2001 – Sawtooth Adventure Company opens its doors. Roni and Jared’s Commercial Recreation Degree pays off! Maya, our first child is born June 9th, just to add a little spice to our first season. I almost forgot, the Salmon River had its lowest water year in 50 years. We end the season with 5 employees.
2002 – With a year of parenting and baptism-by-fire small business ownership under our belts, we open for the season with optimistic goals, but with a post 911 shadow. To our astonishment, we experience an amazing growth over our 1st season. It seemed like every customer that went with us in year one returned in year two. Thanks!
2003 – Get ready because here it comes! Big water ahead. Largest snow pack in 5 years mixed with 90 degree June weather. This is the year we decide the small red boats are simply more fun. Sawtooth Adventure experiences 127% growth over ’02 and adds Float Fishing Trips to the mix. We never thought that running a business and managing a 2-year old could ever be so hard.
2004 – We hit our stride. Healthy business growth and a building clientele have us looking at expansion. Average water year, great group of guides.
2005 – A lot happened in 2005. We buy the Stanley Property, build the oh-so-needed boat house and begin to remodel the cabin all in the month of May; thanks for good friends. Jared and Erich Hamm create a partnership and began actively looking for a Multi-day Main Salmon Permit. We purchase Echo’s Main Salmon Operation in December, and Sawtooth Adventure Main Salmon is born.
2006 – Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. With the Stanley operation in somewhat cruise-control we are able to focus on expanding. Combine the cabin remodel, debut of the Idaho Adventure Center and the Main Salmon, and our 6th season is over in a flash. We add a Main Salmon warehouse in town, and the crew grows to 14 employees. Maya turns 5 years old and floats the whitewater section for her first time, she already thinks she’s a pro.
2007 – The 07′ season will be remembered as the year of the fire(s). Wildfires made things interesting, but overall ’07 was a great year. We had the best crew in SAC history, hosted the largest Group Trip in the history-of the upper Salmon with 358 guests, and grew the new Main Salmon operation by %100+. Maya runs the class III’s more times than a 6 year old can count and is ready to try the Inflatable Kayak.
2008– A huge snowpack and cool spring has given us the best rafting conditions we have seen in a decade. With Roni back in action and all of our guides returning for another summer, 2008 is sure to be the best year yet. We hope to see you in Stanley for a great day on the Salmon River.
2009 – Better than average snowpack and a 100% employee return offsets the doom & gloom of the national economy. Our 1st Annual Kids trip on the Main Salmon is a huge success & topples Disneyland as Maya’s favorite vacation. Thanks to a huge number of familiar faces (return clients) on our 1-day rafting trips and 2009 exceeds expectations.
2010 – Wow 10 Years! That’s right…..this season marks 1 decade of family raft trips on Idaho’s famous Salmon River of No Return. We start the season out with a bang on a snowy, highwater, 175 mile guide training trip on the Middle Fork & Main Salmon. Our 2nd Annual Kids Trip on the Main sells out, and more families join us on our Salmon River multi-day trip than ever before. The economy seems to have bounced and we host more Sun Valley Corporate rafting groups than the past 2 years combined! Blessed with an amazing guide crew and beautiful fall weather we have the best fall fishing, rafting and biking season on record. Maya continues to cherish her summers in Stanley and rafts the Class III day trips more times than Dad can keep track. She learns to Inflatable Kayak and masters the scenic float & soak section. Her love for wild rivers and wilderness is undeniable.
2011 – aptly nicknamed “two thousand and heaven” due to the abundant snow pack. All indicators look like another great summer in Stanley and on the Salmon River. Maya turns 10 years old this summer, the perfect age for all of our raft, kayak, bike and fishing adventures. Combine the amazing snow pack, rebounding economy, growing interest in the Main Salmon trips, and a great guide crew returning, and 2011 looks prime. SAC expands to Latin America offering an amazing Nicaragua Vacation Rental on the Pacific. We continue to explore this amazing corner of the world and make plans to offer a combination of cultural and active adventures in 2012.
2012- Wow 12 summers on the Salmon River. Time flies when having fun! The Sawtooths got lucky this winter. While the rest of the west saw little snow, the Sawtooths hit their 100 year average. The snowpack looks prime for another great year on the Salmon. We had a busy spring with a cabin remodel and a number of HQ improvements. We added a Fly Fishing School, Stand Up Paddle Boarding (RiverSUP) and Overnight Mountain Biking to our list of adventures. Maya is taking her summer job seriously at the Stanley Lemonade Stand to fund her ski racing career, while Jared is headed back to school for a Masters and Roni continues to be grounding force of the operation.
2011- San Jan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Jump to the Fall of 2015
Wow….time flies when your having fun. To say the past 3 years have been busy would be an understatement.
2013 brought lots of changes.On September 4th, Roni and I welcomed our son, JT Hopkinson to the world of wild rivers, powder skiing, foreign beaches and summers in Stanley. With the wind at our sails we decided to take a leap of faith by expanding our Idaho operation onto the world famous Middle Fork of the Salmon through the acquisition of Rocky Mountain River Tours. The risk is paying off. The combination of SAC’s friendly guides and industry leading customer service, combined with RMRT’s 35 years of leadership and fabulous food has resulted in sold out summers on our Middle Fork and River of No Return trips. You can find info about our award winning wilderness trips at Rocky Mountain River Tours.
The transition continues today. Rocky Mtn River Tours started off the 2013 season with a base for of operations in Salmon, Idaho. Three sold out summers later and we find ourselves moving the entire operation to a new boathouse in Lower Stanley for the 2016 summer. We are excited to have our entire Idaho operation located in the center of the wilderness river world…. Stanley, Idaho! Safe to say, we are excited!
2020 Update : 20 Years of Adventure!
Wowza….This summer we are incredibly fortunate to celebrate 20 years of adventure in Stanley Idaho. Crazy how time flies. The past 5 years have been a blur of a growing business, larger staff, new ventures and new locations. We could not have accomplished it without our amazing team. Thank you Johnny, Tara and Krista!
For good, or for bad….Instagram and its amazing images of this amazing little town at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains has put Stanley, Idaho on the map. We have relocated our storefront to the center of the universe in downtown Stanley at 710 Ace of Diamonds Avenue. We purchased the old McCoys Tackle Shop (the oldest building in Stanley) and repurposed the Sawtooth Adventure Company HQ and the Stanley Fly Shop. We love our new location offering a fabulous, centralized location offering SUP rentals, SAC retail and the introduction of the Stanley’s only Fly Shop. We love meeting visitors from all over the world and sharing the magic of the Salmon River. A special shoutout….We cannot express enough gratitude for our incredibly loyal clients turned friends, that visit us Every. Single. Summer! You know who you are. THANK YOU, you are amazing!
In other exciting news….our daughter Maya was born the first year of business, seems only fitting that she will start her rookie season as a river guide as we celebrate our 20th year. Keep an eye out for her on the water!
Special Note: This summer begins in the aftermath of a downright strange, COVID effected spring. We are beyond grateful for the State of Idaho’s leadership and a path to open for business this summer. We have been hard at work adjusting operations, updating sanitation protocols and navigating these unprecedented times. We are forecasting a slow, methodical open during June and a fully operational July and August. We see a summer of washing hands, sanitizing equipment and social distancing in the middle of no-where Idaho. We want all of our Guests to know they can expect a healthy and safe outdoor, family friendly experience. At the same time , expect fabulous guides, top-shelf customer service and the amazing beauty of Idaho’s famous Salmon River. Join us and celebrate 20 years, we would love to see you all…socially distanced of course.