Owyhee River Overview

Rafting: Owyhee River, Oregon
The Owyhee River in Idaho has cut canyons into the landscape that reveal geologic history spanning back nearly 14 million years ago. (courtesy, ROW Adventures)
Owyhee River at a Glance
Price: $$$
River Rapid Class: III-V
Trip in Miles: 38 to 220
Trip Duration: 4 to 17 Days
Season: April-early June
Raft Types: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft
Nearby Towns: Boise, ID
Gateway City: Boise, ID
Driving Times: Boise, ID: 1 hour; Salt Lake City, UT: 5 hours

"The desert canyons of the Owhyee River offer a change of pace from the forest rivers of the humid western slopes. This is true wilderness: no roads, no powerlines, no machine noise. John Kors, a guide with ROW, an outfitter that runs trips on the Owyhee, especially appreciates the isolation. According to John, ""You get a real strong sense of the Old West. The first time I made this trip I kept expecting to see John Wayne come riding over the hill.""

The Owyee is usually divided into three distinct sections. The ""upper"" begins in southwest Idaho and is only raftable during the spring snowmelt. Wildlife along this stretch of the river is stunning. Bighorn sheep are frequently visible high on the canyon walls. The middle offers the wildest whitewater, including the Class V Widowmaker, which many choose to portage. By the time you reach the lower Owhyee, you'll be ready for soaking in the several hot springs you'll find along the way."

Published: 28 Apr 2011 | Last Updated: 25 Aug 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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