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The Owyhee River bends and twists through the Owyhee Canyonlands with mild to wild whitewater rafting in southwestern Idaho and eastern Oregon.  This canyon offers dramatic desert canyon scenery, excellent hiking, and a feeling of peace and seclusion that makes it easy to leave the outside world behind.  The lonely Owyhee is some of the most remote river in the lower 48, and was recently designated wilderness in 2009.  The Owyhee Initiative, which was passed in 2009, designated 517,000 acres as wilderness and 317-miles of the Owyhee and Jarbidge Bruneau River systems as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
Similar Trips: Middle Owyhee •  Jarbidge Bruneau •  Main Salmon

Departure Month: May
Region: Oregon
Rating: Beginner, Intermediate
Pricing: Under $1500

Owyhee River was listed as one of America’s Best Adventures by National Geographic in 2010!

There are more than 250 miles of navigable river in the Owyhee Canyonlands!   Each offers endless hiking opportunities, wildlife, whitewater, pioneer history and a glimpse into geologic time.  The time to see the Owyhee is in the spring during the snowmelt runoff when wildflowers are blooming, the red-wing blackbirds are singing and the rapids get exciting.  A hike to the rim to spot an antelope in the distance, an eagle chasing its prey or just admiring the “awesome vastness” of this country can be a highlight of the trip.  We have extensive experience in many different sections.  These include the South Fork, East Fork, Main and Lower Owyhee.  There are many different sections and access points to these canyons, which create endless possibilities.

The Lower Owyhee
This canyon has a more open country than the upper sections with some amazing colors in the Chalk Basin area.  The Lower Owyhee has class III whitewater, which makes a great family trip or vacation for all experience levels.  It has the best hiking options for easy rim access and amazing vistas.  Rock formations in the Lower section are unique and full of vibrant colors.  Other attractions include nice camping options, exceptional birding, and Native American petroglyphs.  We also bring along paddleboats and inflatable kayaks for those who want a little more action!  The Lower Owyhee is a great introduction to the Owyhee Canyonlands.

The Lower Owyhee river trip begins in the small country town of Rome, Oregon.  The access to the Lower Owyhee is much easier and logistically simple compared to other sections.  We take-out of the river at Birch Creek.  Call us for details and we’ll make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Owyhee Photography – LISK GALLERY

2020 Schedules and Prices

5 Day Lower Owyhee

April 24th
to 28th, 2020
5 days


May 1st
to 5th, 2020
5 days



Lower Owyhee
April 24th – 28th
May 1st – 5th
*other launch dates available on Fridays
5 – Day Trip ~ $1250.00

Other dates available upon request.  Please call for details.

Included: Your trip includes 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, and wetsuits.

Not Included:
Cost does not include hotels before or after the trip, alcohol or 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.
are also available for seniors and children.  Please ask for details.

Reservations can be made online or by calling our office.
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.

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.

aThis 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


Day before the trip: Arrive in Boise, Idaho. In the evening, we’ll get together to hand out gear and answer any last minute questions.

Day 1: We’ll get an early start for our drive to the river. We usually have lunch, gear up and have a river safety talk before taking to the river.

Day 2-5: We usually have a dutch-oven breakfast around the campfire in the morning.  After packing our bags and strapping our loads down we’ll hit the water.  We try and customize our activities to the interests of each particular group.  Our days on the river vary with many opportunities for hiking, exploring and relaxing around our beautiful camps.  The Lower Owyhee has a consistent mix of Class II-III rapids that are a great fit for all experience levels.  We’ll usually get to camp in the early evening, have some time for walks and socialize, and followed by a delicious meal cooked over the campfire and dutch ovens.

Day 6: We’ll eat lunch along the river and have a mellow float to our takeout in mid-afternoon. Drive back to Boise.

Owyhee 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 LIFE JACKETS, 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.), and WETSUITS.  You may use our SLEEPING BAGS, PADS, AND TENTS, or bring your own and receive a discount.


• SYNTHETIC SLEEPING BAG (WARM EVEN WHEN WET), PAD, TENT, GROUND CLOTH (for sleeping out under the stars and or 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 OR 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 polar 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 in 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 Owyhee River 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