Update – Your Reservation and Covid-19

Hello River Guests,

We hope that you and your family are holding up well; staying both physically and mentally healthy during these last few weeks and months. Since the onset of the pandemic, many of us have had no choice but to sit back in awe as we experience aspects of our lives getting turned upside down. We are sure that this has been a tough time for you, and we want you to know that we are thinking of you. For us, this whole debacle has left our staff longing for the peace of the river, the seclusion of wide-open spaces and the opportunity to reconnect with the places we love most with our wonderful guests

I’m sure that many of you are anxiously awaiting word on the fate of your upcoming river trip, and are hopeful, like we are, that time on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River is in our near future. We have heard from many of you over the last month, and thank you for all the kind and caring thoughts regarding our company and crew. We have been pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming message from customers being “please don’t cancel” and “we need this trip”. While the summer remains unpredictable, we want you to know that we are not giving up on your vacation.

Recently the Governor of Idaho released his plan to gradually reopen the state (https://rebound.idaho.gov/stages-of-reopening/), with restrictions for non-essential travel beginning to lift as soon as May 30th, which bodes well for your trip, if all goes according to plan. As we monitor the reopening of the state, we will continue to collaborate with our managing agencies, fellow outfitters and local officials on how to best run our trips while keeping our guests, guides and communities safe. We have some great minds working together on best practices and representing our industry in vital conversations around the state and country. We are currently updating our company’s procedures and guidelines regarding sanitation, and looking at each aspect of our business for ways that we can further improve our safety protocols.

As the reopening timeline continues to be uncertain, we will be further extending the hold on your reservations until 30 days prior to your trip date. At that time, we will plan to make a final call on the go/no-go status of your trip with the information available to us. Final payments will now be due 30 days prior to your trip start, along with a NEW registration and waiver that we will be sending out in the next few weeks. We hope that a month will be enough time for you to finalize your travel plans, and we appreciate your continued patience as we extend the hold on your reservation.

We realize that even with more stringent hygiene and safety measures, we are now living in a world where contracting COVID19 is an inherent risk of travel. This risk is something that each of us will need to analyze for ourselves and determine our personal comfort level. While the state of Idaho and the Middle Fork will likely be open in time for river season, we also recognize that some of our guests have been impacted more severely by the pandemic, and will simply not be able to make their original trip date work any longer. If you find yourself in this situation, we will do our best to work with you and to find a fair solution. If at this time you are absolutely confident that you are NOT going to be able to attend your scheduled trip please reach out to us and let us know. Also, if you would feel more comfortable delaying your trip to a later date in 2020, we can go ahead and do so at this time.

In the event that your reservation does need to be postponed, either by us or by you, we have outlined our UPDATED cancellation and transfer policy below. As I’m sure you know, our standard cancellation policy does not allow for refunds or date transfers, however, we recognize the need to be more flexible during these times. While refunds are not a sustainable option for our company, we are committed to finding a future trip date for you to enjoy. Our goal is to fulfill our commitment to you and provide you with an exceptional river experience. If your trip date does need to be delayed, either by us or by you, we would like to help find you a date for later this year that will work for your schedule. We will give you a full credit towards any other trip this year and encourage you to move to a later date sooner rather than later. If an alternative date this year will not work for you, we will be able to credit you all but 20% of your full cost towards any available trip in 2021. We hope you can understand the need for us to keep this amount to cover our operating costs and to support our crew and their families while everyone is out of work. Above all, our customers and our guides are all extremely important to us and we are dedicated to taking care of everyone the best we can.

We hope that this update can bring you a little comfort about the fate of your upcoming trip. As we know more, we will do our best to keep you updated. As we contemplate life after the pandemic, we feel fortunate to run trips in one of the most beautiful and remote places in the United States. We are hopeful that our trips can provide one of the better options for travel during a time when people are nervous about contact with groups of people. Social distancing is already one of the best aspects of these trips and spending time on the water and away from society will likely be one of the best things you can do for yourself, both physically and emotionally after enduring the stress of this pandemic. We are grateful for the opportunity to be the light at the end of the tunnel for so many of you and hope to provide you with the escape you deserve once we are all able to travel again.

Please feel free to reach out to us any time with questions or concerns.

Best fishes,

Kelsey & Ken Helfrich & the Helfrich River Outfitters Family



  • Final payments are now due 1 month prior to trip start date instead of 3 months prior.
  • You may choose to pay your final balance at any time prior to invoice due date


Cancelled Reservations – By Guest or By Helfrich Outfitters: 

  • Cancelled reservations will now be offered trip credit towards any available trip in 2020 or 2021.
  • No refunds available – Unfortunately, refunds are not a sustainable option for our company at this time. 

Transfer Reservation to Later in 2020:

  • 100% trip credit towards any other trip in 2020
    • This can also apply to replacement guests – If you choose to cancel and can find someone who is able to take your spot(s) on the trip.
    • Reservations transferred to a later date in 2020 that are delayed further due to Covid-19 will receive increased trip credit of all but 10% (instead of 20%) of trip cost towards later trip in 2021.

Transfer Reservation to 2021:

  • We can offer a reservation credit of all but 20% of your total trip cost towards any available trip on any river in 2021.
    • All credits will include user fees
    • Redside Foundation Donation not included – Donations Already Processed 

Trip Insurance:

  • Trip Insurance providers are allowing a one-time transfer to a later trip date with no penalty.
  • Guests who cannot transfer to a later trip date in 2020, who purchased travel insurance, should consider filing an insurance claim for refund on cancelled trip.
  • We will provide a cancellation confirmation to assist you with your claim.

Please remember to be polite to our office staff.  We know this is a really hard time for everyone and we are working hard to find fair solutions and take care of our people.  Let’s work through this together.  

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