Rafting Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon

Middle Fork of the Salmon     Photo: Justin Bailie/Aurora

The Grand Canyon is a worthy river trip, though the water is a little cold and turbid. Plus you can't catch any fish. And you'd better like the color of mud. Which is why our pick for the American river you've got to run before you die is Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon. The water's so clear you can eyeball straggling steelhead at a hundred yards. Native cutthroat trout will hit just about any dry fly in your box. The rapids ain't bad, either. There are some 100 of them on the 100-mile float, with more than a dozen that rate Class IV. And at night, there are the hot springs. Half a dozen camps have them—the clear, fresh-smelling kind. Six-day trips with Idaho-based Row Adventures, $1,765; rowadventures.com

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