O.A.R.S.’ (http://www.oars.com/) all-inclusive three- to seven-day river and hiking adventures begin at $907 per adult for four days through the Gorges of the Lower Salmon out of Lewiston. Youth rates are also offered. With more options than any other Idaho outfitter, O.A.R.S. offers over a dozen launches with Family-Friendly discounts of up to 15% off the regular rate. The company also features multiple-day instructional programs dedicated to stand-up paddleboarding and whitewater kayaking as well as hiking programs and specialized adventures for wine and beer aficionados. See:http://www.oars.com/idaho
Of special note this summer are three new departures with Whole Journeys (a Whole Foods Market® Company) for active “foodies.” O.A.R.S.’ Epicurean Adventure along Idaho’s Main Salmon River is a seven-day program with six days of rafting on free-flowing Class III whitewater, one night in Boise and five nights of catered camping on sandy beaches with chef-prepared meals.
“Idaho is arguably the most overlooked destination for adventure travel in the United States,” said George Wendt, president and founder of O.A.R.S., noting that Idaho is second only to the Grand Canyon for clients who think of great domestic rafting adventures. While some whitewater adventures are adrenaline-infused with up to Class IV rapids, other adventures are staged on the Main and Lower Salmon Rivers where most family programs take place with Class II to III rapids appropriate for kids as young a seven.
Bram Role, an Idaho native who has been guiding with O.A.R.S. for 16 seasons, says he favors the free-flowing aspect of the Salmon River “and everything that goes with that: huge chunks of roadless backcountry, the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, natural hot springs, Native American sites, abundant wildlife, great fishing and a vibrant, intact ecosystem. The first 25 miles of the Middle Fork [Salmon] are just absolutely fantastic. It’s constant action, flying down through there, making moves left and right. It’s a ton of fun!”
O.A.R.S.’ professional guide-to-guest ratio (1:4) is the best in the industry. Its Idaho fleet includes oar rafts and colorful hand-crafted dories, paddle rafts and inflatable kayaks along with top-notch guides & expedition equipment. Each type of craft offers a different on-water experience.
Some 500,000 guests later, O.A.R.S. has been providing whitewater rafting vacations since 1969. Over the decades the company has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines around the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries, including one-day and weekend escapes. In 2012, for the sixth consecutive year, Conde Nast Traveler recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler’s standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category. Outside Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, MSNBC, Good Morning America and Men’s Journal have all recognized O.A.R.S. as offering some of the “Best Trips” on the planet.