Floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon River

In 1968, the Middle Fork of the Salmon River was one of the original eight rivers designated in the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. It begins at the confluence of Marsh and Bear Valley creeks and ends at its confluence with the Main Salmon River. Each year, approximately 10,000 people float the Middle Fork. Depending on water flow levels, the Middle Fork provides a relatively moderate to fast-paced whitewater floating experience, requiring moderate to high skill levels.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon flows through the Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness. The Frank Church – River of No Return Wilderness Management Plan provides program management direction for activities that occur in the Wilderness, including floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Specific guidance for management of activities on the Middle Fork is provided in Chapter 2 of the Plan, starting on pg. 2-54.

A permit is required to float the Middle Fork of the Salmon. For information about how to reserve a permit and what you need to know once you have a reservation, use the links below. Each link takes you to another page that provides information about the items listed for each link.

Obtaining a Permit to Float the Middle Fork

  • Permits are Required
  • # Launches Allowed/Day
  • How do I get a Permit?
  • Reserving a Cancelled Reservation
  • Recreation.gov
  • Commercial Allocations

Fees, Pass Discounts, and Refunds

  • What are the fees for floating the Middle Fork?
  • How do I pay my fees?
  • Interagency Passes
  • Salmon River Season Passes
  • Refund and Change Policy

Information for Middle Fork Reservation Holders

  • Reservation vs. Permit
  • Launch Date
  • I have a Reservation. How do I get my Permit?
  • What do I do with my Permit?
  • Permit Holder Must be Present at All Times
  • Reservations are Not Transferable
  • Minimum Age
  • Number of Reservations/Permits Allowed per Person
  • Group Size and Trip Length
  • Limit on # of Watercraft
  • Passenger List
  • Definition of a Private Float Trip

Modifying and Updating the Details of a Reservation

Cancellation and No-Show Policies

Required Equipment

  • List of Required Equipment
  • Details and More Information about Required Equipment
  • Kayakers and Required Gear
  • PFD Requirements

Shuttles and Equipment Companies

Materials for All Group Members to Review

  • Checking in and Boat Inspection
  • Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention
  • Drinking Water
  • Gray Water and Food/Kitchen Waste
  • Soap and Toothpaste
  • Garbage and Recycling
  • Human Waste (and Dogs too)
  • Camping
  • Use of Fire pan and Fire Blanket
  • Dogs
  • Cultural Resources
  • Wildlife
  • Fishing and Hunting
  • Use of Drones is Prohibited
  • Ending Your Trip at Cache Bar Boat Ramp
  • Above All – Be Courteous

Campsite Selection

  • Control Season
  • Non-Control Season

Launch Sites and Tributary Information

  • Boundary Creek
  • Indian Creek
  • Airstrips
  • Tributaries
    • Marsh Creek
    • Big Creek
    • Others

Chinook Salmon

Contact Us

River Office
Salmon-Challis National Forest
1206 S Challis St
Salmon ID 83467
sm.fs.middlefork@usda.gov, sm.fs.salmonriver@usda.gov