Frequently Asked Questions

We’ll continue to broaden this section to accommodate additional questions that are frequently asked.


  1. Why choose Adventure Sun Valley instead of other Idaho whitewater rafting and fishing guides?
  2. Will this river trip be right for me? (Given my age, inexperience, disability, health conditions, fears, hygiene habits, etc.)
  3. TRIP DIARY: What’s a typical day like on your whitewater rafting trips?
  4. Do rafting trips on the Middle Fork Salmon River pose a threat to the Idaho wilderness?
  5. What is the current water flow level of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River?
  6. What is the current weather in Stanley, Idaho?


1. Why choose Adventure Sun Valley?

Simply put, you won’t find a better value. We’re careful to keep our prices average, but our luxury service, comfort and safety record are unsurpassed. Unlike other rafting trips you may have been on in the past, we won’t ask you to bring any camping gear or help with camp chores. We won’t serve you “camp food.”   And we won’t make you ride in hot, dusty buses to and from the river.  [ Check options for getting to Stanley, including air-conditioned Motor Coach ]

For over 20 years now, our company has chosen to run just this one legendary river, allowing us to focus on perfecting the experience for our pampered guests. This is evident in our safety-trained and experienced guides, top-notch equipment, gourmet cuisine, and ratio of guests to guides. Extra guides allow us the luxury of taking care of you, from your first contact with us. Whether it’s customizing a rafting trip for your family or business group, assisting with flights and lodging, tying on a fly, grilling a tenderloin to your order, coaching you in an inflatable kayak, warming up water for your shower, or providing whatever other support you may need along the way, all you have to do is ask.    Breakfast in bed, anyone? Of course, our repeat customers are the best endorsement of all.  Check our customer testimonials to learn more or call or e-mail us for additional references.


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2. Will this trip be right for me? (Given my age, inexperience, disability, health conditions, fears, hygiene habits, etc.).

By helping you decide which month to come (which affects whitewater levels and weather conditions) and the type of raft to ride in, we can resolve most concerns regarding safety and experience.  Guests as young as 6 are allowed to participate, under the strict supervision of a parent. We have also occasionally welcomed mildly disabled guests or seniors as old as 80, when their doctor deemed them physically able. A detailed description of our safety/liability policy will be sent upon request. All camps will have private, sanitary toilet facilities. Many guests find that a soak in the hot springs or swim in the river keeps them feeling clean and refreshed. Others take advantage of our pressurized hot shower. Remember, it’s our pleasure to pamper you whenever we can. If you’re like most people, any pre-adventure concerns you start with will quickly melt away amid the scenic grandeur, adventure, professional care, and camaraderie of your journey.  However, some people truly aren’t suited to remote wilderness travel, and so we recommend that you contact us if you still have concerns.


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3. What’s a typical day on the river like?

We were hoping you would ask. Check out this vacation diary:

Day 1: Wow! Quite a day for this city girl! Chose the paddle boat this afternoon, and it was great fun. We managed to keep the bow forward through most of the rapids (I think the left side crew was weak, though. Ha!) “Pampered camping” was no exaggeration. I ate like a king, and am getting ready to sleep like a baby (outside our tent& star gazing). I luxuriated in an unbelievable hot springs bubbling out of the ground just above camp. It’s sooooo quiet. Lots of deep thoughts!

Day 2:A bit nippy this morning, but the morning fire and coffee were a treat. The guides make us the most amazing food with these “dutch ovens,” just like the old-timers used to. Except instead of beans and squirrel stew, it’s steak, seafood stuffing, and Bavarian Torte! If we weren’t in the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states, you’d swear it was catered in. Today it seemed like everyone wanted to paddle the afternoon stretch, and so our family kicked back in an oar boat. This place is beautiful! Brent saw deer at the hot springs and otters on the river! After swearing we didn’t need hot showers in the wilderness, I caved in and treated myself to one tonight! Followed by an enchanted evening of songs and visiting around the fire.

Day 3: So many rapids on this stretch, I couldn’t resist getting in on the action, so I paddled again today. My brave son is trying to talk me into trying one of the inflatable kayaks tomorrow. Says it’s “rad!” (that’s code for “scary at first”). I can’t believe we’re seeing vestiges of the native Americans, mining prospectors and homesteaders. During the calm stretches, I spend a lot of time imagining how life was for them back then, how incredibly tough they must have been, and wonder why I didn’t use to think history was so fascinating.

Day 4: I’m so jealous of the people who keep spotting animals! So far, no one has seen any black bears, so that’s my mission now. I’m going through my film way too fast. It was sunny today and so I got to swim again&on purpose this time! (Yesterday I “swam” when I leaned too far reaching for a paddle!) I was just glad I could help everyone practice their rescue skills (and provide fodder for the evening’s campfire stories)!

Day 5: After feasting on crepes at breakfast, I went for a short hike with Jackie (my new “best friend,” from New Orleans). I’m beginning to believe we’re in some kind of freaky “accelerated human bonding zone!” Brent and I both have mentioned that we’ve had better talks with our son than we have in years. Last night, I actually “ran rapids” in my dream! Maybe I am ready to try the inflatable kayak&on one of our more calm water stretches! Brent is ecstatic about being able to catch fish for a change! He was in an oar boat today and caught 74 trout–between rapids! Even the beginner in the group caught 15, not counting when she “caught” the guide’s cap! Ha! This place is “catch and release,” so it’s full of fish. These boatmen never cease to educate, amaze, and entertain us (oh yeah, and they get us all safely down this boat-eating river!) I know a couple of the guests who have developed serious crushes on two of the guides!

Day 6: What day of the week is it? I have such a refreshed spirit. So sad to see the trip ending! Last night we exchanged addresses and “swore” to come back every summer. (I wonder if we really could?!)


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4. Does rafting the Middle Fork pose a threat to the wilderness?

Fortunately, no. Congress had the foresight to protect the area long ago, and the Forest Service has been strictly regulating its recreational use ever since. The number of visitors per day is controlled. A limited number of outfitters have been granted permits to offer guided excursions, and they are licensed and overseen by governing agencies. All fishing is catch and release, using barbless hooks. Camp sites are assigned ahead of time for accountability and visitors are subject to a strict “leave no trace” policy, requiring them to carry out even ashes and human waste and to “re-scatter” unused firewood. A portion of the proceeds of these guided trips goes to the Forest Service.


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5. What is the current Middle Fork water level and stream flow?

For current water level and stream flow information, click on:


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6. What is the current weather in Stanley, Idaho?

Visit The Weather Channel for current weather conditions in Stanley Idaho.


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