MIDDLE OWYHEE RIVER RAFTING

Amazing Canyon & Incredible Whitewater

RIVER BETA

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

Difficulty LevelClass IV+

Age Requirement16+

Length in miles39+

Length in time3 days, 2 nights

WILDLIFE EXAMPLE

Greater Sage-Grouse

(Centrocercus urophasianus) – An indicator species for overall ecosystem health, sage-grouse rely on vast expanses of unfragmented sagebrush for cover, diet, nesting and mating grounds. The Owyhee Canyonlands has been identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as one of six key strongholds for the Greater sage-grouse in the West. Thus, the degree to which this area is protected from development and fragmentation will be critical to the bird’s survival, as well as to the other species that live there.

Similar Trips

Deschutes River Rafting
Rogue River Rafting

OVERVIEW

ABOUT THE MIDDLE OWYHEE RIVER

The Owyhee River flows through one of the most remote regions in North America. The Canyon-lands of the Owyhee River system is one of the largest unspoiled areas around. The Owyhee River greets one with impressive canyons that rise as much as two-thousand feet above the rivers’ edge. This river has embraced some of the most spectacular, rugged and little known country in the states.

The Owyhee River lies in the southeastern corner of Oregon. On an Owyhee trip one may encounter a band of California bighorn sheep, a dozen different kinds of wildflowers, an unexpected waterfall or one of the area’s numerous hot springs. One may also see some of the endangered species that reside in this area, like the peregrine falcon. Other wildlife that may be seen are the pronghorn antelope, elk, deer, cougars, sage grouse, eagles and many others.

The Bureau of Land Management in the area describes the Owyhee region as “The most rugged, remote and least known high desert canyon complexes in North America, the Owyhee Canyonlands are also perhaps the most spectacular.” The Main stem Owyhee was federally designated as Wild and Scenic in 1984 and was additionally listed as an Oregon Scenic Waterway in 1970. This region is so remote that the entire Owyhee Canyonlands encompass over 5 million acres with just 3 paved roads!

The human history in this area stems back to more than twelve-thousand years ago. The Owyhee Canyonlands have been a home to Native Americans for thousands of years. Evidence of their existence can be found in the many pictographs, petroglyphs and artifacts that were left behind from them. Since the white man settled this area more than two-hundred years ago, agriculture and grazing had been abundant for many years. Still today, one may spend hours exploring side canyons, old ranchers cabins and of course, rewarding themselves with a hot springs soak! The Owyhee River was named by Peter Skene Ogden in 1819 when two of his fellow trappers were killed. The river was named after them and the word ‘Owyhee’ is a 19th century spelling for Hawaii.

The many canyons of the Owyhee River system are some of the most awe-inspiring & sensational landscapes in Oregon. The multi-colored cliff walls often rise over a thousand feet from the edge of the river. The canyon rims are often eroded with many colossal spires, while in other areas the canyon walls reach towards the sky displaying a variety of stunning colors. There are numerous side canyons that offer a mysterious element of adventure as they twist out of sight.

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 that fishing for brown trout is strictly catch & release. Catch & release of rainbow trout is strongly encouraged 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.

“Hope you can keep offering trips on the Owyhee. Not for those who want only sunny days, but what a truly wild & scenic canyon, including exceptional bird diversity.”

– Dave Sutton

Middle Owyhee River Rafting Trips ….

Middle Owyhee River Three-Day

Season: April - May
Duration: 3 Days, 2 Nights
Length: 39 miles
Price: $950
Rapids: IV+
Skill Level: Experience required
Age Minimum: 16

BOOK NOW Customized trips: call for booking info. 8 person minimum.

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