RIVER RATING: Class III-IV
TRIP MILES: 40 Miles (For a longer adventure it can be combined with a Jarbidge adventure)
PUT-IN: Near Indian Hot Springs
TAKE-OUT: Near Bruneau Idaho
RETURN TIME: 4:00 PM MST Boise, Idaho
AGE LIMIT: Minimum age is 8 (12 in May and June with high water)
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft
DAY 0: Travel from your home to Boise, Idaho and meet ROW’s Team Leader at the local hotel at 7:00 PM Mountain Time for a one hour orientation meeting to answer any last-minute questions and give you your waterproof bags to pack.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Red Lion Downtowner in Boise (Not Included in trip cost)
- MEALS INCLUDED: none
DAY 1:Depart at 7:30 AM in our bus or van for a trip to the launch point. For our Bruneau trips this is a solid four-hour drive, or more, depending on the conditions on the remote dirt roads. Once at the river our staff prepares you with a thorough safety orientation while the personal gear is loaded. We launch on the river and enjoy rafting a few miles before stopping for a delicious riverside lunch. In general we travel between six and 12 miles the firrst day. Around 4:00 PM we arrive at camp. These trips are much more participatory than some of our other rafting trips and everyone helps set up camp and tents. Once that’s done, 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 camp is lit and an evening of laughter and sharing begins.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Riverside Camping
- MEALS INCLUDED: L, D
Day 2: We wake you around 7:00 AM with the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Breakfast is served around 7:30 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 and amazing scenery. For those interested in the history of the area, we might stop and visit an Indian rock art site left by the original inhabitants of this rugged land. We stop for lunch and continue in the afternoon with alternating calm water and rapids. We arrive at camp late afternoon and settle in for an evening of fun, food and later on, star-gazing into the dark desert skies.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Riverside Camping
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L, D
Day 3: Today your river adventure takes you through more breathtaking canyons jutting upwards into the cobalt sky. These desert rivers flow through canyons of rhyolite which were formed when volcanic ash exploded in vast quantity and settled over the land millions of years ago. Then the rivers carved their way through it.
At camp this evening our guides may set up horseshoes or guide a hike. We'll refuel with a nutritious meal and the night sky and fresh mountain air will help you sleep like a baby.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Riverside Camping
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L, D
Day 4: We pass a few old homesteads along the way, from those days when this “middle of nowhere” was no more so than other unsettled areas of the west. This is the big whitewater day with “Five-Mile Rapid.” Another evening of camping under the star-studded sky.
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Riverside Camping
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L, D
Day 5: More rapids, soaring eagles, and incredible scenery. We may see some playful river otter swimming and frolicking or a coyote running along the river’s edge. Today we enjoy our last riverside lunch with a big smile for the group photo. Then, around 1:30 PM or so we reach our take-out and return to Boise. We typically arrive back in Boise by 3:00 PM. Most guests will overnight in Boise at a local hotel. The next morning you can continue your travels or begin your journey home. If you drove to Boise your car is patiently waiting for you. If you are flying, take the hotel shuttle 5 minutes to the Boise airport.
- MEALS INCLUDED: B, L
Extra Luggage: If you have luggage that you won't be needing on the trip you can leave it at the motel or in your car.
Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our multi-day rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
- Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
- Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
- Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Packing properly for a river trip is CRITICAL to your enjoyment while on the river. We recommend that you prepare yourself for three basic scenarios:
- A cool day on the river.
- A warm day on the river.
- Time spent lounging in camp.
Take care of these, and you are free to let the river and the canyon work their magic.
Weather in the northwest is unpredictable. You must come prepared for the cold/wet weather and hot/sunny weather – sometimes even on the same day! The following information will help you be prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected events of your trip. You may not use all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all!
DRYBAGS THAT ROW PROVIDES
One large waterproof bag (16” in diameter x 33” tall) per person. This will contain your sleeping bag as well as your personal clothing and items. This bag is NOT accessible during the day as it goes ahead of the group with our cargo raft.
Note: This bag will also contain additional gear provided by ROW: Sleeping bag, flannel liner & pillow
A small daypack (9” in diameter x 20” tall) for items you want to access during the day such as rain gear, sunscreen, camera, medications, etc.
WHAT YOU SHOULD PACK:
All of your personal items should be packed into a soft-sided duffle bag approximately 12” x 13” x 24” in size. Due to weight allowances and raft space, please limit your gear to 20-25 pounds. This bag will then go inside of your large waterproof bag provided by ROW.
IMPORTANT! It is important to keep your gear to no more than 25lbs! This is especially critical on the
Bruneau where linings or portages are possible and we travel in smaller rafts.
ITEMS FOR ON THE RIVER
Two T-Shirts (1 quick dry and 1 cotton for a hot day)
One light long-sleeved shirt for sun protection and cool evenings. Popular options are a rash guard or sunscreen shirts.
Two pairs of shorts (nylon quick drying always better than cotton).
Light pants are great for sun protection or on a windy day. Lightweight zip off pants works great.
Swimsuit – two-piece suits are easier for women - tankinis and river shorts are a great option.
One pair of river sandals (must have an ankle strap, no flipflops!) Velcro is okay if in good condition. Popular name brands include Chaco, Teva, Keen, or Merrells. Tennis shoes with polypro socks are a good option if your feet tend to get cold.
One Cap, Sun Hat or Visor (ROW hats are available when you arrive).
ITEMS GOOD TO HAVE IN YOUR DRY BAG ON THE RIVER
- One rain suit, jacket & pants (windbreaker without cotton liner works well, but no cheap ponchos)
- Mid-weight to light-weight long underwear tops and bottoms. Best worn over a swimsuit and undershorts.
- One synthetic or wool mid-weight sweaters for layering on the river on cool days.
- Sunglasses with retaining cord/device
- Bee Sting kit for those allergic to bees
- Sun Screen
- Water bottle with carabiner
- Extra Cap, Sun Hat or Visor
ITEMS FOR TIME AT CAMP
- Two Short sleeve shirts (Enjoy clean and comfortable)
- One pair of pants (lightweight nylon, cotton or fleece)
- Pair of shorts
- One synthetic mid-weight sweaters for cool evenings
- Underwear and socks
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra bulb and batteries
- Skin lotion, lip balm, waterproof sunscreen, etc.
- Toilet kit - toothbrush and paste, soap ( biodegradable is best, no soaps can be used in the river), camp towel, washcloth, comb, handkerchief, a small pack of tissues, small mirror, moist towelettes, shaving stuff, feminine sanitary supplies, etc.
- Extra eyeglasses and/or contact lenses strongly suggested. ALL glasses need a head strap!
- One pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes for cooler weather and hiking. (We don’t recommend you bring large hiking boots as they take up too much space and aren’t necessary.) Flip-flops are also comfortable for easy walking on sandy beaches!
- Stocking Cap/ Beanie for cool nights
ADDITIONAL CLOTHES FOR COOL WEATHER (Early and late season – June & September)
- Two pair wool or polypro socks to wear on the river
- One additional synthetic pile or wool shirt
- Wool or poly gloves & wool or poly cap (like a skiing hat)
- Camera – waterproof digital with extra batteries & memory card recommended. Many guests use smartphones (there is NOT cell service on the river). A waterproof case is also highly recommended for protection and ease of use.
- Paddling Gloves
- One female urinary device (allows women to urinate standing up without removing clothing). Silicon or hard plastic ones work great. Popular name brands include Gogirl and Shewee.
- Sundress for camp
- 2-3 Carabiners for clipping items to the boat
- Plastic garbage bags (2-3 for separating dirty/wet clothes in your waterproof bag)
- Cards, games, books, musical instruments, journals
- Fishing gear and Idaho fishing license if you plan to fish - must be in a protective case & disassembled. Only catch and release fishing with single barbless hooks is allowed!!
LAYERING FOR OUTDOOR COMFORT
Clothing layers are the thermostat of the wilderness. As you get ready for your river trip, think about dressing in layers. By adding and subtracting layers you can keep yourself perfectly comfortable. If you were to look into the dry bags of a well-prepared river guide you would see packing for three weather scenarios -- cold, wet days; hot, summer days; and cool evenings and mornings in camp. All of your on-river clothing should be made from synthetic fabrics with names like fleece, pile, polypropylene, Capilene™ or polyester. A cotton T-shirt is used occasionally on hot, sunny days, but cotton clothing is best saved for on-shore camp use.
- LAYER #1: The layer next to your skin should be close-fitting and thin. Start with a swimsuit and/or swim trunks and synthetic or wool shirt as a base layer. You do not want to wear cotton on the river on cool rainy days. The evaporation of water from a wet cotton layer will actually make you colder! Synthetic fibers maintain insulative properties when wet and "wick" moisture away from your skin.
- LAYER #2: The next layer should also be made of a synthetic fiber, but should be a bit heavier in weight. If you get too warm you can always peel this layer off.
- LAYER #3: The outer layer is what is known as the "barrier" layer. This layer should be waterproof and loose-fitting enough to give you a good range of motion. The idea of this layer is to seal out water, and seal in the warmth generated by you and insulated by layers # 1 and # 2. A good rain suit can do the job, or a good paddling jacket and pants. Not only will this protect you from rainstorms, but chilly water temperatures when running rapids as well!
ROW provides Farmer John style wetsuits for our cold weather trips in May/June (long legs, but no sleeves). These are often worn with your polypro long underwear underneath for extra warmth. You will still need your fleece sweater and rain jacket for warmth on your upper body. Wool or fleece socks can also be worn with the booties if your feet tend to get cold.
If you plan to fish, please bring your own fishing gear (with a protective case), as we do not have any to loan. A fishing license is required to fish. To pre-purchase and Idaho license online visit: https://idfg.idaho.gov/licenses.
LIQUOR AND PREFERED BEVERAGES
ROW packs moderate quantity of soft drinks as well as wine and beer for legal age guests. If you bring liquor, please give it to your guide in a labeled plastic container. Beer should be in cans - No glass beer bottles please. Bottled wine is fine. All liquors in IDAHO are sold in State Liquor Stores with limited hours. Please be aware we have limited space on our rafts therefore moderate quantities, please. If you are arriving after 7 pm BE SURE TO PURCHASE your liquor at home and bring it with you.
Some of our favorite books about the Bruneau River
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water, by Marc Reisner (Penguin Books).
This is an enlightening and easy to read book about water politics in the West. It does not contain much about Idaho – but is still a must read – especially with the current debate over removing the four lower Snake River dams. Highly recommended.
Children of Grace, by Bruce Hampton, Henry, Holt Publishers, 1994
(out of print as of 3/98 – but in ROW founder, Peter Grubb’s opinion, one of the best! Look for it at used bookstores or try www.bibliofind.com. If you're only going to read book about the Nez Perce and the war of 1879, this is the one. Highly recommended. (Out of print, available on Amazon.com)
Idaho Chinese Lore, by Sister M. Alfreda Elsensoln (Idaho Corporation of Benedictine Sisters and printed by The Caxton Printers, Ltd. In Caldwell, 1970).
Out of print. Try your local library or Amazon.com.
Idaho for the Curious: A Guide, by Cort Conley (Backeddy Books).
This thick book is a great resource for the curious. Conley follows the roads and relates the natural and human history of the areas. It’s worth the money and the perfect companion in your car for your dog to read to you as you drive.
Idaho Loners, by Cort Conley (Backeddy Books, 1994).
An in-depth look into the lives of the hermits, solitaries and individualists that shaped Idaho’s history. Fun, intriguing, biographical reading. Highly recommended.
Indians of Idaho, by Deward E. Walker Jr. (University Press of Idaho).
Myths of the Idaho Indians, by Deward E. Walker Jr. (University Press of Idaho, 1982). (Out of print, available online)
Nez Perce Coyote Tales, by D. Walker (University of Oklahoma Press, 1994). (Out of print, available online)
Owyhee Trails, by Mike Hanley (The Caxton Printers, Ltd.).
A book on the history in the “West’s Forgotten Corner.” Out of print. Try your local library.
Rivers of the West - A Guide to the Geology & History, by Elizabeth L. Orr & William N. Orr.
Roadside Geology of Idaho, by David D. Alt and Donald W. Hyndman (Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1989).
Few states pack so many different rocks into such a small area as Idaho, the book covers this unique occurrence in an exciting geologic story.
Roadside History of Idaho, by Betty Derig (Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1996).
“The best way to enjoy Idaho’s rich heritage is to visit the sites where history happened”. This book transports you to those places through well-researched, well-told text and vivid historical photographs.
Sources of the River, by Jack Nisbet (Sasquatch Books, 1994)
Jack re-creates the life and times of David Thompson – fur trader, explorer, surveyor, and mapmaker who blazed the way West before Lewis and Clark. As a result of adding his own observations Jack has created a fascinating story of two men discovering the Northwest Territory almost two hundred years apart. (Author Jack Nisbet lives in Spokane and has traveled on the Missouri River as a ROW interpretive guest.) Highly recommended.
The Biography of a Grizzly, by Ernest Thompson Seton (University of Nebraska Press, 1987).
Seton wrote over 60 books around the turn of the century and was the main person to bring to Western consciousness the idea of wild animals having personalities and character, sharing life struggles similar to humans. This book is the story of the life of a grizzly cub who grows up alone in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming. Highly recommended.
The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter (University of New Mexico Press, 1976).
The true story of a Cherokee boy’s unique education in the 1930’s. A wonderful book that shows the stark contrast between the values, awareness and relationship with nature of the Indians versus those of white people. Highly recommended.
The River Reader, by John A. Murray (The Lyons Press, 1998).
A collection of writings that is composed of both classic selections and contemporary writings from twenty-two diverse writers that are devoted to a single environmental subject.
The Weiser Indians: Shoshoni Peacemakers, by Hank Corless (The Caxton Printers, Ltd., 1996).
“This book documents Indian-white relations in the southwestern Idaho during the time of initial white encroachment onto Indian lands. It also offers a perspective on all native peoples of the northern Great Basin”. Besides that it illustrates the daily life and culture of an Idaho Indian tribe around the time of the first settlement of Idaho by white people. Highly recommended.
Undaunted Courage, by Stephen Ambrose (Simon & Schuster, 1996).
A must read! A poignant human drama of Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the opening of the American West. This book is one of the main reasons so many people are intrigued by the Lewis and Clark story. Highly recommended.
Watch - Camping with ROW Adventures
Watch - Bathroom Facilities on the River
Watch - Packing for a Day on the River
Boise Guide - ROW's short guide to Boise Idaho
White Water Craft Guide - Types of crafts we utilize on river trips
The 6 Best Wilderness Multi-Day Whitewater Rafting Trips in Idaho - Take a closer look at which trip might be best for you.
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