What is unique about IGS?
Idaho Guide Service Inc. is owned and operated by Olin and Shelley Gardner and Family. We are a licensed, bonded and insured outfitting company with over 30 years experience in providing fun and exciting adventures for folks of all ages and abilities. We have a terrific crew of guys and gals who help make all of our trips a great success. They themselves are licensed professional guides with their own unique specialties and personalities.
I’ve never been camping before. What are the accommodations?
Each night is spent camping on the beaches of the river, or on bike trips in a beautiful wilderness setting. You will be sleeping in a tent or out in the open, under the stars, whatever you prefer. Your biggest responsibility will be setting up your tent (if you rented a tent from us, the guides will show you how to put up your tent). All other aspects of camping, such as food preparation and clean-up, are taken care of by the guides. The camping is comfortable and easy.
What kind of bathroom facilities will there be?
A portable toilet facility is provided on every trip. It will be set up in a private secluded place close to camp, but not too close. Bathing is generally done in the river with biodegradable soap and shampoo. On bike trips, we bring along a solar shower for freshening up.
What type of boats? How many people in a boat?
Oar powered rafts are typically scheduled on all trips. The guide navigates the rapids and propels the boat through calm sections using a set of wooden oars. An oar powered raft holds 4-6 people plus the guide. Paddle rafts are available on certain trips at certain times of the year. Paddle rafts are powered by the guides and each of the guests in the raft have a paddle. A paddle raft requires 6-8 guests who are willing to paddle all day, through both the rapid and calm sections. Inflatable kayaks are small one person boats that a willing guest can paddle without the aid of a guide. At no extra charge we will bring a few along and the guests can trade off using them. Guests’ inflatable kayaks are not generally allowed to paddle more difficult sections on certain sections of different rivers.
How difficult are the rapids?
Each trip is rated beginner, intermediate, or advanced. These are subjective ratings that portray the physical demand and technical challenge of each trip. River trips also have a class rating according to the difficulty of their toughest rapid. Class II trips consist of flatwater and gentle waves. Class III rated trips include moderate waves and obstructions (rock, gravel bars etc.) in the river. Class IV rivers have bigger and faster water than Class III. Trips rated Class V are the most difficult with large waves, powerful currents, and unpredictable hazards.
Do you take families with young children?
Yes, our trips make wonderful family vacations. IGS offers trips for children as young as five years old and our trip consultants can help you find the trip that is right for your family. On trips with children, our guides take along a box full of fun and engaging activities for kids of all ages.
What activities are provided for children?
There are many activities that are directed toward children. Our guides are experts in the history of the area with great stories of outlaws and explorers that seem to catch children’s attention. They also have a variety of activities for kids. At camp, volleyball nets can be set up along with other camp games. Along the rivers, sandy beaches are a stage for many activities from building sand castles to mud creations. Hikes are also very exciting and entertaining for children of all ages—they will see things that were created many years ago by early Indian inhabitants or, more recently, by western explorers. Water fights always seem to erupt when children are around.
Where do you start? Where do you fly into?
The meeting point is different for each trip. Airplanes, shuttles and cars are all transportation options. Please refer to your trip information packet for specific information. Our trip consultants can also offer transportation suggestions.
How hard is the biking?
On mountain bike trips the routes are suitable for the athletic-beginner to the experienced mountain biker. Although, you need to know that there are steep grades and loose gravel and one must be comfortable and be able to maneuver a bike appropriately and safely so as not to endanger oneself or others on the trip.
What is a typical tip for the guides?
If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crew members. An average tip is $10-$20 per guest per day.
What do you wear during the day?
Most people wear what is most comfortable to them. When the weather is hot, a swimsuit with shorts can be worn. Shorts and a t-shirt can also be worn while on the raft. Teva sandals or water shoes are usually worn while on the raft. During hikes most people wear a comfortable pair of tennis shoes. When the weather is cooler, be sure to wear something that is going to protect you from getting wet because once you get wet, you’ll stay wet. Layering your clothing is also a good idea. Read our checklist on what to bring. If you pack appropriately you will be comfortable and happy.
How many hours do we spend on the river each day?
The itinerary of a river trip has to be flexible. The length of time on the river depends on the camp sites and how much time is needed for activities during the day such as lunch and side hikes. On average you will spend 4-7 hours per day on the river.
What kinds of people are on the trip?
This depends entirely on your specific trip. Certain trips attract certain demographics. We have trips that are directed towards families with young children to trips that are more advanced for the real adventure-seeker. There are also trips with solo guests, families, groups of friends and groups of colleagues. Come prepared to meet people that are looking for the same thing you are, A GREAT ADVENTURE VACATION!