2256
Oregon

Whitewater Rafting on the Owyhee River: Oregon's Grand Canyon

Join outdoor experts to learn about whitewater rafting, visit Ryegrass Hot Springs and explore local history as you discover why the Owyhee River is known as Oregon’s Grand Canyon.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2256RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
949
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
DAY
1
Registration / Program Orientation
Owyhee River - Oregon
D
Owyhee River Campsite

Activity note: Group orientation and introductions.

Afternoon: We meet at 3:30 PM Mountain Time (2:30 PM Pacific Time) at the Basque Station Motel in the town of Jordan Valley, Oregon. Look for us in the motel parking lot. Our Lead Guide will show you how to pack your things into our waterproof river bags, and you'll park your vehicle in long-term parking at the motel. Then around 4 PM we board a van for the 45 minute ride to the river. On the way to the river (and with a bit of luck) we may spot wild horses or herds of the pronghorn antelope. We arrive at the campground in Rome in time for you to set up your tent and settle in before dinner. Rome (population 100 or so) was named for nearby chalk cliffs that reminded early settlers of the Roman Coliseum.

Dinner: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Evening: After dinner an orientation and get-acquainted session will be held.

DAY
2
River Journey Begins
Owyhee River - Oregon
B,L,D
Owyhee River Campsite

Activity note: Itinerary may vary due to changes in water level, weather, availably camps or other factors. For instance, rapids we expect to encounter on a given morning may not be encountered until afternoon, and canyons we expect to float through in the afternoon of one day may instead be encountered the following morning.

Breakfast: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Morning: After breakfast we pack up camp, our lead guide conducts a thorough safety orientation, then we board rafts (and inflatable kayaks for the adventuresome) to begin our journey downstream. Our float begins with a gentle meander through open country and ranch lands, and then enters the first of several wilderness canyons around midday.

Lunch: Meal prepared by staff at riverside

Dinner: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

DAY
3
Canyon Scenery and Hot Springs
Owyhee River - Oregon
B,L,D
Owyhee River Campsite

Activity note: Each day’s instructional sessions may occur during the day on the river, be scheduled for the time between breakfast and boarding the boats, or occur just before or after dinner. In general, though, the time from arriving at camp until dinner, and after dinner, is mostly free time for hiking, photography, or otherwise to use as you wish.

Breakfast: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Morning: We continue our wilderness journey, stopping at scenic Weeping Wall Springs were we’ll top of our fresh water supply.

Lunch: Meal prepared by staff at riverside

Afternoon: We pass Rustler’s cabin historic site (and stop there, time permitting). Class III rapids encountered include Read-it-and-Weep and Artillery.

Dinner: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Evening: Conditions permitting we will camp just downstream from Ryegrass Hot Springs. It’s an easy hike from camp to the springs, allowing for a visit and perhaps a soak either before or after dinner.

DAY
4
Spectacular Chalk Basin Hike & Green Dragon Canyon Float
Owyhee River - Oregon
B,L,D
Owyhee River Campsite

Activity note: Many highlights of the Owyhee are typically experienced on this day, depending on the groups location. With a beautiful hike at Chalk Basin, displaying a wide array of colors in the soil. Also, the towering Green Dragon Canyon is awaiting just down river with some of the most challenging rapids on the river.

Breakfast: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Morning: Rapids encountered include class III Dog Leg and class IV- Whistling Bird. The morning’s activities include a hike at beautiful Chalk Basin, where multicolored rock pillars and alcoves create a geologic wonderland. The chalk at Chalk Basin is sediment from a lake that existed here, 10 million years ago. Later lava poured over the sediments, baked them into hard brick, and created the colorful landscape we see there today.

Lunch: Meal prepared by staff at riverside

Afternoon: We float through spectacular Green Dragon Canyon, where Rhyolite (volcanic) cliffs soar nearly 2,000 feet overhead. Some of the river’s most challenging rapids are here, too, including Rock Trap, Squeeze, and class IV Montgomery.

Dinner: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

DAY
5
Petroglyphs and Hot Springs
Owyhee River - Oregon
B,L,D
Owyhee River Campsite

Activity note: Like many desert regions, the Owyhee country may seem empty of life at first, but this is a rich and varied ecosystem. Pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, coyotes and wild burros inhabit the rim-rock. Golden eagles and over one hundred other species of birds soar above, and when conditions are right the spring wildflower bloom can be spectacular.

Breakfast: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Morning: The river canyon begins to open up and fewer rapids are encountered. Still we’ll be challenged by a few, including Nuisance and Morcum Dam.

Lunch: Meal prepared by staff at riverside

Afternoon: During our afternoon float we stop at a site to view petroglyphs (rock carvings), evidence of the people who lived in here – or passed through the region – at various times over the past 12,000 years.

Dinner: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Evening: Conditions permitting we will camp just downstream from Greely Hot Springs. It’s an easy walk from camp to the springs, allowing for a visit and perhaps a soak either before or after dinner.

DAY
6
Last day of Spectacular Scenery. Departure.
Owyhee River - Oregon
B,L

Activity note: As we float to near the end of our journey the river begins to calm down, making its way into Lake Owyhee and through the Sucker Creek Formation.

Breakfast: Meal prepared by staff at campsite along the river

Morning: Over the course of five days we journey 55 miles on the river. We float the last five to ten river miles on our last morning, through colorful rocks of the Sucker Creek Formation, which are well-known for rich deposits of fossilized, 16 million year old leaves.

Lunch: Meal prepared by staff at riverside

Afternoon: After lunch we'll either float ten miles across Lake Owyhee to the boat ramp at Leslie Gulch, or pull our boats out of the water at the historic Birch Creek Ranch. Our choice of take-out point is determined by water, weather and road conditions. (For the reservoir float we tie the boats together, attach an outboard motor to our gear boat, then relax and enjoy the passing scenery.) Either way we return by van to the motel at Jordan Valley and to your waiting vehicle.






Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback