There are a few great class IV whitewater runs in the world, and in the US, the three most famous are the Gauley in West Virginia, the Tuolumne in California and the Lochsa in Idaho.  Of the three, the Lochsa has the most whitewater miles.  While the Lochsa is legendary as one of the top whitewater day-trips in the world, fewer people know that there are over 60 miles of rapids and river canyon making the Lochsa great for two and three-day trips as well.  No other river in the US offers so many class IV river miles as the two-day Lochsa river trip which covers close to 40 miles with almost non-stop whitewater action!  The three-day trip adds another 15-20 miles with more moderate rapids making the perfect warm up for the wild whitewater that is downstream.  ROW brings our camping expertise to the banks of the Lochsa providing you with comfortable riverside tents, delectable meals and campfire fun!

The season starts in early to mid-May and we run until July 10th or so, depending on the snowpack.  The Lochsa is completely undammed and flows depending entirely on snowmelt and rain.  Thus flows increase and decrease during the season.  It's ranges from a fairly big volume 15,000-20,000 cfs to a low of around 1200 cfs.  Rapids such as Log Jam, Mile Long, Stanley Creek, Triple Hole, Castle Creek, Ten Pin Alley, Grim Reaper, Bloody Mary, Surprise, Termination and Lochsa Falls are just some of the many that make for a thrilling whitewater rafting trip.  We recommend paddlers have previous whitewater experience and come expecting to get very wet!

ROW provides wetsuits, wetsuit jackets, booties and helmets.

Images & Videos

whitewater raft on the lochsa river
raft going through a rapid on the lochsa river
whitewater rafters on the lochsa river
log style lodge in Idaho
water running over rocks in the lochsa river
glamping tents in idaho
paddle rafts floating on the lochsa river in Idaho
whitewater rafting group on the lochsa river in Idaho
idaho adventure lodge bedroom
cabin at River Dance Lodge in Idaho
log cabin in idaho at River Dance Lodge
mountain view with pine trees in Idaho
whitewater raft with people in splashy water
forest service sign in Idaho
paddle boat in front of large rock on the lochsa river
whitewater raft on the lochsa river
raft going through a rapid on the lochsa river
whitewater rafters on the lochsa river
log style lodge in Idaho
water running over rocks in the lochsa river
glamping tents in idaho
paddle rafts floating on the lochsa river in Idaho
whitewater rafting group on the lochsa river in Idaho
idaho adventure lodge bedroom
cabin at River Dance Lodge in Idaho
log cabin in idaho at River Dance Lodge
mountain view with pine trees in Idaho
whitewater raft with people in splashy water
forest service sign in Idaho
paddle boat in front of large rock on the lochsa river

Itinerary

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Day 0

Travel from your home to Syringa, Idaho

Enjoy an overnight at the River Dance Lodge - Idaho's Outdoor Adventure Resort. Log cabin and glamping tent accommodations, as well as camping, are available for an additional cost.

Day 1

Meet ROW's Team Leader at the River Dance Lodge at your designated meeting time for a brief orientation meeting to answer any last-minute questions. About 45 minutes later you depart in our bus and travel to the rafting trip launch point. Along the way your guides will tell you a few stories about the area. Once at the river our staff prepares you with a thorough safety orientation. We launch on the river and enjoy rafting a few miles before stopping for a delicious riverside lunch. 

Our three-day Lochsa adventures put-in near the confluence with White Sands Creek and the Crooked Fork.  The first day is an intermediate whitewater day floating through a beautifully forested canyon of cedars and fir.  The next day we continue downstream, running the same section of river as our two-day trips, which is an exciting day of big and technical whitewater with challenging moves.

On two-day trips we don't have a "warm up" day, so start off with big whitewater immediately!  This is some of the most technically challenging whitewater to be found anywhere on the planet and requires your full attention and enthusiasm!  Few rivers offer so much raft-bashing quality whitewater!

On both our two-day and three-day Lochsa whitewater rafting trips, we arrive at camp in the late afternoon.  Carry your personal gear to the tent of your choice and enjoy the spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery. The first night on the three-day trip stays at a quiet camp on a bend in the river.  On night two of the three-day trip, and the only camping night on the two-day trip, we stay on an amazing island with the rushing river on one side and gentle, quiet current on the other. Enjoy free time for hiking, fishing, reading or just relaxing. Hors d'oeuvres are served around 6:00 and dinner around 7:30. After dinner a campfire is lit and an evening of laughter and sharing begins making the perfect ending for a fantastic day of whitewater rafting.

MEALS INCLUDED : Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

We wake you around 7:30 AM with the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Breakfast is served around 8:00 and while we clean up the kitchen you pack up your personal gear. The rafts are loaded and we depart from camp about 9:30 for an adventure-packed day of white water rafting with rapids, great Western scenery and fun. Our guides share stories as we raft. You learn about the thick forest and trees that surround the river as well as the forest fires that have ravaged this land in the past. You also learn about the Nez Perce, the original inhabitants of this rugged land.

If you are on the three-day trip, this is the technical whitewater day with rapids such as Stanley Creek, Castle Creek, Triple Hole and many, many more.  This is heart-pounding whitewater that requires superb teamwork.

People on the two-day trip paddle the "Goat Range" on this day, with famous rapids such as Ten-Pin Alley, the Grim Reaper, Bloody Mary, Horsetail Falls, Otter Slide, Lochsa Falls, Termination and more.  This section is less technical than the upper section, but has bigger waves and provides an amazing day of whitewater.

Folks on two-day trips get off the river between 3:30 and 5:00 PM and return to the River Dance Lodge while those on three-day trips continue with another night's camping on the river. After dinner and the evening campfire, watch for a glorious star-studded sky.

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Day three of the three-day trip is the same as Day 2 of the two-day trip.  It's a big day paddling through the Goat Range.  Here are dozens of rapids including House Wave, Horsetail Falls, Bloody Mary, Pickin Up the Pieces and Termination. By the time the day is over you'll be grinning from ear to ear. Return to the River Dance Lodge at the end of the day. Overnight at this vacation resort, or begin your travels home.

Notes on 2 & 3 Day Trips:

3-Day Trips: We raft about 60 miles of the Lochsa.  Generally, on 3-day trips, we begin near the headwaters of the Lochsa, where Crooked and White Sand creeks meet.  These trips begin on gentle waters, allowing us to practice our paddling skills and learn the ways of the river.  The next two days are filled with one exploding rapid after another.  If the water gets too low to float the furthest upstream section of river, then  we begin our 3-day trips at the same place as our 2-day trips.  Then, on the 3rd day, we repeat the 2nd day since this section has the wildest rapids.  People love it.  Mile for mile, the Lochsa is unequaled for whitewater excitement.

Whitewater is only one of the many attractions of the Lochsa.  Our camps are set amidst cedar forests in a deep, thickly forested canyon.  We may enjoy sightings of eagles and osprey as well as numerous other birds.  Moss-covered rocks, star-lit nights and evening campfires are but a few of the reasons we strongly encourage you to join us for a 3-day trip in this enchanting land.

2-Day Trips: cover the same section of river as the last 2 days of the 3-day trip, and include one night of camping on the ROW Island.  This is a great 2-day getaway featuring 40 miles of fun-filled and action-packed whitewater!

The Lochsa parallels Highway 12, allowing us to transport your gear between camps in our van.  It is also the reason we can offer 2 and 3-day trips at a lower price than other trips of comparable length.  You may also choose a lodge-based 2 or 3-day trip where you stay at River Dance Lodge instead of camping on the river.  All overnight trips include all meals starting with lunch on Day One and ending with lunch on the last day.

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Dates & Rates

Supplementary Information

2- and 3-day trips are available between the middle of May and the end of June.  These are booked on a space-available basis instead of specific launch dates.  Trips require a minimum of 10 guests to confirm a departure.

2-Day Rafting/Camping Tours

  • Monday to Thursday departures - $475 per person
  • Friday, Saturday or Sunday departures - $495 per person

3-Day Rafting/Camping Tours

  • Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday departures - $820 per person
  • Friday, Saturday or Sunday departures - $850 per person

Included: 

  • Full service of our Adventure Consultants
  • All rafting equipment - including wetsuits, splash jackets, booties, helmets and PFD's
  • All camping equipment - including tents, sleeping bags, mats, pillows, etc.
  • All meals from lunch on day 1 through lunch on day 2 or 3 (depending on the length of trip booked)

Not Included: 

  • Accommodations before or after your rafting tour
  • Transportation to and from Syringa
  • All rates are plus an 8% Land and Water Access Fee
  • Personal items

Reviews

5
Average: 5 (3 votes)

Reviews

5

Great Family Fun

What a great trip! The Lochsa river is beautiful! A mixed family group of 10 stayed in a cabin at the river dance lodge. What a beautiful setting with wonderful people who love their job! From check in to check out we had a wonderful time. Sad the cafe was closed, but the cabin had what we needed to make our own meals. Definitely was a wonderful trip! Our guides were the best!!! Will, Alec and Bridget were our personal guides on our boats. Our family was split between boats, but that made it even more fun! Steve and Pete were the other guides, all guides helping each other and making our trip from beginning to end memorable! A great lunch along the river and each guide checked on us all and ensured we had enough. Bridget was our personal guide for our cohesive boat of 6. She was great at getting to know us and took time to talk to each of us. She was wonderful with interacting with us, she at one point was making up a story about something coming up ahead and possibilities of maybe a bear could be across the river. AND A BEAR was there it came down close to the water just before we hit the rapids. She held it together while enjoying our luck, but kept focused to keep us safe through the rapids. An unforgettable trip, that we hope to return again!

5

Another Great Memory Maker!

We returned to raft the Lochsa river with the team at ROW and stay at the River Dance Lodge for a second time. This is our sixth rafting trip with ROW on various rivers in Idaho and our experience on this trip was outstanding, as usual. All the staff at the River Dance Lodge were extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating to our group of eleven people and made our weekend very special. Our cabins were spotless, well appointed and any requests we had were cheerfully fulfilled. Our guides on the river were equally wonderful and made even the least experienced members of our group feel very safe and comfortable as they enjoyed the Lochsa whitewater for their first time. My family and I have rafted many rivers around the world and are always blown away by how well ROW treats their guests and the consistency with which they deliver an outstanding whitewater adventure. If you're looking for a fun and memorable outdoor experience stay at the River Dance Lodge and raft the Lochsa river with ROW!

5

When a trip exceeds your highest expectations!

For my 60th Birthday, I wanted to provide an experience for my family, that they would always remember. We were a group of 7, all adults ranging in age from 26 to 30 for the kids, 60 for me, and my wife will remain a secret! The drive from Montana was beautiful, and the place was easy to find. We were greeted, informed of what to expect, and our accommodations were ready. The food at the lodge was excellent, and the staff, delightful, and accommodating. As we all came from different places, we decided to spend the first day hiking, one of the many fabulous trails in the area. The rafting was nothing short of spectacular. The three guides that we had, were an amazing combination of skilled, knowledgeable and fun! The river was non-stop fun, with over 50 named rapids. Myself and 3 others, ended up on the Lochsa swim team, , and the guides expertly saved us with ease. The overnight on the private island was incredible. Dinner always tastes fabulous in the wild, and the breakfast burrito, may never be equaled! My kids have done a lot of amazing things in the lives, and they all agreed it was a highlight, that they will never forget. Can't wait for my 65th with ROW!

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