Swift water, boulder-garden rapids, blind corners and steep gradients are all packed into this beautiful wilderness canyon. If you are looking for an exciting class IV multi-day run on a creeky feeling river, the Jarbidge-Bruneau is the trip for you!
Similar Trips: Middle Fork Salmon Kayaking Trip

Departure Month: May
Region: Idaho
Rating: High Adventure
Pricing: Between $1500 and $2000

If you are an advanced paddler and feel comfortable running continuous class III with some solid class IV whitewater, this is a great trip for you.  This is not a trip for beginner kayakers!  This small desert river twists and turns its way through a deep rhyolite gorge in southwestern Idaho.  The Jarbidge is exciting with swift water and many great boulder garden style rapids.

One of the great benefits to joining this trip is the rafts, which carry all of your personal things, as well as beer and other items that self-support boating does not allow for.  When self-support kayaking you have to be a minimalist.  Travel with us and you can bring a nice big sleeping bag and tent.  Also, you get a fire, great food (no ramen or instant-pasta), latrine facilities, etc..  If running this type of river without ever seeing the river makes you nervous, having a kayak guide is a great way to travel.  Traveling with one of our knowledgeable kayaking guides is a great way to gain confidence and expertise through this technical run.

Once we reach the Bruneau River confluence (day 3 or 4), the whitewater mellows and you can immerse yourself in the dramatic scenery of the canyon. The Bruneau does have several great rapid sections, but without the continuous feel of the Jarbidge. Downstream the finale, Five Mile Rapid series will quench any last thirst for whitewater!

“Join me next spring for a fun and adventurous kayaking trip on the Jarbidge Bruneau!” ~ Seth Tonsmeire

2018 Schedules and Prices

Jarbidge Bruneau

May 6-11

May 13-18

May 20-25 (Booked for 2018)

6-Day Trips ~ $1600* per person
*3% BLM Use Fee not included

Call for Dates

Included: We provide transportation from Boise to the river and back to Boise at the end of the trip.  All meals beginning with lunch on the first day and ending with lunch on the last day.  Use of our sleeping bags, pads, and tents (or bring your own gear and receive a $40 discount), dry bags, PFDs and wetsuits.

Not Included: Hotels before and after the trip, alcohol and guide gratuities.

Charter trips are available for groups of 6 or more.  This means your group has reserved the entire trip.  Ask for details.
Group discounts
based upon the number of people in your party.

Reservations can be made online or by calling our office.
Payment: A 25% non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot.  The remainder is due 45 days prior to the trip departure.
We will promptly send you a trip packet including general information on your trip, your invoice and statement, gear list, and medical and liability waiver forms that you will need to return to our office.

Cancellation and Refunds: Operating quality trips is a costly operation with no margin for losses resulting from late cancellations. The space you reserve is held for you, and this may mean turning others away. Each trip is planned for the number of reserved spaces, guides scheduled, supplies bought, rafts and vehicles assigned. If notice of cancellations 45 days prior to departure, you may transfer to any other trip in the same season without penalty. A cancellation less than 45 days is non-refundable. Depending on circumstances, we can discuss other trip options.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you protect yourself with a short term traveler’s insurance policy.  Trip cancellation will cover your losses on non-refundable air and land cost on unexpected cancellations.

Cancelled Trips: We reserve the right to cancel a trip due to insufficient reservations, weather or water conditions.  In such cases, a full refund for the trip is given.  If possible, we will offer an option of a different trip of comparable type.


This trip begins and ends in Boise, Idaho
Most airlines offer flights into Boise.  You will need to arrive the evening before your trip begins.  We usually have an orientation around 6 p.m. that night.
Please make hotel reservations at the Best Western Inn in Boise for the evening before your trip and the evening your trip ends.  If you wish to make other arrangements, please give us a call and we will be happy to assist you.
Best Western Vista Inn
Boise, Idaho

Sample Itinerary

Day Before: We all meet up in Boise, Idaho for a pre-trip orientation.  We distribute dry bags and answer any last minute questions about the trip.

Day 1: Leave the city behind, heading for the desert.  We usually reach the put in around lunchtime the first day.  After going over some river signals and river safety, let the action begin.  There are some great warm up rapids the first day.

Day 2: Lots of whitewater action today for sure!  Rapids like the Maze, Tonsmeire Torrent, John’s Jolly will surely provide some good fun.  We usually camp somewhere above Jarbidge Falls.

Day 3: Run more rapids!  Probably portage Jarbidge Falls, a long stout class V rapid.  Teamwork makes the portage go quickly.  Once we reach the confluence with the West Fork Bruneau, the whitewater mellows and the scenery gets intense.

Day 4-5: Enjoy the Bruneau River Canyon!  Maybe take a couple short hikes exploring beautiful side canyons.  There are fun rapids on this section as well.

Day 6: Last, but definitely not least.  Five Mile Rapid is the last whitewater finale, a long continuous class IV rapid.  After the morning fun on the river, it is back to Boise in the afternoon.

Jarbidge River Suggested Gear

Download Printable Check List


This is the suggested gear list for this particular trip. Having the right gear is important to making it the best possible experience for you. Most of the gear listed you will have or you can use it year-round on any outdoor excursion (football games, boating, skiing, etc.) We want you to have everything you will need to be comfortable and happy.

Please: no stereos, radios, cell phones or watches

GEAR PROVIDED – we provide 2 WATERPROOF DUFFEL BAGS (one for sleeping bag, pad & ground cloth, and one for clothing), WATERPROOF DAY BAG for items you would like accessible during the day (dry shirt, suntan lotion, camera, etc.).  You may use our SLEEPING BAGS, PADS, AND TENTS, or bring your own and receive a discount.

Kayaking Gear

Bring all your kayak and  personal kayaking gear.  If you would like to rent one of our kayaks, inquire about brands and sizes available.


• SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAG (WARM EVEN WHEN WET), PAD, TENT, GROUND CLOTH (for  sleeping out under the stars and for spreading your gear on.)

• RAIN GEAR… good jacket and pants, poncho’s aren’t enough. AVOID VINYL & CHEAP PLASTICS.

• LIGHTWEIGHT SHIRTS…one long sleeved.

• 1 PAIR LONG PANTS, synthetic are best

• SHORTS…synthetics dry faster – good to wear over swimsuit.

• SWIMSUIT…nylon is best because it dries faster.

• CAP TO BLOCK SUN, & WOOL SYNTHETIC HAT for cool evenings…a must for everyone.  In case of wind attach with a shoe string.

• GLOVES OR MITTENS… synthetic or wool.

• WARM SHIRTS…wool or fleece (2)

• LONG UNDERWEAR…Polypro or Capilene (not cotton) tops & bottoms.

• WARM JACKET…synthetic piles are popular because they are warm even when damp.


FOOTWEAR: The comfort of your feet will make a big difference in your enjoyment of the trip!

• HIKING BOOTS or sturdy walking shoes …well broken in. No brand new boots please.

• SOCKS…3-4 pair, 2 heavy (wool), fleece socks are also nice for camp.

• THIN LINER SOCKS…nylon or synthetic, not cotton.

• RUNNING SHOES OR SANDALS… for around camp and short hikes.

• NEOPRENE SOCKS (described on back side) and old running shoes… this is the best combination we’ve found for keeping your feet warm and safe on the river.

• SUNGLASSES AND TIES FOR GLASSES…protects against glare.  Pack an extra pair of prescription glasses even if you wear contacts.

• SUNTAN LOTION… maximum strength sun block & moisture lotion.



• FLASHLIGHT…small one is fine, headlamps work great.

• WATER BOTTLE…1 liter.

• CAMERA & FILM…bring more than you think you need, just in case.

• SMALL DAY OR FANNY PACK…for side excursions.


• ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE…if desired (unbreakable containers).

• BINOCULARS (optional)

Wilderness River Outfitters provide a MAJOR FIRST AID KIT.  However, we do recommend you bring your own preferred personal medication and accessories (Advil, Tylenol, aspirin, Band-Aids, cold medicine).

Reviews from the Jarbidge River Kayaking Trip

“We had an incredible trip. I have seen the world and this was by far the best trip I have ever been on. The kids were in their element and we cannot say enough about Jessie, Mark and especially Seth.”
John LaRussa, Alternate Path Adventures, Salmon River

“You should know that the guides did everything possible to provide us with an awesome trip. The river was fantastic but even better was the camaraderie we developed with your WRO family.”
Jeff, Brenda and Jamie Nelson, Middle Fork Salmon River

“Thank you for your strong commitment to the wilderness experience. You did not cut corners. The planning, staff, equipment, supplies, and organization were top. Your family’s personal touch was very evident.”
Alan and Alisha Edmundson

“Thanks for the wonderful experience of a lifetime. I will always remember looking out my tent door to the glacier. I can take that picture with me to the old folks hame if I ever go to one and say, ”I have lived!”
Jackie Bowman-Childers