“A river changes people, even if they’re not looking to change,” says Bill “Bronco” Bruchak.

He should know, having guided on rivers since 1978, including 80 commercial trips down the Middle Fork of the Salmon River through the protected Frank Church–River of No Return Wilderness, in central Idaho.

“White water makes you let go of all of the other worlds and take the time to be absorbed by pristine wilderness.”

Getting Started:

The Middle Fork is a free-flowing river that tumbles for a hundred miles of wilderness, promising plenty of frothy excitement from the headwaters an hour outside Stanley, Idaho, to the end when it rejoins the Salmon.

A favorite with families and fit folks from 7 to 70 years old, the Middle Fork features a hundred Class 3 and 4 rapids in a stunning forested setting. Excursions average five hours on the river per day.

Choose between single kayaks, rafts that hold up to eight people, or guide-powered rafts for two. Minimum age requirements change with the season (July is best for all abilities).

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