There are few places in the United States that offer solitude in the truest sense of the word. Even on many vacations that tout “getting away from it all” you may still find yourself within wireless internet range updating your Facebook status or responding to urgent emails. Even vacations that take you far off the beaten path will sometimes surprise you with the amount of technology readily available. In today’s world, solitude seems to only come with polar bears on a desolate ice burg far off the North Pole.
For those who prefer warmer climates than the North Pole’s -40 degree temperature or who don’t have a desire to take their family into Polar Bear roaming territory, Idaho’s famous Frank Church Wilderness Area is worth considering. The wilderness area, or “The Frank” as it is commonly referred to, covers 2.2 million acres of pristine wilderness area. Within the region are thousands of springs (both hot and cold), countless wildlife (elk, black bear, and moose), and – perhaps the greatest attraction of all – America’s best river trip: the Middle Fork of the Salmon.
The Middle Fork of the Salmon is a 100-mile stretch of river that begins its journey high in the alpine range and ends at the confluence with the Main Salmon River. Stemming from cold springs, mountain lakes, and the purest snow melt, the Middle Fork is nationally recognized as a superb fishery with amazingly clear water and beautiful cutthroat trout.
A river trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon is more than just a check-off on your bucket list. Those who find themselves floating through the Middle Fork canyon are often lulled back year after year. It is a place that defines the word solitude – in it’s truest form – and provides one of America’s few examples of pure, rugged, unaltered, natural beauty. It is a place that leaves impressions, but one that has not been impressed upon. Rather, its visitors leave with a new appreciation or renewed sense of life after their 100-mile float through the Franks proudest work of art.
Solitude River Trips offers six-day rafting and fly fishing trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. Owned and operated by river veterans Al and Jeana Bukowsky, their trips, like the river they operate on, are top-notch and true classics. Using an outfitter like Solitude makes an experience down the Middle Fork of the Salmon even more rewarding. Their hospitality, genuine love for the river, experience, and gourmet camp cooking makes it easy to absorb the Middle Fork canyon without worries.
On a select number of their trips, Solitude offers an option to stay at one or both of the Middle Fork’s two remote wilderness lodges. The Middle Fork Lodge, located roughly one third of the way down the river, is typically a first or second night on the river. The Flying B Ranch is located roughly two thirds of the way through the journey. Both lodges are located on the banks of the river and provide a comfortable way to spend a night in the Idaho wilderness.