For those that HAVE THEIR OWN JET BOAT, the Salmon River invites a nostalgia of adventure, history, and technical capabilities not found on any other Idaho Rivers. Adding a night or two at Mackay Bar allows time to getaway from work, the hustle and bustle of McCall, Lewiston or Boise to escape the ordinary and get to know your Idaho backyard even more.

Mackay Bar Ranch can host up to 34 guests between all cabins, rooms, seasonal wall tents and our newly renovated River Suite. Grab your buddies and make the trek up the River Of No Return.

Don’t worry about loading the boats with camp gear and coolers full of food – just grab your favorite drinks and let Mackay Bar take care of the  fresh cooked meals and all the amenities you will need. An add-on to this package would include items such as an additional jet boat tour in our 28′ twin jet engine boats. Let Buck take you farther up river through Ludwig Rapid, Buckskin Bills, Painter Mine and Campbells Ferry to see what lies beyond Mackay Bar!

At A Glance

  • Most guests put their boats in at Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp or Spring Bar Boat Ramp – (26-35 miles below Mackay Bar)
  • Lodging and meals included at Mackay Bar Ranch
  • 4 PM check in and 10 AM check out allow guests time on the River and and at the Ranch.
  • All itineraries can be customized to include multi night stays
  • Guided activities can be added on to this package (jet boat rides, fishing)
  • Accommodations include 3 cabins, 4 private rooms, 2 deluxe wall tents, and a two bedroom river suite – enough to host 23-34 guests depending on time of year and your group makeup

Sample Itinerary

2 PM : After putting your boat in at Spring Bar or Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp, head up the Salmon for the 26 mile venture to Mackay Bar Ranch
4 PM : Arrive at Mackay Bar Ranch and get settled into your lodging accommodations
6 PM : Your group will meet at Mackay Bar’s riverfront Lodge for dinner and drinks.
9 PM : Meet on the beach for bonfire and smores!  

9 AM : Breakfast back at Mackay Bar Lodge . . . rehash fish stories and tales along the trail!
10 AM : Jet Boat and white water adventure! Load the boats and head another 26 miles upriver for a full day jet boat tour with Buck. We will stop along the way for a sack lunch, black butte porters at Buckskin Bills Museum, historical reminiscing at Painter Mine over days gone by, take a quick hike up to Campbell’s Ferry and numerous more sites that provide conversation and great memories!
6 PM : Your group will meet back at Mackay Bar’s riverfront Lodge for dinner and drinks. 
9 PM : Meet on the beach for bonfire and drinks!

9 AM : Breakfast at Mackay Bar Lodge
10 AM : Head back down river through all the rapids, crystal clear river and beaches (stopping along the way) arriving back to Vinegar Creek Boat Ramp or Spring Bar.


Plan Your Trip:

All Idahoans know what many adventures lie right in our backyard! But how many of us get to explore deeper into our Idaho mountains, rivers and backcountry? Step outside the ordinary and head up the Main Salmon! When coming and going from Mackay Bar Ranch, most guests will venture the 1/2 day drive from Boise or Lewiston areas to the boat ramps. However, another option would be to overnight in either McCall or Riggins prior to arriving on the River! Mackay Bar can also assist with the boat transportation for additional guests from Vinegar Creek to Mackay Bar if not everyone can fit into your own private boats!


Guest Cabins

Mackay Bar Ranch hosts three private guest cabins: Bear, Bugle and Elkhorn cabin all sleep 2-5 guests each. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower. One queen bed and one single are on the main floor along with two single beds in the loft.

Guest Rooms

Mackay Bar has four private guest rooms: Flossie Lake, Sheepeater Lake, Cutthroat Lake, and Fish Lake rooms, all sleep 2 guests each and have their own private bathroom with shower. Three rooms have two twin beds each and one room has a queen bed. These rooms are conveniently located next to the lodge on the lower level of the Cougar Den.

River Suite

Mackay Bar’s newest addition to their collection of guest accommodations is the newly renovated Cougar Den River Suite. This suite sleeps 2-6 guests and is perched above the rest of the ranch, with a birds eye view of the river and grounds. The Cougar Den has two bedrooms  – each with one queen and one single bed. A sitting area, front porch and full bathroom makes the Cougar Den River Suite the place to hang!

Haley Nord Photography

Deluxe Wall Tents

Sitting at the Rivers edge, two seasonal deluxe wall tents offer glamping accommodations unparalleled to any other on the river. The Steelhead Suite sleeps 2 with one queen bed. The Wolf Den sleeps 3 with one queen and one single bed. Guests can utilize the outhouse nearby. Outdoor showers and indoor lodge bathrooms can also accommodate those staying in the wall tents.

Frequently Asked Questions

For Groups at Mackay Bar Ranch:

Due to limited satellite internet in Idaho’s backcountry, internet can be added to your reservations in advance, at an additional price. A WiFi phone is available for brief phone calls, by request (at no additional cost).

We often have beach bonfires, however, if the weather conditions are dry and hot, fire restrictions may not allow us to have a beach bonfire as it would not be safe.

Additional costs would include staff gratuities and alcohol or any specialty drinks. A limited selection of wine is available for purchase at the ranch. Guests are welcome to bring their own drinks.  

Mackay Bar highly recommends lifeflight if traveling anywhere remote. In case of emergencies, the Ranch office does have spot emergency devices and internet capabilities to immediately call out and request life flight. For less serious injuries, an emergency boat ride can be made.

All meals at Mackay Bar are planned well in advance for each group. At the time of booking, please make us aware of any special requests you may have and we will discuss your options at that time.  

24/7 power is supplied by a hydro system. Supplemental power is provided by generators when needed (so items such as blow dryers and curling irons can only be ran when the generator is going).  All rooms have indoor plumbing. Fishing poles, beach chairs, and yard games are available to guests.   

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