LOWER OWYHEE RIVER RAFTING

The “Grand Canyon” of Oregon

RIVER BETA

Rapids:
Scenery:
Wilderness:
Swimming:
Hiking:
Campsites:
Wildlife:

Difficulty LevelClass II – III+

Age Requirement8+

Length in miles55+

Length in time4 days, 3 nights

WILDLIFE EXAMPLE

Bobcat

(Lynx rufus), also known as the red lynx, is a medium-sized cat native to North America. The bobcat is crepuscular, and is active mostly during twilight. It keeps on the move from three hours before sunset until about midnight, and then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise.

Similar Trips

Deschutes River Rafting
Rogue River Rafting

OVERVIEW

Known as the Grand Canyon of Oregon, the lower Owyhee River meanders through a remote and wild part of Southeastern Oregon. This river runs through one of the largest undeveloped expanses left in the lower 48. The multi-day stretch of the lower Owyhee includes numerous mellow riffles and remarkable class II-III rapids, such as Upset, Bulls Eye, Read-it-and-Weep, Whistling Bird, Montgomery, and Nuisance, just to name a few.

The geology of the Owyhee River and surrounding canyon lands is spectacular! The river flows through a deep canyon lined with caves, columns, hoodoos, and peaks reaching hundreds of feet overhead. The landscape was formed by a dramatic mix of volcanic and glacial forces. These forces have exposed astonishing layers of rock and earth seen at every turn of the river. One of the gems of the Owyhee are the natural hot springs, several of which are perfectly nestled along the riverbank at a few prized campsites. Hikes through side canyons and to canyon rim peaks allow for another way to explore and take-in this incredible landscape.

The Owyhee River Canyon also has a rich cultural history. The Shoshone-Paiute and Shoshone Bannock indigenous people have used the canyonlands for thousands of years for shelter, hunting and gathering, and as a water supply but never lived long-term. Cowboys, homesteaders, and miners also have their place in the cultural history of the Owyhee, but like the indigenous people only traveled through or stayed for a short time due to the area’s harshness and isolation. Traces of the past can still be found in the river canyon with the presence of several hundred archeological sites including ancient pictographs and historic cabins.

The remoteness of this river and surrounding lands have allowed this landscape to remain truly wild. The canyon walls, fields, and plateaus of the Owyhee become covered with springtime wildflower blooms. There are at least 28 species of plants and wildflowers that grow only in the Owyhee canyonlands and can be found nowhere else in the world!

A diverse collection of over 200 wildlife species inhabit this environment, including pronghorn antelope, golden eagles, elk, coyotes, bobcats, bighorn sheep, mule deer, river otters, beaver, American badger, rabbits, and many more. The diversity and abundance of native and migrating bird species found in the canyon is unparalleled and remarked as being a birder’s paradise.

Our Guides

Our guides are experienced and accomplished in outdoor skills and trained in first aid, CPR, and river rescue. They are environmental stewards of the outdoor areas where we work and play and are knowledgeable about the natural & cultural history of the river. They are fun, interesting people who have a passion for rivers and guiding. If you have questions about rafting, camping, cooking in the outdoors, or anything else, ask and they will be happy to share what they know.

Fishing

The Owyhee River is consistently ranked one of the best brown trout fishing rivers in Oregon. Anglers can catch & release impressively sized brown and rainbow trout using fly fishing gear. We will gladly carry on the gear raft any personal fishing gear you want to bring. Oregon requires you to have a fishing license if you intend to fish during your trip and please check Oregon Fisheries and Wildlife rules and regulations for fishing on the lower Owyhee River. You may purchase the fishing license online at www.dfw.state.or.us.

Please note- fishing for brown trout is strictly catch & release. Catch & release of rainbow trout is strongly encountered, and bait-fishing is discouraged as it is highly fatal to the fish.

Wildlife Viewing

The Owyhee River and surrounding canyonlands are wild, diverse ecosystems and home to many different plant and animal species, including pronghorn antelope, river otters, eagles, osprey, hawks, coyotes, bobcats, mergansers, mountain blue-birds, mule deer, and much, much more. These canyonlands are one of the few remaining strongholds for the rapidly disappearing greater sage grouse, and home to the country’s largest California bighorn sheep herd. Oftentimes, we are fortunate enough to see a variety of wildlife on our rafting trips. Guests are welcome to bring along field guide books and small binoculars or spotting scope to enhance your wildlife viewing.

“The guides were beyond amazing, this was our first ever raft trip and it really couldn’t have gotten better, the guides worked so hard with such a great attitude, very impressive! Super fun trip!”

– Jem Cochran

Lower Owyhee River Rafting Trips ….
Owyhee River Rafting

Lower Owyhee River Four-Day

Season: April - May
Duration: 4 Days, 3 Nights
Length: 55+ miles
Price: $880-980
Rapids: I-IV
Skill Level: Family friendly
Age Minimum: 8
Trip Itinerary

Are you ready for your rafting adventure on the Owyhee River?