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Salmon River Reviews

When Can I Return?

After spending 6 days on the Middle Fork with Northwest Rafting Company I can attest not only to their professionalism and expertise but to their commitment to the well being of the river as well as their clients. Spectacular scenery, great people and NO sign of civilization for 6 days. When can I return to the River Of No Return?
- Robben Jones

What an amazing crew

They were so easy to be with, so absolutely conscientious about safety, so knowledgeable! I had the best time, and I'd follow these people anywhere. So much fun, so easygoing, I really can't say enough about the high quality and professionalism as well as the fantastic personalities. Thanks for hiring such wonderful people.
- Jamey Moore

Thanks for making this trip so special!

Northwest Rafting Co. is a really great company. The guides went over and above what we expected from them – very informative and always with an eye for safety. As Brits we were very pleased to teach them a few choice words too: loo, bonnet, hacked etc…. The rest of the group was lovely and we were so thankful that they included us. Even though it was only 6 days it feels like we've made lots of new friends for life! If you're ever in the UK let us know. On a more personal note from me - I wrote a poem last night to say thank you from all of us to all the guides: Ode to the River Guides We start off first with Connor with his long hair, Who has a funny tendency of exclaiming 'heck yeah!' Which, like my new American accent, I too have adopted - but, please, don't ask me to share. But seriously, though, in all sincerity, I have to say thank you for being my adventure day Mamma Ducky. With you this week, we've had so much fun, And not to mention your British accent is second to none (no offense Dan). And Katie, our Food Dude, our hardworking Foodzar, Who went shopping each night for our morning breakfast bar. But more than that, and most importantly, She's kind, she funny and it's clear to see She cares both for us guest but also her peers, So passionate and effortlessly entertaining; even after 11 years. Onto Brodie, our sweeper who we rarely saw, it's true. Yet, always a big smile when we pulled up at camp and a new story for you. A dog called Beans and an off-season job as a baker, Your skill and precision on this river makes you all the greater. And although your Chaser may have instead been a tug boat one time or two, It is evident you're a team player through and through. Natalie, my day one paddle boat guide, This trip the first of her season's river ride. Who, although always seemed to angle the boat to specifically get me wet, Was always a friendly face and tons of fun at the dish washing bucket. Her confidence and strength never failing to inspire, I am truly bummed we didn't manage to juggle without the light of the fire. Next we have Cody who, although looks initially intimidating, Has a heart of gold and a crazy sense of humor when you get to know him. Always on the lookout for fun and adventure, He also has some of the best jokes I ever heard for sure. Whether it be helping around camp, putting up tents or ramming our boat into rocks deliberately, He does it all with a grin on his face that's somewhere between daring and goofy. And now Ellie, this being her first and last trip of the season, And yet I'm sure you'll agree for an incredible reason. For very soon she'll be a doctor with her PhD, And we wish you luck as you continue on to world changing discovery. But as for this week, well what can I say? There was no joke that didn't land from you, no crazy adventurous game you would not play. Although we never got round to juggling lessons or riddles to share, This week would not have been the same if you hadn't been there. Lastly Dan, our leader who, without a fuss, Was somehow able to put up with us. With a big, constant and reassuring smile, This guy is always willing to go the extra mile. No problem to big, no need to small, Our brave leader was always there - so thank you from us all. And now, how to sum up this crazy, crazy week? It's been amazing, we'll miss it so much; but at least it won't be hard this evening to go to sleep.
- Taz Madan

Guides blew me away

The Guides blew me away with their knowledge of our surroundings, the river, their rowing and paddling skills, their passion for the river and their compassion for each guest. And the way they handled the kids and Duckies was insane! And they all cook so well they could open a restaurant! Can’t say enough about the caliber of the Guides and the entire Northwest Rafting Co.
- Robyn W

Amazing Guides

While I won’t ever be able to convey what we saw on the middle fork to people, I will absolutely be able to describe the kindness and generosity of the Northwest Rafting Company guides. From the very first day, Asa made Jenn and I feel right at home. Brodie seemed like an old friend even though we had never met. Cody was so kind and patient even though I ignored almost all of his instructions when I was in the ducky. Conor made it a point to connect with us and get to know us while letting us get to know him as well. Katie was a blast to be around and kept the energy up. Audrey wasn’t just helpful, I might have officially learned more about geology from her than I did in college. I can’t thank you enough for the color you and your guides added to our lives last week.
- Toby Fincher

All of the guides were professionals

NWRC provides a premier wilderness experience. Their professionalism, positivity, and experience adds to the already incredible experience of the outdoors. 10 out of 10, would share an experience with Zach and crew again.
- Adam Knox

Remarkable Trip!

This was truly a peak experience for me and my friends - one of the best of my adult life! An unforgettable trip. I can't wait to go back, and I can't imagine not going with NWRC - everything was handled perfectly.
- Jeremy Sabol

The Best

NWRC is hands down the best guided rafting company around. This was my third trip with them, and I already cannot wait for the next.
- Lily Gaughan

Another level in professionalism

We have rafted with a lot of companies and can honestly say NWRC is another level in professionalism.
- Will Roberts

We'll be back!

The entire gang had a blast, the river was amazing, and the guides were simply fantastic - great company, safe and experienced on the river, hard working off the river - incredibly impressive. It was fun to have Katie again too! She was on our Rogue trip 3 years ago. You run a great company, well done. We will be back to lap the Middle Fork in 3-5 years. 🙂
- Chris Daniels

Outstanding team!

The Middle Fork of the Salmon is a crown jewel of the United States. Northwest Rafting Co guided us in a manner that optimized whitewater adventure, wilderness experience, fun, and a deep respect for wild and scenic rivers.
- Mark Pearson

Great crew on the middle fork

A trip with a stunning river canyon setting every day, with guides who know the river and how to best share it's beauties and rich history with you, with a great camp atmosphere and fantastic menus to keep your belly happy and your energy up for some great paddling. Zack and the crew he has put together for the Middle Fork are top notch and I cannot praise them enough for the well crafted experience they provide on river as well as in camp.
- Jack Stafford

Great Guides

I learned from each of them, about the river, about conservation, about the environment. I fully relied on their expertise to get us through the rough rapids. I watched in amazement how they helped every guest set up their tent in the rain and take care of me when I was cold to the bone. Their humanity, their passion and their remarkable level of expertise is a combination I will treasure forever. Of course, I want to take them home!
- Yolande Miller-Grandvaux

Can't Say Enough Positive Things

NWRC staff made our first family river trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon memorable and fun. Our guides were thoughtful, kind, patient, professional... I can't say enough positive things about our experience!
- Katherine McMahon

A Superb Team of Guides

By far the best river trip I could have ever imagined. A superb team of guides, amazing food, top-notch gear and memories that will last me a lifetime. It was perfect in every way and I wouldn’t change a thing. We were so well taken care of. Thank you NWRC, for giving us the time of our lives!
- Coventry Merwin

The River is Awesome

The Middle Fork has three distinct phases of terrain ranging from alpine, to high desert to towering granite walls. Cold water, raging rapids, and hot springs present a mind blowing assault on your senses. Then there are the guides; expert in boating and wilderness cooking they are also full of personality and become instant friends. NWRC makes you want to come back year after year! They bring out the best in you and each of their guests.
- Mike Waters

Best Guides in Over 20 Trips

Not only were our guides professional, they were loads of fun & took great care of us old folks! Best guides we've had in over 20 trips!
- Peg Kavookjian

Top Notch Professionals

All of the guides were top notch professionals along with being personable and great river companions. Thomas organized the group in a super friendly way with clear communication. More importantly, he was able to emphasize safety at all times but not be a fun-sponge. We very much appreciated the healthy meals and snacks along with the great dutch oven desserts and the fun Oreo flavors. Courtney did a wonderful job planning meals and relaying information about the early inhabitants and Ellie was a wealth of information with water sustainability. Brody and Sebastian were all smiles, considerately taking care of everyone's needs and Audrey and Mike were awesome with our camp set-ups. We were much entertained with Audrey's story of the geological history of the Middle Fork. The guides acted as a family who cared about each other and others. It was extraordinarily unique to have ten sets of virtual strangers (24 people) ages 13-to-80 quickly come together unified for the sole purpose of having a great trip. We left six days later having all had the time of our lives. I directly contribute that to the guides.
- Pamela Papa

Wow!!! What a crew!!!

We returned home and if possible I would go again tomorrow!! We had such a wonderful time. The entire experience was beyond my greatest idea of a paid for river trip. You guys: Thomas, Courtney, Ellie, Broadie, Zack and Kevin, et.al., were so thoughtful, so kind, so fun, so initiating, so helpful, such great cooks, such fast workers, such skillful, knowledgeable, interesting people. Northwest Rafting Company is spectacular. When I found out about the float on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River! I was so excited! I called Emily and talked to her extensively, emailed and texted; she was so kind and informative and a great communicator! I love all of you and you are all invited to come to Whitefish, Mt and stay. This is a beautiful location to live and bike, kayak, raft, etc. Can't wait to see you.
- Lela Newey

Trip of a lifetime

Just finished a 6 day trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon with Northwest Rafting. It was truly an amazing trip. Besides the spectacular scenery, Zach and his guides really made the trip. Not only were they were professional and put our comfort and safety first, they were really awesome people to hang out with. The food was great and there was plenty of good drinks (they even had fancy Scotch!) It really felt like a trip you went on with your friends or family. They all shared great stories about the history of the river. There were kids on the trip and they were really great with them too. I can't recommend this trip or Northwest Rating more. I am definitely going to do another trip with them, probably on the Rouge River but maybe even the trip to Bhutan!
- Mark Sikes

One of the best experiences of our lives

Truly was a bucket list trip that could not have been better executed by the whole crew. Really love how we become family. We are talking about a return trip in 2 years!
- James Benfield

Great Memories

Our rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River was fantastic. It was a great opportunity to spend significant time with my dad and his buddies and enjoy the unrivaled splendor of this wilderness. Zach, Brodie, and the guides made it a wonderful experience for everyone on the trip. They are true pros, and deeply committed to ensuring enjoyment on the trip and great memories after. Can't wait to do this with my sons soon!
- drew miller

Top-Notch Rafting Company

I went on a six-day Middle Fork Salmon trip with my family departing on August 20th, 2019. I'll start off with mentioning that I've grown up alongside my own family's whitewater rafting business on the American River in CA, so I have a lot of experience with outfitters and the whole rafting operation. There are always great rafting companies and ones that aren't as great, and Northwest Rafting is among the great ones. You'll struggle to find another owner who cares about his guests as much as Zach. He goes above and beyond to ensure everyone has a great time, and his guides are no different. The whole crew is hardworking, kind, and knowledgeable. Even though a few unforeseen hiccups occurred on our trip (that were not a result of any of the NWRC staff or guests), all the guides and Zach miraculously were able to power through the struggles and get everyone down the river with great attitudes and humor to boot. I am impressed at the teamwork the whole crew has and this was definitely the trip of a lifetime for me and my family. I know we will be back on the river with NWRC someday. Thank you!!!
- Laura A.

Best Trip Ever

My family of 12 embarked on our adventure on July 18, 2019. We had all heard the trip was a lifetime and life changing experience. I am happy to count myself as one of the fortunate to have done this float, and just as importantly, the float with NW Rafting Co. The guides were amazing: Brodie, Courtney, Audrey, Emily, Michael, Nick...thanks for all the fun, laughs, expertise, and going above and beyond to make this trip a huge success. Truly, time of our lives and NW Rafting was a huge factor in the equation. I can't recommend enough the trip with this group of great people. Audrey - thanks for the geography lesson with sound effects - it was inspired. Brodie (lead) ran the symphony and did a great job. Thanks guides and Zach! For readers, do this trip!
- Kevin Boie

Time of my life!

I had the time of my life on this trip, in no small part due to the guides. Their wealth knowledge of the river was apparent and made this first time rapid rider at ease. Perhaps more impressive than their knowledge of the Middle Fork was their fun as hell personalities. Saying goodbye to the guides in Salmon was just as sad for me as saying goodbye to my family! The trip hadn't ended and my wife are I were planning our next one, with NWRC of course.
- Ryan Kuhn

The best!

The NWRC guides and trip on the Middle Fork was absolutely amazing. The guides were gracious, helpful, funny and so knowledgeable. The food was incredible! On top of that, rafting a wild and scenic river was such an unbelievable opportunity. We got back last week and I’m already trying to figure out when we can book our next trip.
- Annika K

Amazing staff!

This was our 25th wedding anniversary trip and it was an exceptional experience because of the quality of our guides. They very professional, knowledgeable, thoughtful and very friendly. We were afraid that we might feel like third wheels as the only paddlers on a kayak trip, but instead we had a privately guided tour by day (Brodie and Justin) and a fun community of guides and kayak by night. They took amazing care of us from meals to hikes. Can't wait for the next time. Amazing staff!
- Michael Moyer

NWRC's guides bring laughter and joy

Audrey's fabulous geology talk was the trip highlight for me! She also was super fun in leading activities at camp. Brodie gave great tips as I learned to maneuver the IK, Mel was a fabulous cook and all around fun person at camp, Courtney was a great leader and so good with Stone and the kids in our group. We didn't get to ride with Dustin but enjoyed our talks at camp and he was a good fishing coach. MacKenzie was great fun at camp and even brought up cool drinks from camp and met us on our hike.
- Lindsay J

I have never done anything like this trip before

The river, the wilderness, the food, and especially the guides are world class, I will be telling everyone I know to come do this trip asap!
- Joe Koenig

Splendid Middle Fork experience

This NWRC trip gets the top grade in the class: A+ for continuous white water, A+ for jaw-dropping scenery around every bend of the river - jeepers for the entire 100 miles!, A++ for terrific guides, and finally A+ for perhaps the best part - bringing our group together for 7 days of fun.
- Andrew Schwartz

Misnamed river!

The correct name is "The river of shall return " because once experienced you know that you must go back.. We did it twice (so far) as Echo and everything about it can't truly be captured in words or pictures. Glad to see you paddling on. Hi Audrey!
- Ron Cook

Middle Fork Magic

Amazing trip! This once in a lifetime experience was truly enhanced by the exceptional talent of the guides- both on the river and off! With 12 kids in our group, we saw endless action. From rock jumping to adventure hikes to games in the evening, it left the adults free to visit and enjoy the fabulous food, beverages and breath taking scenery. The wilderness is to be treasured and the guides made sure it was. Thank you NWRC. my family had one of our best adventures ever.
- Megan Tweedy

Beyond our wildest expectations.......

All 6 guides on this trip went above and beyond to share their excitement and passion for the wilderness as well as their extensive knowledge of geology and Indian history.....complete with pictographs left by the Indians on canyon walls.....gourmet food at every meal, fresh and accommodates any food preference......paddle boats and 6 inflatable kayaks for the brave to ignite their adrenalin going through some fast and fun rapids.....lots of laughs.....hikes up to waterfalls.....views that get more beautiful by the day.....visions of mountain goats by hot springs.....a sighting of an eagle's nest...then the eagle.....pure relentless magic for 6 days.......YES YES YES and thank you to each and everyone who worked tirelessly to make us happy every day. With much love and gratitude.......Marta
- Marta Phillips

Middle Fork of the Salmon

Awesome trip!!!! Well organized. Trip leader and Guides were top notch and so much fun to hang out with. We are packing for our next trip on the Rogue river. Thanks again NWRC!!!!
- Barbara Dates

Go, Boat, Come Back Better.

I can't speak highly enough of this group of guides. I could go on and on about the food, drink, boating, guides, vibes, and scenery but I will just say this instead: if you want to go on the best trip of your year (or maybe life), go on this one. The NWRC team is one for the books and made it an unforgettable experience. Call me hyperbolic but I left that trip better than I came. Do yourself a favor and book it.
- Ali Enright

Lose Yourself-Find Yourself In 6 Days

Unplugging and letting go were the two issues I had with leaving the world (work) behind and stepping into the paddle boat. However, once I stepped (slipped and fell actually) into the paddle boat, my mind instantly let go of the pressures of the world and enjoyment seeped into my core. There wasn't a fraction of a moment where I wished to be anywhere but with this group of people, on this river, with these guides. Calmly and thoroughly explaining every next step gave each of us confidence in our direction. Making every moment enjoyable was second nature to NickO, Allie, Dan, Audrey, Mel & Zach. In every description of every move there was a certainty that we all embraced. Positive reinforcement helped us all reach a higher level of proficiency whether we were in a paddle boat or a kayak. From "Coffee Call" in the morning until the last ember of the campfire died at bedtime, each guest on this trip felt pampered and was treated with the utmost respect. Vegetarian and dairy free diets were supplied and the options were as creative and appealing as the main course. Lunch was always spectacular, eating by the river while we discussed our morning escapades. Reaching camp was always a delight as the guides helped up set up our tents (they were happy to set them up without us, but we enjoyed trying to help so they graciously allowed us to assist). While we were unpacking they would bring drinks around and quickly set up snacks so we had munchies while we waiting for a 5 star dinner every night. Dutch oven desserts were magnificent. Beautiful hikes to hot springs and engaging vistas greeted us at our overnight locations. Swimming (and being rescued by NickO and Zach) was refreshing and became my second extreme sport on this outing. I would have to say my favorite spot was in the paddle boat(my first extreme sport). Our group consisted of 5 adults in their 20's and one 58 year old(me). We asked each guide to hit as many rapids as possible, to make this as wet and wild as possible and they did just that. At one point the other guides were telling us it looked like we were zigzagging down the river! We never felt like we were in danger, the guides called out the strokes and we felt like a well oiled machine. All the while, we were also having fun watching the kayakers and seeing the rush that they feel on the rapids. The entire group encompassed guests from the age of 27 to 76 and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. From the scenery, to the wild water, to the knowledgable engaging guides, to the flexible atmosphere, to the perfect weather, sumptuous healthy food, interesting fellow rafters/kayakers, and an impressive 2am thunderstorm there would be absolutely no way I could improve upon our experience. I look forward to booking this trip or going on one of NWRC's other trips in the near future.
- Missy Coman

Middle Fork of the Salmon, July 2016

The MF of the Salmon Trip that I did this year with NWRC (ECHO) was the best trip I have ever been on. I have been on many river trips since I started boating in 1967 but none of them compare with this – it was perfect! I intend on going on many more NWRC trips. For those of us that are older, do not want the hassles of a private trip or just want the best possible trip, I strongly recommend going with NWRC. I rowed my14’ Avon raft with a RecreTec frame built for my 5’2” height. Zack was very helpful coordinating with me to get my raft and other equipment to the river. I was a little uncertain of my ability to keep up with the professional guides on flat water or if there where heavy upstream winds. At 67, I am not as strong as I used to be. I had no problems rowing any of the rapids. Going with NWRC I did not have to worry about carrying any gear so I had a light boat. I had a professional guide, NickO, that could take over for me if I had any problems. I managed to talk my friend Arthur Swank into coming with me. Between Arthur, NickO and the other guides I did not worry about anything. For the first time that I can remember, I totally relaxed on a trip. In the evenings I could just sit by the river and enjoy the peace that river brings to me. I did not even look at my guide book. The incredible / professional guides that NWRC (ECHO) has made every aspect of the trip fun / safe / easy. I have worked as a guide in California in the ’70 and have seen many guides on different rivers over the years. It is not nearly as easy to put organize and lead a trip as many people think. I have been on 10 Grand Canyon trips – 9 private – trip leader on 5 or 6 so I know how hard it is to do a good job. The guides and their organization and expertise impressed me. I have never seen a trip that was so well coordinated / organized in my 49 years of boating. I have never seen a group of guides as good as the ones we had on this trip. The flow of the different boats down the river was almost like a dance that they had practiced many times. With a combination if different oar rafts, paddle rafts, inflatable kayaks and a totally unknown rafter of unknown ability it is very difficult to maintain proper distance between boats, support between the different elements for safety, a safety sweep boat and have everyone enjoying themselves totally unaware of how much expertise, experience and coordination this takes. The way the river side of the trip was run was extremely safe without getting in the way of everyone having the experience of a lifetime. The food was 4 star. I am a little hard to fix meals for but there was plenty I would eat at every meal. There was fresh fruit at every meal – pineapple, apples, oranges, etc. The cakes, brownies and other things they baked and fixed were delicious – even the salads. Getting me to eat a salad 4 nights was a remarkable achievement. The schedule to me was relaxing and unhurried. We got up between 6:30- 7:00 am depending on if you wanted coffee and how long it took you to pack up. Arthur normally took my tent down although the guides would do that also. I would pack my gear into my dry bag and have a relaxing breakfast. It did not take long to eat - I never felt hurried. Arthur and NickO would get me and my dry bags down to the boats. The baggage boat tried to leave earlier than the other boats so you needed to get your baggage down early. I do not know how the guides managed to fix breakfast, clean up, break camp and load the boats in the same time it took the rest of us to eat and get ready. We would stop for lunch and everything would be ready in less than 30 min. Many days there were special items that had been prepared the night before. We would pull into camp in the afternoon and everything was set up – kitchen, tents, groover. Never thought that I would be on a trip were they even set my tent up. People relaxed, socialized, played games, etc. until dinner. Dinner was early enough that people had time to get to know others before going to bed. This is important. If dinner is too late, people will not sit and talk afterwards. These evening gatherings pull the group together. The people get to know each other and it enriches the experience. I now wish that I had gotten to know others better – that I had joined in more group gatherings. I was having such an incredible trip that I just sat by the river and dreamed the time away. This was the most incredible, wonderful, perfect, peaceful, enjoyable, fun trip I have ever had. I feel like rivers talk to me. Boating has been an obsession for me for 48 years. It is my life. The trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon with NWRC (ECHO) has brought light into my life. It brought peace back into my life. I cannot thank them enough for letting me come. I am not too old to boat!
- Jane Heineman

We do not repeat trips, EXCEPT...

Well, I lied, as our family goes skiing every year, BUT this is the only other trip out of our travels that we have put in "Must Repeat" category. We just took our 2nd of "X", with X being as many as we can do over the next 30 years! I have obviously enjoyed my time on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and NWRC, but the real memories and experiences I will always value are watching my 7 year old son and 10 year old daughter (10 and 13 on this recent trip) navigate class III and IV rapids in their inflatable kayaks, help out in camp, climb incredibly tall things (and sometimes jump off them) and grow their self-confidence to 2X their pre-trip levels (which were not low). The food is insanely good and creative and nothing you would expect on a river. The tents and cots are very comfortable, even for my bad joints, and the camp sites or fun and beautiful. AND the guides are incredibly talented people that we will always remember as friends and look forward to seeing again. I recommend this trip more than any other I have taken to my friends as a "MUST TAKE" trip. Hope y'all make it out, too. - Angus
- Angus Hughes

Middlefork Salmon

The MF Salmon is a great river! The clear water & swift current sweep you along beautiful Alpine scenery. The river cuts through the rugged ID mountains with many feeder streams adding to it along the way, some of which form breathtaking waterfalls. Wildlife abounds! One night in camp we watched a family of otters playing just across the river. The guides were great! Friendly & personable, with sure knowledge of the river and rapids to come. They told us what to expect in the upcoming rapids and they handled the boats with skill & precision. They informed us of the history of the river & the native people who lived there. One night Audrey gave an hour long lecture over dinner about the geology and creation of ID that was so entertaining & engaging that you couldn't not learn. After an enjoyable day on the river, we'd pull into camp to find our tents set up & bags laid out. There would be a circle of chairs & games set out for us. There were snacks prepared. One or two of the guides would lead a hike to a nearby hot springs or viewpoint, while the rest prepared an excellent dinner. They made a lasagna one night, in the wilderness, on the side of a river, that may be the best I've ever had! The whole experience was truly a delight! I highly recommend NWRC & MF Salmon to all!
- K Arthur Swank

Amazing Time - Amazing Place!

My wife, several friends and I have run the MF Salmon river with NWRC (Echo) around 10 times and it has always been an amazing experience. The guides are the best. NWRC is very flexible and accommodating. We are a group that takes our own kayaks and catarafts along with other family and friends who run the river in NWRC rafts. The management and the guides are very easy to communicate with, very professional, positive and passionate about what they do. The meals are a culinary delight. The extra side hikes and visits to various very interesting sites increase an already incredible experience on the river. The MF Salmon River is an amazing place and NWRC makes it readily accessible and is a catalyst for a truly memorable experience - one that you will not forget.
- Billy Knowlton