Our customer service team is here to help—the less unnecessary shipping, the better. The Owyhee River in South Eastern Oregon is easily the most remote and arguably the most scenic, river trip in the state. There was also bright Indian paintbrush, phlox and desert mallow growing amid invasive cheatgrass. During peak usage you are likely to find one or more of the camps you planned to stay at occupied. Three Rivers Ranch is proud to offer Owyhee River Fly We’ve pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. Pothole Arch (Mile 47.6) River left. Sign up for exclusive offers, original stories, activism awareness, events and more. The trip itself is typically completed over 4-6 days by private groups as well as the many outfitters that offer fully guided trips. Enters the Snake River near Nyssa Oregon. Permits are self issued at the put-in and there are no assigned campsites on the Owyhee River. Get info on rapids, camps, access, and anything … By providing your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Photo: Jim Little, Trappers, miners and homesteaders are also part of Owyhee history. Balsamroot’s bright yellow sunflowers contrasted beautifully with the green grass of the canyon slopes. The river is named after Hawaiian trappers who headed downstream in the early 1800s never to be seen alive again. From its source in northeastern Nevada the Owyhee flows through southern Idaho and finally into Oregon. We saw raptors, chukar and scores of noisy geese with their downy goslings. AWAY FROM EVERYTHING. 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. Photo: Jim Little. This Owyhee rafting adventure is an experience like non-other. The 50 mile section of river from Rome to Birch Creek is usually boated between March and June when there is adequate runoff to support larger boats. 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. The Owyhee also offers one of the best birding experiences anywhere in the lower 48. Out in this part of the world, the green flow of the Owyhee River is the main attraction. On a hike in Chalk Basin, we stopped for a moment to chat, unwittingly standing two feet from a rattlesnake that fortunately paid us no mind. Within this gorge can be found extensive areas of rhyolite pinnacle formations known as “hoodoos." 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. 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. Getting to the Little West Owyhee River where Oregon Desert Trail Section 21 begins is a logistical challenge. We lived well on the river, despite mostly cold, windy and erratic weather. Balsamroot lit up the Owyhee’s rugged landscape. 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. When the water clears and drops to lower levels, you can fish for smallmouth bass. 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. The pristine waters flow freely through the basalt gorges, open badlands, and sagebrush valleys of the Owyhee Uplands, until they meet the Snake River waters on the Oregon-Idaho border. Our 6-day Owyhee River rafting trip is a guide favorite and an avid paddler’s dream trip though Southeastern Oregon’s Grand Canyon, combining sheer, plunging cliffs of dark amber, gold, ruby red and pearl with fun Class III rapids and excellent wildlife viewing. Where overlying basalt is present, rhyolite (rock created by lava flow) formations are nestled in the rubble slopes below vertical walls of basalt. 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+. Our fishing guides are knowledgeable and expert fly fisherman with years of experience on the "O". 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. These were but a handful of some 200 species that eke out a living in the rugged Owyhee. River and Whitewater information for Owyhee River - Middle (Three Forks to Rome) - United States Oregon . Plan for the spring run-off, water temperature, and weather to be variable and cold. This Owyhee kayak trip will flow through dramatic, multi-colored canyons, reminiscent of places like Bryce and Zion National Parks in southern Utah. At night,... Leslie Gulch, a canyon on the border of Oregon and Idaho, is full of almost surreal rock formations made up of tuff from volcanic eruptions 15 million years ago.To walk around in these canyons is like being transported into another world. During periods of heavy rain the road may be impassable due to deep water. Photo: Jim Little. This beautiful and remote high desert river has garnered the nick name "Oregon's Grand Canyon" with its deep canyon walls, unique colorful geology, abundant wildlife, and great hiking opportunities. Within the canyon walls mountain juniper grows, as well as sagebrush, willow, hackberry and numerous grasses. 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. Owyhee River is truly remote, primitive, and wild. Rome, Burns and Jordan Valley are the nearest towns of any note. The trip is a remarkable, singular way to experience the high desert and all the stories it holds. Vertical faces of rock, 300 to 1000 feet high, tower above the river. Photo: Jim Little, Our crew was definitely Wild for the Owyhee. This is a place with incredible scenery where floating through vertical walled canyons begins to feel normal. Just some highlights from this scientific research trip on one of Oregon’s most amazing rivers. 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. Jackson Creek/Jackson Hole (Mile 37) Great camp and trail to explore up Jackson Creek to discover some unnamed waterfalls. When the snowpack at South Mountain goes to zero, the river flow typically drops below 900 cfs. The first six miles wound lazily through farmland before its pace quickened as the flat landscape gave way to high canyon walls, steep side canyons and a couple of Class IV rapids. Sign up for exclusive offers, original stories, activism awareness, events and more from Patagonia. 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. such an amazing and untouched place. 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. 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. We spent 7 days floating this spectacular ever changing river with my two friends from Idaho. The road out of the canyon requires four wheel drive and higher ground clearance due to the rough road and stream crossings. Native people lived on the river for thousands of years, as evidenced by cultural sites such as this. Make sure to check the USGS site for real time river data when planning your trip. 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. THE LAST TIME I DID IT I DIDN'T SEE A SINGLE SOUL ON THE RIVER IN 2 DAYS. There is an alternate takeout located at Leslie Gulch 15 miles further down river but it requires a 9 mile long flat water paddle on Lake Owyhee. Flexible shipping options are available. There are signs of volcanic activity everywhere in this region, though multi-layered Chalk Basin also has interesting sedimentary features. Great spot to hike and explore. Upper Greeley Bar (Mile 44) River Left, A Hot-springs wetland and campsite. We It is a good idea to have a couple campsite options on your itinerary each day in case your planned sites are not available. The margarita maker stayed home, but ours was definitely not the single-burner austerity you’d experience on a backpacking trip. The trip is a remarkable, singular way to experience the high desert and all the stories it holds. Our group was out of Bend, though I’d driven up from southern California and another in our party had come down from Sandpoint, Idaho, to get a rare chance at the river. 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. 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. Create a free Patagonia account. Unplug and spend a week on the Wild and Scenic Owyhee River. It can also be boated on low water years or later in the year in kayaks or pack-rafts. Rafters and kayakers who drive a hundred miles and more from Boise, Bend and points beyond can float its waters into a deep desert gorge to experience the solitude of a place so far removed from the glow of civilization, its black skies afford some of the best stargazing in the U.S.In most years, the river flows strong enough to float a boat for just a few months. 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). Keep an eye out for nesting birds of pray high above on the cliffs. Fewer people do the Middle Owyhee than the Lower Owyhee due to the narrower flow window, smaller camps, and the Class V+ Widowmaker. Photo: Jim Little. Highly knowledgeable and super passionate about the high desert, he makes regular visits to the Owyhee to float and camp, and spends more time than he would like in Washington, DC, advocating for its protection from mining and oil and gas development. 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. On a map of Oregon, it’s that mostly blank expanse in the southeastern corner of the state near the Idaho/Nevada border—a place most would call nowhere. One of the big advantages of floating the Lower Owyhee is that you follow a paved road (U.S. 95) to the boat-launch site in Rome, Ore. To float the upper forks of the Owyhee, you have to drive for many miles on unimproved 4WD Need it sooner? 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. Photo: Jim Little, Taking off the river’s chill at one of the hot springs along the bank. Just did this stretch for the second time. I visited in the early fall and there was one other car. In just 346 miles, the Owyhee River ­flows through three states and some of the most remote country in the Northwest. Our party of 12 traveled in three catarafts and a raft fully loaded with food, beverage and gear. Being early spring, the river canyon was full of flowering plants and animal life. Photo: Jim Little, You want to watch where you step in the Owyhee. Buy used, trade in and fix your gear through Worn Wear. Camping is first come first serve but depending on the time of year it won't be crowded at all. Learn more about our environmental and social responsibility program. Visitors will marvel at the variety of birds and mammals, including river otters, bighorn sheep and golden eagles. Read, watch, and listen to our latest stories and the best of our archives. Devil's Tower (Mile 42.75) A miniature version of the the more famous. Floating Through Nowhere on the Owyhee River, They’re hoping to permanently protect the area. My son Drew is ready to roll at the Rome put-in for the Lower Owyhee River. This trip is perfect for those who want to get away from it all! Owyhee River Rafting The headwaters of the Owyhee River are in Nevada. 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. Experience Fly Fishing the Owyhee River with us. 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. Camping is limited to 1 night. 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. Owyhee River Fly Fishing OWYHEE RIVER GUIDE TRIPS The Owyhee River is Oregon's finest tailwaters. Floating the Owyhee Canyonlands Get ready for a unique adventure in one of the best-kept secret spots in North America – the Owyhee Canyonlands. Camps are first come first serve. Visiting it by river, accompanied by such a wonderful group of people while on the company dime, made it even more delicious. Located in remote southeastern Oregon the Owyhee River offers an off the grid adventure through the high desert that you will not soon forget. Unsure of your size? Photo: Jim Little. The Owyhee’s volcanic and rhyolite cliffs towered a thousand feet in places making hikes to the canyon rim well earned. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your There aren't white-knuckle rapids," explained Ron Pribble, owner of Cascade River Runners, of floating the Lower Owyhee. There are no The Malheur National Wildlife Refuge—site of a recent 41-day showdown between a group of armed, anti-federalist “occupiers” and the federal government—is the most recognizable nearby landmark for those who follow the news. I've doneae this 2 times on a paddleboard. Topping off the jugs at Weeping Wall Springs. 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. Photo: Jim Little. Can’t decide between jackets? Some camps are large enough for two parties to spread out but make sure that your neighbors are cool with that idea before unloading your boat. 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. The Owyhee River from Rome, Oregon to Birch Creek, Oregon is a 3 day float trip. Provide your account email address to receive an email to reset your password. This trip is a photographers dream! Yet for some of the best views of the canyons being in the water gives some … Truly unreal experience drifting through those gnarly canyons. Floating the Owyhee is popular in the spring during higher water flows. 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. 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. Lake Owyhee is actually a 53-mile long reservoir resulting from the Owyhee River dam. A short steep hike up to a natural rock arch. The Lower Owyhee, headed north toward its confluence with the Snake River, is wild but a little mellower. Go PRO to support our mission and get benefits like gear deals, no ads, and more! True, the ‘lake’ is dominated by fisher folk. 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For environmental internships have no time limit on returns and accept both current past-season.