2023 June 6 to 13 – Main Salmon River
2024 June 1 to 8 – Middle Fork
2024 August 27 to September 3 – Food and Wine Tour
2023 Prices listed are per person:
Shared Room: $3398
Private Room: $3638 limited nights
2024 Prices listed are per person:
Shared Room: $3898
Private Room: $4198 limited nights
“I couldn’t have asked for a more invigorating and fun way to disappear for a week into the wilderness.” -Pier T., Nashville, TN
“The river has a language all its own and on this trip, I learned enough to have a conversation with the river. I ran class 4 rapids in an inflatable kayak, relying on my own strength and knowledge of river speak.” Brad Y., Charlotte, NC
“Fun rafting, incredible scenery, fantastic meals, endless wine tasting and a fabulous group of guides. I could not ask for a better trip.” Doug G., Roswell, GA
Plunge through whitewater rapids on your choice of kayak, oar raft, or while riding in the gear raft with the guides.
Enjoy gourmet meals made from locally sourced foods.
Cool off in cascading waterfalls.
Warm-up in riverside hot springs.
Hike to extraordinarily beautiful Indian ruins, petroglyphs, and amazing vistas.
Swim in the crystal clear waters of the Salmon River.
Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Our gay rafting adventure begins near the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. The Main Salmon River is known as the “River of No Return”, and the Middle Fork has been called “the Crown Jewel of Idaho.” On alternating years, we choose one route or the other and paddle our way through cold, clear water in vast, deep canyons and forests.
Witness fascinating remnants of western mining culture and pioneer history. Perfect for all interests and abilities, the Salmon has friendly, deep pool-drop rapids. Experience America’s unmatched beauty, wildness, and adventure in an unforgettable way.
Enjoy nature at its best! The sage-covered hills are frequently dotted with moose, black bear, bighorn sheep, and the sky is filled with herons, cranes, and golden eagles. This unspoiled wilderness was once home to the Sheepeater Indians but few others have called this remote landscape home.
Take a suspenseful plunge through wild rapids, then relax in the afternoon, fishing for the native west slope cutthroat trout. Wind down with a bracing dip into a “cold tub” of some of the clearest water you’ll ever see, then after a gourmet dinner, fall asleep under a rich canopy of stars.
June High Water Launch: This early in the season means cooler weather. Expect chillier nights and usually days in the low to mid-60s, maybe up to low 70s, barring those lingering late-season storms, which would mean a cooler and possibly a rainy day or two. Snow can happen any time of the year this far north. These dates also bring higher waters, so the water is faster and the rapids are bigger for an exhilarating adventure.
-Given that, and a higher chance of rain, we suggest that you consider bringing or renting a dry suit.
August Food and Wine Launch: It’s not a private LGBTQ launch, but the gay rafting vendor is leading this tour as well. Since this launch is Food and Wine focused, it attracts a mature crowd (no children). This launch will have warmer weather, and slower water, which means the rapids will be calmer. This launch has one less night camping on the river, instead, your last river night is spent at the Mackay Bar Guest Ranch before flying back to Boise the next day.
Both launch dates are led by the gay outfitter owner. The differences come down to if you would like cooler weather and a faster ride or warmer weather and calmer rapids.
Day 1: Welcome to Boise
Our tour starts in the late afternoon with a meet and greet gathering at the hotel. Tonight’s included lodging will be in a comfortable bed at one of Boise’s boutique-style accommodations. If you have any extra time, make sure to head downtown to enjoy some of Boise’s vibrant nightlife. Downtown Boise is a cultural center and has a variety of shopping and dining choices. Centrally located, 8th Street contains a pedestrian zone with sidewalk cafes and restaurants. This area is also known as the Basque District, which gives visitors to Boise a rare chance to learn about and enjoy the city’s Basque heritage.
Day 2: Fly to the River
This morning we will take a small charter plane, then a shuttle bus, to our put-in location. Before we launch, we’ll have a thorough orientation, demonstrating kayak safety, raft safety, and general river safety. Each day, guests are given the option of paddling an inflatable kayak, paddling with a team in a paddle raft, or just relaxing and accompanying a guide on one of the gear rafts.
Days 3-6: Clear Water, Blue Skies, Peace, and Quiet
Your day on the river begins with a hearty breakfast. After breaking camp, we will travel about 15 miles each day. Generally, we are on the water between 9 and 10 am, stopping for a mid-morning break to stretch, followed by lunch and a mid-afternoon snack break.
For those who want to kick back and relax, the oar rig might be the craft of choice. More adventurous types might tackle the rapids in a paddle raft, or a “ducky” (inflatable kayak). Experienced whitewater canoeists and kayakers with the appropriate skill level may choose to bring their own boat or paddle one of ours. Heading down the river, there’s a lot to see: pictographs, abandoned miners’ cabins, waterfalls, and wildlife. Mid-day lunch stops may also include a scenic hike or beach volleyball. Each day offers new opportunities, including hot springs, short hikes to see artifacts and pictographs, waterfalls, and amazing vistas.
We typically pull into camp between 4 and 5 pm. While hors-d’oeuvres and dinner are being prepared, there’s always time for a hike or a chance to hook a trophy fish. And of course, as night falls, campfire stories abound and river tales get taller.
Day 7: Fly Back to Boise
When we reach the end of our river run, we will fly back to Boise together from the small regional airport of McCall. We’ll check back into our hotel in Boise in the late afternoon. Dinner tonight is on your own, but we won’t be surprised if you’ve made many new friends this week, and you’re ready to hit the town together!
Day 8: Farewell Idaho
Most travelers will catch flights from Boise International Airport to begin their journeys home.
Price includes: Light aircraft flights between Boise and rafting sites; Professional guiding; Gourmet meals and beverages (including beer and wine) on rafting days; Tents; Sleeping bags and pads; Dry bags; Wetsuits; River equipment; Inflatable kayaks; For experienced paddlers, the use of hardshell kayaks; Rafts; USFS Recreation Enhancement Act Fees; One hotel night before the tour begins and one night after the tour’s completion. Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare to and from Boise; Transfers between Boise airport and hotel (free shuttle provided by the hotel); Meals in Boise; Gratuities for guides and host.
We strongly recommend the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance to protect your vacation investment in case of unforeseen circumstances such as flight delay, illness, or injury. Click Here to learn more about our Insurance partner.
- What if I am traveling alone?
- Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
- What is the physical activity level of this tour?
Physical Activity Level
Rafting, canoeing, and kayaking are all choices on this amazing adventure. Although no experience is necessary, this tour is an excellent choice for those who have joined us on other rafting trips and would like something more advanced.
- Where does the tour start and end?
- This tour starts and ends in Boise, Idaho.
- Additional Questions
- For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174