the gentle lull of the river’s flow.

General Itinerary



Arrive in Salmon, Idaho the day before your scheduled launch date and check in to your hotel. We will have a pre-trip meeting at 7:30pm at the Stagecoach Inn the evening before you scheduled start date. See “Getting There” for detailed information on getting to Salmon. During the meeting, we will discuss the trip, check out gear, help with packing, cover any last minute details, and answer any questions you may have.



Our shuttle vehicle will meet us in the morning at the Stagecoach Inn for our scenic drive to Corn Creek, our launch point on the Main Salmon River. From here, we’ll begin our journey into Idaho’s canyon landscape. We’ll hit exciting rapids our first afternoon including Rainier Rapid and Alder Creek Rapid, washing away any weary travel vibes you may still be carrying. Pulling into the evening campsite, you’ll have the opportunity for short hikes, games, or just pure relaxation with a camp chair, a book, and your toes in the cool water. With beach games, a hearty dinner, stories by the fire, and a starry sky, we’ll all rest peacefully to await another great day on the water.



Each day will bring new sights and adventures, but our routine will be relaxed and predictable. Coffee and hot beverages will be served as you rise from the comfort of your tent, or from your sleeping spot beneath the stars. Rise and shine surrounded by pristine mountain scenery and the faint lull of the river’s flow. After a hot breakfast, the Wet Planet team will pack the rafts and prepare to launch for another day’s explorations. We’ll navigate through classic whitewater rapids, float and swim in serene stretches of meandering river, and even stop at hot springs. Days could include hikes through mountain meadows to see historic cabins from early settlers and rock drawings from ancient cultures. We’ll choose a cozy, shady spot for lunch to recharge our adventurous spirits. As the sun dips lower, we’ll pick our home for the night, balancing the need for shade during the hottest summer afternoons and more time playing in the river’s warmer water.



After a final tasty breakfast and relaxing morning packing our bags at camp, we’ll push off for one more float through the Salmon River wilderness. Our final day brings the famous Chittam and Vinegar rapids – your last chance to demonstrate your improved paddling skills or take that front seat in the raft for a wet and wild ride. At the Spring Bar take-out, your guides and instructors will unload rafts while you change into dry clothes and prepare for your shuttle ride to McCall, Idaho. We’ll enjoy a final lunch together before saying goodbyes to each other and the magnificent Salmon River. A 2-hour shuttle drive will take you away from the canyon, and you will arrive in McCall, Idaho in the late afternoon.

*Exact camp locations and daily river mileage will vary with water levels and river conditions

Make your next vacation a multi-day river trip on Idaho’s famed Main Salmon River for fun whitewater rapids, white sand beaches, delicious food, and plenty of stories to take home.

Dates & Pricing

2024 Trip Dates

6-Day Main Salmon Kayak Trips: August 17-22

2025 Trip Dates

6-Day Main Salmon Trips: Please Inquire

Please note: Some dates may be available as private charter launches for you and your family, friends, or work group. Please call the office to inquire! 


Standard: $2295
With Kayak Rental: $2495

Rafters (friends/family of kayakers)
Adult: $2195
Youth (7-17): $1895

What’s Provided

  • Transportation to the river from Salmon on the first morning of the trip
  • All meals on the river from lunch the first day to lunch on the last day
  • Rafts, Guides, and Kayak Instructors  – obviously!
  • River equipment for rafters: personal floatation devices (PFDs), helmets, paddles
  • All camping gear not listed in the personal packing list: group gear, kitchen equipment, tents, sleeping pads, camp chairs
  • Dry Bags for your clothes (1 large bag and 1 small bag)
  • Beverages including water, OJ, lemonade/Gatorade, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider (you can BYOB, too!)
  • Transportation from the river to McCall on the last day of the trip

What You Are Responsible For

  • Transportation to Salmon, ID before the trip and from McCall, ID after your trip
  • Lodging in Salmon the night before the trip and in McCall the night after your trip
  • Personal clothing and miscellaneous gear (see Packing Guide for suggestions)
  • Personal beverages (feel free to bring canned versions of your favorite beverages, no bottles please. If you would like to bring wine, please make sure it is in a box or bag. Liquor can be transferred into plastic bottles for safe transport.)
  • Personal kayaking gear (helmet, PFD, skirt, paddle, kayak, and outerwear appropriate for the weather).

Food Allergies

Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for medically-necessary allergy-restricted diets for a supplemental menu fee of $100/person. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in rural locations, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions. Due to the constraints of cooking for a large group in a wilderness setting, availability of ingredients or specialty items in remote locations, and limited packing space, we are unable to cater to dietary preferences (likes or dislikes). Please keep in mind that by selecting a restricted diet, you are committing to eat the specially-made meals for the duration of the trip. We only bring enough of our standard meals for those without restricted diets, so changing diets mid-trip will not be accommodated.

We cannot guarantee that cross-contamination from allergens will not occur during meal prep. If this is a consideration, please contact us to discuss the potential for a medical emergency caused by a severe food allergy.

Available To Rent

Sleeping Bag synthetic and comfortable! $25
Rain Gear rain jacket
rain pants
Wet Planet Comfort Kit sleeping bag
rain jacket
rain pants
small camp pillow
ground sheet

Make your next kayak vacation a multi-day river trip on Idaho’s famed Main Salmon River for fun whitewater rapids, white sand beaches, delicious food, and plenty of stories to take home.

For additional trip details simply give us a call at 800.306.1673. We would love to answer any questions you might have.


Where To Stay Before & After Your Trip

You will need to plan on reserving lodging in Salmon, ID the night before your trip and in McCall, ID the night after your trip.

Salmon Lodging

The Visit Salmon website is a great spot for information.

We recommend:

McCall Lodging

You will need to make reservations for a hotel in McCall the night after your trip.
You can find options for lodging in McCall at

We recommend:

Location and Directions

Getting to Salmon


  • Leg 1: Fly to Boise, ID
  • Leg 2: Reserve air-taxi to Salmon no later than 5:00pm

Air Taxi:
Gem Air: (208) 756-7382,


Drive times to Salmon, ID:
Portland: 11 hours
Seattle: 10 hours, 15 minutes
Missoula: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Boise: 5 hours
Idaho Falls: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Flying & Renting A Car

If you rent a vehicle at the airport and drive to Salmon, you will need to have your vehicle shuttled to McCall.

If you are renting a vehicle at the airport, make sure you request an “Additional Driver’s Form” from the rental agency. You will need to fax this to River Shuttles.

Vehicle Shuttle

Shuttle from Salmon to McCall:
River Shuttles: (208) 756-4188,

Getting Home from McCall


Reserve air-taxi to Boise from McCall (we recommend the morning after your trip)

Air Taxi:
Gem Air: (208) 756-7382,

Driving & Vehicle Shuttle

Drive Times from McCall, ID:

  • Portland – 7 hrs 30 mins
  • Seattle – 8 hrs
  • Missoula – 5 hrs 15 mins
  • Boise – 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Idaho Falls – 6 hrs 15 mins

*don’t forget to schedule your car shuttle
River Shuttles: (208) 756-4188,

Travel Insurance

Sometimes stuff happens. We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to guard against life’s surprises (unexpected late cancellations, travel delays, medical emergencies, etc.).

Past Wet Planet guests have reported good experiences using Travel Guard and Travel Insurance Services (

Make your next vacation a multi-day river trip on Idaho’s famed Main Salmon River for fun whitewater rapids, white sand beaches, delicious food, and plenty of stories to take home.

For additional trip details simply give us a call at 800.306.1673. We would love to answer any questions you might have.

Packing Guide

Weather on the Main Salmon River can vary from hot sun to cool evenings and occasional rain showers. Here’s your guide to come prepared for your multi-day outdoor adventure.

Everyone will receive dry bags for your belongings to keep them dry while on the river. What you put in your dry bags is all you will have for your trip, so here are our tips:


Mornings and evenings can be cool while it can be hot on the river (until the sun hides behind a cloud, and you’ll want to reach for a layer to throw on to keep warm). Whether you’re on a raft or on a beach, be prepared for changes in weather by always thinking in “layers.”

Synthetic (or wool) Fibers

Your warm layers should be made from wool or synthetic fibers like capilene or polyproylene. Warm layers and the clothing you plan on wearing on the water made from this material will dry fast and keep you warmer when you get wet. Cotton is not recommended.

PFD & Helmets

Everyone will be provided with gear for on the water. This gear will include a helmet and PFD (personal flotation device).

Essential Gear
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented for $25, just let us know)
  • One pair of shorts for camp and hiking
  • One or two t-shirts
  • Rain jacket & pants (can be rented for $25)
  • One set of comfortable long-sleeved light clothes (for sun and/or camp)
  • Pants for camp (can be same as above)
  • Synthetic thermal underwear layers (top & bottom)
  • Fleece or pile top for camp (top can be pullover or jacket)
  • Swimsuit
  • River Shoes: sandals with heel strap (Chaco, Teva, etc) or old running shoes. No flip-flops or slip-ons.
  • One pair lightweight hiking shoes (for off river in good weather)
  • Toilet articles (biodegradable soap)
  • Wool or polypro/capilene/fleece socks (stay away from cotton)
  • Shade hat/visor (baseball cap)
  • Warm hat and gloves for camp
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • Sunblock/moisturizing lotion
  • Chapstick with SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses with securing strap
  • Water bottle with securing strap (1 liter minimum, more if hiking)
  • Flashlight/small headlamp & extra batteries
  • Personal medications
  • Toiletries/small towel, etc.
Optional Items:
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • diary or sketchbook
  • a good paperback book
  • small daypack or fanny pack for hikes
  • paddling jacket & pants
  • small travel pillow
  • musical instrument
  • Liquor, beer, and/or wine: you will need to provide your own alcoholic beverages!

Optional Rental – Wet Planet Comfort Kit: sleeping bag, rain jacket, rain pants, small camp pillow, ground sheet ($40)

All river gear, group camping equipment, and meals are provided


Wet Planet will have coffee and tea ready for you first thing each morning. Water and lemonade/punch/gatorade will be available throughout the day. At dinner, there will be hot drinks available (hot cocoa, hot cider, tea), as well as a bottle of wine for the group.

If you would like additional personal beverages at camp, such as soda, beer, wine, liquor, etc., you’re welcome to bring your own. We will have a cooler with us to put beverages in. No glass bottles; broken glass and rafts don’t mix! Soda comes in cans, there are some good canned micro-brews out there if PBR isn’t your thing, wine should be in bags/boxes, and other adult beverages can be transferred from glass bottles to a plastic container before taking them on the river. Personal beverages can be purchased in Salmon before the trip if needed.


Your guide team will work hard to ensure that your river experience exceeds your expectations. If you had an amazing trip and feel that your guides did an amazing job, post-trip gratuities are an appreciated way of saying “thank you.” Tips commonly range from 5 to 10 percent of the trip cost, but should always be based on your satisfaction, financial comfort, and personal attitudes about gratuities. It is common to leave gratuities with the lead guide at the end of the trip, and they will distribute it among the team.

Make your next vacation a multi-day river trip on Idaho’s famed Main Salmon River for fun whitewater rapids, white sand beaches, delicious food, and plenty of stories to take home.


A kayaker runs a rapid on the Main Salmon River kayak trip in Idaho.

We had a fantastic time on the 6 day/5 night Main Salmon River trip. I can’t say enough good things about our guides: Todd, Deanna, Britt, Jake and Nicole. Each brought energy, enthusiasm, and professionalism. They worked incredibly hard to ensure that we all had a good experience. Safety was always at the forefront. The food was wonderful. I loved that fresh fruit and vegetables were incorporated into every meal. Every day included interesting side trips that focused on local homesteading history. I liked that we had opportunities to raft, kayak and paddle board. The trip definitely exceeded my expectations.

- Sandy H. - Westwood, MA

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