Stanley Rafting Day Adventure

Salmon River Rafting Day Trips

Here at Sawtooth Adventure Company, rafting on the “day stretch” of the Salmon in Stanley, Idaho is one of our favorite activities. Depending on the time of year, you and your group will have the opportunity to choose between a Class IV trip (early season) and a Class III trip on the longest free-flowing river in the Lower 48. When on these adventures, your day will start with arriving at our shop and getting outfitted with wetsuits and splash gear (if needed). Along with this, we will provide you with a helmet, river booties, and most importantly, a life jacket. 


Photo By Tara Sutphen

White Water Rafting Journey 

Once fully outfitted, we ask that you leave your keys and all worries behind as we embark on our twenty-minute drive to the boat launch. On this quick ride, you drive along the Scenic Stretch of the Salmon while passing multiple hot springs, which include Sunbeam Hot Springs. Upon arrival at the boat launching point, our guests will receive an in-depth safety speech from one of our guides in order to ensure that everyone is ready for the first rapid which is just around the corner. 

Piece of Cake

The first rapid that you will encounter on the Class III day stretch is called Piece of Cake. This rapid is known for its fun and splashy waves which are bound to cool you off on those warm mountain days. The river makes sure that you follow up your Piece of Cake with the next riffle – Glass of Milk. From here, the water is relatively mellow, with the exception of some fun wave trains in Lower O’Brien Campground which is just below O’Brien Bridge. This continues until you reach the second Class III rapid of the day – The Narrows. As the name suggests, this section of the river tapers into a beautiful canyon with a wave train leading you into various rapids. 

The Narrows

Once you exit the Narrows and look to your right, you will witness stunningly clear water flowing from Warm Springs creek. Unlike the Narrows, the name of Warm Springs creek does not echo its function. After passing the creek, you will travel around a few additional bends before reaching Jump Rock. Here all guests are given the choice to jump from the top of a boulder into a welcoming eddy below. Now that you are cooled off, you will continue downriver and pass the Sawtooth Adventure Co.’s lunch camp. From here the take-out is a short drift downriver before the guides will take the boats out of the water, and our guests are greeted by their chipper bus driver.

Back at Shop

Now that the splashy portion of the day is over, you have a twenty-five-minute ride back to shop. During this ride, stories are exchanged and jokes are told as you wind down the road back to town. As you come around the bend into Lower Stanley, the Sawtooth Mountains stretch out of the ground as they reach towards the sky in order to create a magnificent ridgeline. To conclude your trip, we return to the Sawtooth Adventure Company shop to look over hilarious pictures of guests as they float through Piece of Cake, along with grabbing any SAC t-shirts and hats that are available for purchase. 

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