Spring Time in Idaho

May 25, 2011

Rafts Entering Bruneau Canyon photo: Seth Tonsmeire

Spring has finally hit Idaho in full swing.  Wildflowers are in full bloom, trees are budded, many seasonal birds are showing up, the snow is receding, and the rivers are on the rise!  Snowpack in Idaho is still well above average across the state.  It always depends on how the snow comes off, but it is looking like a year for great water late into the summer months.

Desert Sunset  photo:  Seth Tonsmeire

We ran our first trip of the season last week on the Bruneau River.  With water levels pushing into flood stage we decided to go to plan B and skip the Jarbidge section and put in for the Bruneau only.  When rafting in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness you always need to be ready for plan B.  The Owyhee and Bruneau Rivers are some of the most beautiful and intimate river canyons in the west, and remain that way because of their logistical complications.  Those who work through these challenges are rewarded with the ultimate wilderness experience!

Bruneau Canyon  photo:  Seth Tonsmeire

After pushing through the class V put in of the Bruneau River road the trip was under way.  Taking away the upper section of the trip allowed for more time to hike and explore the impressive Bruneau River canyon.  By the time the group reached Five Mile rapid, the whitewater finish the last day, the water had dropped below flood stage, but Five Mile rapid still provided much whitewater excitement!

[youtube width=450 height=300]PyxNbOt63eE[/youtube]

“I’ve been on 53 different remote rivers in my life and let me tell you: If you ever want to take a trip with river outfitters who are safe, knowledgeable, affable, fun, and awesome cooks, try floating the Bruneau River with Wilderness River Outfitters. Like me, when your trip is done, you’ll have more than enough memories from just this one river to decorate your mental scrapbook for the rest of your life.”  -Mark Lawson  2011

Further North, people have started running the Middle Fork and Main Salmon in the last couple weeks.  Those rivers are starting their rise to the spring high water peak.  The Owyhee and Bruneau rivers in the Southern Idaho desert are on their way down now, but still have great flows for rafting and definitely above average for this time of year!  With much snow still piled in the mountains, these southern rivers are looking to run later than usual this year.

Over the next couple weeks, we will start getting into the main part of our river season and are looking forward to seeing everyone planning on joining us for this great water year!

~  Seth Tonsmeire