St. Joe River Whitewater Rafting Trips
Portions of the St. Joe River in Idaho's Panhandle are protected by Congress through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Protected in 1978, ROW Adventures pioneered the first whitewater rafting trip on the scenic St. Joe in 1986. Since then we've taken thousands of guests through the St. Joe's crystal clear waters and thick cedar forests. The Class II-III whitewater is ideally suited for beginners but exciting enough to thrill experienced rafters as well. The St. Joe's narrow canyon walls restrict the river to create big, exploding waves. In between rapids, as we float through this gorgeous Idaho mountain scenery, you can watch trout swimming in the emerald waters of the St. Joe.
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Our meeting location is now at the Gold Creek Campground on the St. Joe River. This allows us to protect our guests and employees by avoiding a long confined bus ride. We will meet you at 10:00 am Pacific Time.
There are two ways you can drive to Gold Flat. Coming from Spokane or Coeur d’Alene. Either way takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours depending on your starting point, how many stops you make, and how fast you drive.
Via St. Maries.
- Drive to St. Maries, Idaho
- Take the St. Joe River Road (FS Road #50) heading east along the St. Joe River. It is about 76 miles and 2 hours from St. Maries to our meeting point at Gold Creek Flat. You pass by Calder and Avery hamlets.
- About ½ mile, after you pass the Conrad Crossing camping area there will be a sign pointing to the right for Red Ives Ranger Station. Turn right and proceed about ½ mile to a large dirt flat on the right that has a vault toilet and perhaps some people camping. Meet the ROW Vehicle and guides here. (If you get to Simmons Creek, or Fly Flat, you went too far upstream.)
- Take I-90 east through Wallace, over Lookout Pass (Idaho/Montana border), and on to the St. Regis exit. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp.
- Go under the freeway to the stop sign.
- Turn left and pass the St. Regis Travel Center.
- Proceed about ½ mile to St. Regis St/Little Joe Road and turn left. Road #282.
- This will pass over I-90 and becomes a winding unpaved road that climbs to a summit that is the Montana/Idaho border. At the border the road becomes paved and you continue downhill on the Idaho side on FS Road #388. After about 30-40 minutes you will arrive at the St. Joe River. Be careful not to miss this turn! (If you miss this turn, you will come to Conrad Crossing Camping Area. Turn around and go back upstream.)
- Gold Creek Rd. is not maintained by the State of Montana; this road may be closed and inaccessible due to snow. You may call the St. Regis Forest Service, (406)822-4233, to inquire about road conditions or call the ROW Main office, (208)770-2517.
- There is a brown USFS sign pointing left to the Red Ives Ranger Station. Turn left and proceed about ½ mile to a large dirt flat on the right that has a vault toilet and perhaps some people camping. Meet the ROW Vehicle and guides here. (If you get to Simmons Creek, or Fly Flat, you went too far upstream.)
If you are driving from CdA/Spokane we would recommend you drive on I-90 in the morning via St. Regis and then return home via St. Maries since you will be about 10-12 miles downstream of the Gold Creek Road at the end of the day. This makes for an enjoyable trip without repeating the same driving route and takes about the same time.
Shuttle Logistics: Once we all meet and give a short orientation, we will take the drivers of vehicles downstream to our take-out point and return with them in our van. During this drive, others change into wetsuits and booties. When the drivers return, they change as well, and then we have a safety talk and start rafting. We stop for lunch along the way, usually at or near Conrad Crossing. At the end of the day, your cars are waiting at the take-out point.
The closest airports are in Spokane, WA and Missoula, MT.
Dates & Rates
June 3 - July 5, 2023*
- $120 (Sunday - Friday)
- $140 (Saturday)
- Group special: Groups of 16 or more - Sunday-Friday @ $110 per person; Saturday @ $130 per person
*Please note we require a minimum of 6 guests to run a trip. If you have less than 6 in your party, you can still reserve a spot and we will work to place you with another group in order to confirm your trip.
*Dates subject to change due to water levels.
*Prices plus 8% Land & Water Access fee
Important Notice: ROW has an excellent safety record, but you should know that whitewater rafting is inherently risky. You will be required to sign a "Release and Assumption of Risk" agreement prior to the trip,
recognizing and accepting the risks involved. If you're interested in trip cancellation, travel or accident insurance, contact our office. We do not allow alcoholic beverages or any drugs.