Smiling NOLS staff member paddles an oar rig on the Salmon River in Idaho with mountains behind.
Camera Jessie Longe

Salmon Backpacking and Rafting Adventure


28 days


14 - 15 yrs



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Challenge yourself in the mountains and on the river

Climb mountains and go whitewater rafting with a group of new friends your own age. Go hiking in Idaho’s Lemhi or Beaverhead Ranges and learn to navigate rapids on the Salmon River. Work hard and laugh often as you explore winding canyons and summit rugged peaks. Cook tasty meals on a campstove with your team and learn about local ecology as you fly fish in clear pools. Swap stories around a campfire before falling asleep under the stars.

Whether you’ve been camping before or not, you’ll start with the essentials, like how to read a map and pitch a tent. Then, you’ll move on to more advanced topics, like paddling whitewater rapids and navigating off trail. Later in the course, you may also learn wilderness first aid techniques and participate in a service project with the U.S. Forest Service.

As you learn the basics of mountain and river travel, you’ll also develop your leadership skills under the guidance of experienced instructors. Practice good communication and teamwork as you and your coursemates rig a raft. Get comfortable taking on different roles to support the group as you scout a rapid or lead the way to your next campsite. By the end of this expedition, you’ll have confidence to lead at in the outdoors, at school, and in your community.

*The Salmon River is one of the original rivers protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.

Additional Details

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Course Dates

1 course

Jul 2 - 29, 2025


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What Our Grads Say

“I was completely amazed with how much fun I had. It was great to get up every day, take care of group gear, and take care of group tasks like packing and cooking. One of my most important lessons was learning how to get along with people on the spot and to be given the chance to trust them, learn from them, and help each other get stronger while hiking and rafting.”

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