Where overlying basalt is present, rhyolite (rock created by lava flow) formations are nestled in the rubble slopes below vertical walls of basalt. © 2021 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. 67 miles of the Owyhee River. Sinking, sinking tip and other type lines could be used for specific applications. Can’t decide between jackets? Floating the Owyhee is popular in the spring during higher water flows. By providing your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. it makes for quite the adventure. Area frequently inhabited by bighorn sheep. Photo: Jim Little, Taking off the river’s chill at one of the hot springs along the bank. When the snowpack at South Mountain goes to zero, the river flow typically drops below 900 cfs. Camps are first come first serve. The Owyhee’s volcanic and rhyolite cliffs towered a thousand feet in places making hikes to the canyon rim well earned. Get info on rapids, camps, access, and anything … Read, watch, and listen to our latest stories and the best of our archives. Featured Outfitter Northwest Rafting Company (541) 450-9855 is an award-winning group of professional, well-trained guides that lead people down … There was also bright Indian paintbrush, phlox and desert mallow growing amid invasive cheatgrass. Permits are self issued at the put-in and there are no assigned campsites on the Owyhee River. Being early spring, the river canyon was full of flowering plants and animal life. such an amazing and untouched place. Though the Owyhee has some of the best intact wildlife habitat in the Lower 48, its roughly 2.5 million acres are managed mostly by the BLM and lack any sort of safeguards, save Wild & Scenic River status along 120 miles of river. We spent 7 days floating this spectacular ever changing river with my two friends from Idaho. We lived well on the river, despite mostly cold, windy and erratic weather. Just did this stretch for the second time. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Visitors will find picnic tables and grills at 36 family ca... Our nearest neighbor is about 2 miles away, we're remote, but accessible... if you don't mind a couple of miles of gravel road. Visitors will marvel at the variety of birds and mammals, including river otters, bighorn sheep and golden eagles. Stuart Garrett, a retired doctor and amateur natural historian from Bend, ably answered our every question (some more than once), whether botanical, geological or anthropological. Named after Hawaiian trappers in the early 1820s. Make sure to check the USGS site for real time river data when planning your trip. Orders are shipped within 1-2 business days and arrive within 3-10 business days. The Big Wide Open The Owyhee Canyonlands is a vast landscape that embraces more than 3 million acres of public lands in Southwest Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada. Offering family rafting trips and whitewater rafting trips on the Owyhee River. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your Upper Greeley Bar (Mile 44) River Left, A Hot-springs wetland and campsite. Concerned about the environmental impact? Photo: Jim Little, And best not to lick the toads. Rather at Leslie Gulch; it's about the volcanic "tuff" form... Mann Lake can be found in the Steens Mountain Wilderness area. The corridor also has some wonderful side hikes to view the above mentioned attractions as well as to some beautiful vistas overlooking the canyon and river below. Floating the Owyhee Canyonlands Get ready for a unique adventure in one of the best-kept secret spots in North America – the Owyhee Canyonlands. If you are using a screen reader and having difficulty please call us at 1-800-638-6464. The Owyhee River from Rome, Oregon to Birch Creek, Oregon is a 3 day float trip. Brent was raised in eastern Oregon. Floating Through Nowhere on the Owyhee River Jim Little / 7 Min Read / Activism The Owyhee River flows 346 miles from northeastern Nevada before dumping into the Snake River on the Oregon/Idaho border. THE LAST TIME I DID IT I DIDN'T SEE A SINGLE SOUL ON THE RIVER IN 2 DAYS. Owyhee River rafting trips on the East Fork and South Fork with ROW Adventures since 1979. But running the Owyhee is more than just We're committed to building a better, more inclusive home for the modern outdoors. Trip leader Brent Fenty, executive director of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, inspired confidence on the oars. The Owyhee also offers one of the best birding experiences anywhere in the lower 48. The rapids of the Owyhee can be described as pool and drop with some fun bouncy wave trains when the flows are above 1000 cfs. Camping is first come first serve but depending on the time of year it won't be crowded at all. Floating along the Owyhee River in Oregon, you will pass through astonishing high desert canyon lands with thousand foot rhyolite cliffs and sand castle rock formations. Tread lightly as the wetlands in this area are critical breeding habitat for the Woodhouse and Western Toads. Feature length documentaries, shorts and more. The river was flowing at 1,150 cubic feet per second when we put in, which was low—a level that required constant rowing in all but whitewater. When the water clears and drops to lower levels, you can fish for smallmouth bass. This Owyhee kayak trip will flow through dramatic, multi-colored canyons, reminiscent of places like Bryce and Zion National Parks in southern Utah. The only facilities are located at the put-in and take-out sites. This Owyhee rafting adventure is an experience like non-other. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge. Experience Fly Fishing the Owyhee River with us. I've doneae this 2 times on a paddleboard. The trip itself is typically completed over 4-6 days by private groups as well as the many outfitters that offer fully guided trips. We stopped at Weeping Wall Springs to fill a couple of jugs before continuing downstream, camping on sand bars along the way. Brent and the crew at ONDA, along with a coalition of Oregonians from all over the state, have been working for years to protect the Owyhee. During periods of heavy rain the road may be impassable due to deep water. Owyhee River rafting trips take you deep into the canyon with landscape that reveals a geologic history beginning nearly 14 million years ago. © 2021 Patagonia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. We soaked in one of the hot springs along the banks of the river, hiked to cultural sites adorned with ancient and unfathomable Native rock art and drifted by an old homesteader’s cabin. We have no time limit on returns and accept both current and past-season products. Track orders, save products, easy hassle-free returns & exchanges. The Idaho Owyhee is a magical place which truly embodies what it means to be a Wild and Scenic River. The Owyhee is one of our favorite spring rivers and between the Lower and Middle Owyhee we run more trips than any other company. Flexible shipping options are available. Native people lived on the river for thousands of years, as evidenced by cultural sites such as this. I think that when you decide to travel through Oregon, you anticipate a scenery that surrounds you in luscious green forests and crystal blue rivers that you cannot take your eyes off of. True, the ‘lake’ is dominated by fisher folk. And, whether or not we stop to realize it, there’s also huge benefit for us as humans in simply knowing “nowhere” places like the Owyhee still exist, and if they’re protected, they can be wild forever. Low water float trips are also possible in smaller craft. The Owyhee River flows 346 miles from northeastern Nevada before dumping into the Snake River on the Oregon/Idaho border. You get in the rhythm of being on the river and in the canyon, of Many of the people who see this landscape today do so by floating the Owyhee River. Depending on the flow and section of river you choose to float there will be at least Class IV rapids, and there could be up to Class V+. Photo: Jim Little. Enters the Snake River near Nyssa Oregon. My prior rafting experience was limited to a couple of day trips, and I was happily surprised by all the things we could, and did, bring with us. Need it sooner? Floating the Owyhee is popular in the spring during higher water flows, and low water float trips are possible in smaller craft. Snowpack information for the Owyhee River Basin in Idaho can be found on the USDA NRCS web site. Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies for the Owyhee River Oregon Fly Line: We recommend a 4, 5, or 6 weight, floating fly line for most of the fishing. Visiting it by river, accompanied by such a wonderful group of people while on the company dime, made it even more delicious. Overview:Located below the east face of Steens Mountain, Mann Lake attracts anglers as much for its remote, rugged splendor as for its ab... Jackman Park Campground is located on the flanks of Steens Mountain, within the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protective Are... Overview:South Steens Campground is located in the heart of Steens Mountain. This trip is a photographers dream! The wild Owyhee River whittles a dramatic, narrow canyon through the highlands of southern Idaho and Oregon, cutting through the rhyolite and basalt plateau as it has for millennia. This is a place with incredible scenery where floating through vertical walled canyons begins to feel normal. I visited in the early fall and there was one other car. Keep an eye out for nesting birds of pray high above on the cliffs. True, the ‘lake’ is dominated by fisher folk. Within the canyon walls mountain juniper grows, as well as sagebrush, willow, hackberry and numerous grasses. But the importance of protecting this incredible place, and others like it, lies more in the Owyhee’s value to the wild and increasingly threatened species that depend on it, than it does to visitors like me who come to raft, camp and hunt. I had arranged for a variety of rides to get from Bend to the river for my mid-July adventure, and after a full morning on We Our group was obsessive in that regard, but a pair of Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife troopers, who dropped by our camp to check permits and camp conditions, also floated the river to enforce the ethic at all camps. If you are not satisfied with one of our products at the time you receive it, or if one of our products does not perform to your satisfaction, our Ironclad Guarantee allows you to return it for a replacement or refund at no charge. My son Drew is ready to roll at the Rome put-in for the Lower Owyhee River. This is the most dramatic area of hoodoo formations within the entire Owyhee River system. Logistics and weather can be a little tricky for this float but adds to the overall adventure. Owyhee River is truly remote, primitive, and wild. Because we know prioritizing durability results in consuming less energy, wasting less water and creating less trash. I count myself among the fortunate few who have experienced the Owyhee’s beauty and deep solitude. Photo: Jim Little. The Outbound works best with JavaScript enabled. Photo: Jim Little. When the snowpack at Jack Creek Upper goest the zero, the river flow typically drops below 300 cfs. At around mile 6 the river enters a canyon where the wind is typically less of a factor. It can also be boated on low water years or later in the year in kayaks or pack-rafts. Photo: Jim Little, You want to watch where you step in the Owyhee. The river is a classic Momentum style adventure that highlights our guiding experience, expedition roots, and attention to detail and guest comfort. The Owyhee, which was included in the National Wild and Scenic River Systems by Congress in 1984, is characterized by dramatic geologic formations! Fewer people do the Middle Owyhee than the Lower Owyhee due to the narrower flow window, smaller camps, and the Class V+ Widowmaker. Unplug and spend a week on the Wild and Scenic Owyhee River. When we came upon a huge pair of horns and the decayed carcass of a big ram that appeared to have fallen to its death, my doubt as to their existence was removed. Our customer service team is here to help—the less unnecessary shipping, the better. A short steep hike up to a natural rock arch. Most people have never heard of the Owyhee Canyonlands, let alone pulled over to visit. Balsamroot’s bright yellow sunflowers contrasted beautifully with the green grass of the canyon slopes. There are signs of volcanic activity everywhere in this region, though multi-layered Chalk Basin also has interesting sedimentary features. Topping off the jugs at Weeping Wall Springs. Owyhee River Fly Fishing OWYHEE RIVER GUIDE TRIPS The Owyhee River is Oregon's finest tailwaters. Balsamroot lit up the Owyhee’s rugged landscape. AWAY FROM EVERYTHING. THIS IS AN AMAZING FLOAT. From its source in northeastern Nevada the Owyhee flows through southern Idaho and finally into Oregon. The trip is a remarkable, singular way to experience the high desert and all the stories it holds. Part of our segment on “packrafting” on the east fork of the Owyhee River. Moor boats at campsite when using the hot-springs. Photo: Jim Little, This Class IV rapid had a special kayak-trapping hole called the “room of doom.” Photo: Jim Little, The hikes are steep, but the views well worth the effort. Plan for the spring run-off, water temperature, and weather to be variable and cold. Floating down the Owyhee River you will hardly believe you are in the state of Oregon. Bonnie, Rico, Kelley and Lawrence enjoy hanging out in camp on the afternoon of Day 3, below Montgomery Rapids. This trip is perfect for those who want to get away from it all! Devil's Tower (Mile 42.75) A miniature version of the the more famous. The Grand Canyon of Oregon. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! Jackson Creek/Jackson Hole (Mile 37) Great camp and trail to explore up Jackson Creek to discover some unnamed waterfalls. Jim Little is a word-herder in Patagonia’s marketing department and holds the unofficial record for environmental internships. This is an absolutely fantastic river trip due to some spectacular scenery and a few great Class IV rapids. The first 5-6 miles of river are flat surrounded by farms and can be quite a bear if there is a strong upstream winds. There is a reason this tributary of the Bruneau has so often been likened to the Grand Canyon. Truly unreal experience drifting through those gnarly canyons. The trip is a remarkable, singular way to experience the high desert and all the stories it holds. The takeout at Birch Creek is located 49.5 miles downstream from the put-in. Unsure of your size? Floating Through Nowhere on the Owyhee River, They’re hoping to permanently protect the area. I decided to camp next to the ... You can drive onto the desert from several different dirt access roads along the Fields-Denio Rd, coming from the town Fields. Bighorn sheep, renowned for their surefootedness on high cliff ledges, were harder to spot, though a couple of hunters in our party managed to pick some out. Some of the major rapids to note on this section of river are: The put-in located in Rome, OR is just off US-95 in the heart of a fertile agricultural area. Pothole Arch (Mile 47.6) River left. I was impressed by the river ethic we observed during our visit, leaving no trace whatsoever, right down to straining food and grease particles from dishwater and packing them out along with everything else. Owyhee River Rafting The headwaters of the Owyhee River are in Nevada. We saw raptors, chukar and scores of noisy geese with their downy goslings. Please explore responsibly! with the snow this year you may be able to run the river into June. So when our party of 12 put four rafts in at the Rome launch site in late April to row 48 miles of the lower Owyhee to Birch Creek, pent-up demand had filled the parking lot with boaters also eager for a taste. Try floating the Owyhee River with friends or an outfitter - it's spectacular! Iron Point Canyon (Mile 31-35) Deepest canyon section of trip made of red and gray rhyolite rock. Great spot to hike and explore. After flowing through Idaho, it crosses the Owyhee uplands of southeastern Oregon, eventually flowing into the Snake River. The road out of the canyon requires four wheel drive and higher ground clearance due to the rough road and stream crossings. adventures and follow local regulations. But it doesn't stop there - with deep knowledge of the canyon, it's flora and fauna - your day riverside is bound to be unforgettable. "I get this amazing sense of being 'out there.' Learn more about our environmental and social responsibility program. Book Your Trip Now! Once the river drops below 1000 cfs the river becomes much more technical as the rocks start emerging in the middle of the rapids making the float more challenging. Everything we make has an impact on people and the planet. The Owyhee River and its tributaries are located in the "Owyhee Volcanic Field," an area of volcanic activity from the Miocene Era (25 to 3 million years ago). Create a free Patagonia account. Having guides like Stu and Brent, who could point out the plant Native peoples used to make arrow shafts, and tell you roughly how long ago the lava flowed hot, greatly enriched our understanding and experience of the Owyhee. Additional Resources & River Maps The river is perfect for taking in vast desert landscapes with steep-walled canyons and a very prolific river chock full of massive brown trout! Campsite on river left is limited to 1 night stay. Provide your account email address to receive an email to reset your password. Photo: Jim Little, Our crew was definitely Wild for the Owyhee. Our party of 12 traveled in three catarafts and a raft fully loaded with food, beverage and gear. Trace ethics on your Adventures and follow local regulations bars along the bank the best of our on... 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