Outdoor recreation in the U.S. generates $646 billion in consumer spending and 6.1 million direct jobs nationwide. At the foundation of this economic powerhouse are America's first families of adventure — multi-generational outfitters who have been evolving outdoor sports for nearly a hundred years. These family names have become almost as recognizable as their sports: Whittaker and mountaineering, Seavey and dog sledding, Barker-Ewing and river rafting. We talked to the nine most iconic family-owned outfitters about their adventure legacy, and their company's most defining expedition.
Idaho River Journeys: Hiking and Floating the Middle Fork of the Salmon
The owners of Idaho River Journeys, Bob and Mary Volpert, are most proud of their multi-day trips on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. The Middle Fork speaks for itself — a bucket list river for both the wilderness and the whitewater. The Volpert's trip is, of course, about the river, but it's also about hiking into your surroundings to explore forest groves, scenic bluffs, and hot springs. It's also a trip that provides a resort-style camping experience in terms of service and amenities, especially the food, which Mary hand-selects from local producers. "July or early August on Idaho's Middle Fork of the Salmon with us is the best rafting vacation in America," says Bob Volpert. [From $1,295; idahoriverjourneys.com]