Raft Oregon’s Grand Canyon for 3 or 4 days! The perfect trip for the adventurous type!
• Class II, III, and IV whitewater rafting
• Luxury beach camping with delicious river meals
• Extraordinary scenery and wildlife viewing
• Optional hiking and kayaking
• Riverside hot springs
• Located in Southeastern Oregon
• Appropriate for ages 7 and up
The Owyhee River in Oregon is one of whitewater enthusiasts best kept secrets. It’s known as “Oregon’s Grand Canyon” and can only be accessed in the spring to early summer by whitewater rafting. Flows vary with snow melt, bringing life to the canyon and creating challenging rapids.
The Owyhee’s uncrowned desert solitude, rhyolite cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches make this a premier river experience. There is vast and rarely disturbed wildlife, plentiful clear drinkable springs that pour out from rock walls and riverside hot springs, of which there are several. A long soak in nature’s mineral hot tubs are the perfect way to wind down after an exciting day on the river.
Our adventures down the Owyhee will allow you plenty of time to hike the many trails and basins, fish for catfish, bass and trout, explore petroglyphs from cultures of the past, or just simply relax and enjoy all that the river has to offer. The Owyhee is a remarkable journey through remote high desert making this seldom visited wilderness a favorite for adventurers looking for a unique river experience.
The Lower Owyhee River adventure is rated EASY, and considered appropriate for any physical ability, including children ages 7 and up. Most physical activities are optional. The trip may require walking on uneven terrain for short distances. Whether you prefer to relax on the beach or hike the high desert terrain the choice is yours, you can enjoy the Owyhee in whichever way suits you best. The Middle Section is rated MODERATE with the possibility of portages and unavoidable hikes. Call America’s Rafting Company for more details about the different sections of the Owyhee River.
The Owyhee River is a Class III-IV river: mostly Class III’s with a few Class IV’s and a Class V on the Middle Section. It is a small volume, pool and drop river. Most of the rapids are not technically difficult, with its small volume, rocks must be avoided.
In the spring (typically April-June), the Owyhee is at its peak and ready to run. The high desert weather is unpredictable and all guests will be supplied with wet suits. Rain gear is highly recommended but most days are mild: t-shirt and shorts weather. This trip is not for the faint-of-heart, but it offers its own adventure and few get the opportunity to see what this river has to offer.
Evening before Departure: Enjoy a stay in Jordan Valley, OR or Nampa, ID. The drive from Nampa is considerably longer and does require a much earlier wake up time but provides more hotel and dining options.
Day 1: Meet at the Rome launch site at 8:00 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. departure. Our first day starts off with with several Class III rapids with the occasional Class IV rapid or V on the middle section. Lunch is served riverside, usually with a short optional hike and leisure time. After more floating and whitewater, we arrive at our riverside camp in the late afternoon. There’s plenty of time to spend the evening relaxing in camp, soaking in hot springs, fishing, swimming, hiking and playing beach games. Each night a delicious gourmet meal will be prepared from our river kitchen: appetizers, delicious entrées, fresh baked Dutch Oven breads and decadent desserts.
A Typical Day (Days 2-4): After falling asleep under an amazing Oregon starlit sky, you will wake in the morning to the enticing aroma of hot gourmet coffee. After a delicious hot breakfast, we are back on the water to experience, relax and enjoy. This is when the magic of a river trip happens: no clocks, no cell phones, no computers; just you, the group and your beautiful surroundings. The evenings will be similar to the previous nights at a camp further down river.
Last Day: We arrive at the take-out in the early afternoon and head back to civilization. You can expect to arrive back in Jordan Valley around 4:00 p.m.
What to Bring for Spring Rafting:
Air and water temperatures are cooler and the chances of rain are slightly higher during the spring. Take a look at our suggested packing list and if you have packed the right clothing, you will have a very enjoyable trip. If the weather and water temperatures call for wet suits, ARC will provide them. We offer a “farmer John” style wet suit (one piece, long pants, sleeveless and a front zipper). No matter which trip you decide to book, if you pack correctly, you will have an outstanding adventure with America’s Rafting Company! As always, anytime you have any questions about how to pack, what to wear, give the office staff at call at 208-347-3862.
How to Pack:
A large overnight dry bag is supplied per guest for clothing, sleeping gear, toiletries, etc. It can easily fit one sleeping bag and the contents of a good-sized duffle bag. This bag will be packed away during the day and should contain only items that you will need at camp. A smaller day dry bag will also be provided and will stay with you on the boat. It is accessible throughout the day and can contain items such as sunscreen, a warm fleece or rain jacket, chap-stick, and/or a camera. If packed and sealed correctly, your bags will stay dry under most conditions. ARC guides will help to ensure that they are sealed properly. In order to protect important items (such as cameras, medications, etc.), it is a good idea to pack them in zip-lock bags inside your dry bag. If you are planning on bringing an expensive camera, please let us know and we should be able to provide a waterproof box that will be accessible throughout the trip. Call the office for more information about properly storing and packing important items. We are happy to help.
Dates & Rates 2017
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Adult Child April May June 4 June 12 June 20 June 28 Adult Child April May June 4 June 12 June 20 June 28
The Owyhee River features excellent fishing opportunities. You’ll be able to fish from the bank during lunch and in camp or you can fish from the boats during the day. You will need to obtain a valid Oregon fishing license.
Fly fishing recommended gear:
- 5-6 weight fly rod
- 5-6 weight floating line w/ medium to fast sinking tip
- Bass flies: Varies. Try brown and green
- Trout flies: Caddis patterns, midges
Spinning Gear recommended:
- Average sized trout rod with light tackle, or ultralight rod
- 2-4 pound test line
- Lures: Spinners, meps, spoons, jigs
Recommended Reading List:
- Owyhee Trails- The West Forgotten Corner Mike Hanley
- Owyhee Canyon Lands Mark W. Lisk
- In Search of Ancient Oregon Ellen Morris Bishop
- Get Lost! Adventures in the Owyhee Desert Steve Silva
- Water-The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource Marq De Villiers
- The Doing of the Thing- Whitewater career of Buzz Holmstrom Welch-Conley-Dimock