TRIP DURATION: 5-7 Days
RETURN TIME: 5:00 PM PST Boise, Idaho
BOAT TYPE: Paddle Raft, Oar Raft, Inflatable Kayaks
The Lower Owyhee River Rafting Trips
5 days. 50 miles.
This is the most approachable section of the Owyhee as the rapids are easy to moderate in nature and we are able to use our larger 16' rafts and run more of a "normal" rafting trip with the usual amenities that make for very comfortable and cushy camping. Our put-in is near the town of Rome with our take-out being at Birch Creek. During the trip we visit several wonderful hot springs where we try to spend a night or two. Camps are set on sand beaches. We see some dramatic geologic formations along the way, some of which are similar to the Dakota badlands. There are plenty of hiking possibilities and plenty of camp time for relaxing, photography, and bird watching. The best choice for those who don't want the tough whitewater of the Middle Section, or the expedition-quality of the Upper sections. Trips are limited to 16 guests and four guides.
The put-in is around 5000' elevation near the Duck Valley Indian Reservation and will vary with our take-out usually at the Three Forks launch site. Due to the numerous rapids and narrow, rocky courses, we use a small 13' raft to carry the community camp equipment, and each person or couple paddles their own inﬂatable kayak. There are at least two portages on this section and we travel light in order to minimize the delay and hard work these present. Due to the extreme remoteness and inaccessibility of the area, wildlife sightings are best on this part of the river. This canyon is as remote as anyplace on the North American continent.
The Upper Owyhee River Rafting Trips - South Fork Details
Meeting Time: All trips meet the evening before the launch date. For trips on the Upper Owyhee we meet in Boise, Idaho. Trips on the Middle or Lower Owyhee meet in Boise for those who ﬂy and Jordan Valley, Oregon for those driving.
For Lower and Middle Owyhee River Trips your ROW team leader will meet you the evening before your trip either at the Boise airport at 5:00 PM Mountain Time (if you ﬂy) or at 7:30 PM Mountain Time at Jim’s Shell Motel in Jordan Valley, Idaho (if you drive). At the motel in Jordan Valley, we’ll have a brief meeting to answer your questions and give you your waterproof bags to pack. This is an important meeting, so please be on time. Early the next morning (usually about 7:30am) we leave in our van for the 30 minute drive to our put-in at Rome for Lower Owyhee trips, or for a one-hour drive to Three Forks for Middle Owyhee trips. At the end of the trips, we’ll drop off those who have cars in Jordan Valley at the motel around 4pm. You may want to spend the night or begin driving home. Then, those who met us in Boise will continue in our bus, arriving at the Red Lion Inn Boise Downtowner by about 6pm.
For Upper Owyhee trips, we meet everyone in Boise at 7:30pm Mountain Time the evening before the trip at the Red Lion Inn Boise Downtowner. The next morning, we depart from Boise for our 5-hour drive to the put-in. At the end of the trip, we return to Boise by 6pm. For all Owyhee river trips, if you ﬂy to Boise, it’s best not to plan to ﬂy home that night, as we don’t know our exact arrival time (muddy roads can slow down our take-out) and you’ll be ready for rest and a hot shower. For Lower and Middle Owyhee trips, be sure you arrive in Boise no later than 4:45pm the day before the trip for our 5pm airport pickup. If you are driving, then drive to Jordan Valley where you can leave your car at the motel parking lot during the course of the trip. Some travel distances and directions: From the San Francisco area, head to Reno and Winnemucca and turn north on Highway 95. Allow 10 hours. From Portland and Seattle, ﬁrst go to Bend, Oregon, then head east on Highway 20 to Burns. Then Highway 78 for 90 miles to Rome, turn north on Highway 95 for 46 miles to Jordan Valley.
Motel Accommodations: Middle and Lower Owyhee Trips - The night before your trip, we suggest you stay at Jim’s Shell Motel in Jordan Valley, Oregon. To make reservations just call them at 541-586-9244. Please Note the Jordan Valley Rodeo is always held the third weekend in May and typically ﬁlls all the hotels. For trips during this time we will meet in Boise, ID instead.
For the night after the trip if you are driving, you may want to start your drive home, or stay in Jordan Valley again. For those that ﬂy to Boise, we'll take you back to Boise this evening and suggest you stay at the Red Lion Boise Downtowner, phone number 208-344-7691. Be sure to ask for the ROW Adventures rate.
Upper Owyhee river trips - The night before and the night after the trip, stay at the Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner phone 208-344-7691. Be sure to ask for the ROW Adventures rate. They offer free airport pickup and are about 10 minutes from the airport. (Just call them using your cell phone as they do not have a courtesy phone in the airport.) You can also store extra luggage there during the trip or leave your car in their parking lot.
Don't be surprised if the people at the front desk don't know anything about ROW, although our corporate rate is coded in their computer system. Their staff turns over regularly and we are very small part of their total business.
Extra Luggage: If you have luggage that you won't be needing on the trip you can leave it at any of the motels or in your car
Our Owyhee River Whitewater Rafting Trips generally run from April to late May, with the best water levels and weather in May. Since spring is a time when weather systems tend to be less stable than in the summer, temperature ranges can be extreme, with the possibility of snow flurries and a 95-degree sun in the same day.
Our detailed packing list will tell you what you need to bring to be properly prepared. Because of the unpredictable weather and water levels, we ask that everyone who signs up for these trips be flexible and come prepared for all kinds of weather. Both high and low water can happen. In low water, we can usually run, but it might require running lighter rafts with fewer amenities. In May, on Owyhee River trips, we ask that you be willing to transfer to the Snake River in Hells Canyon should the need arise.
Our goal is always to raft the Owyhee River and you can bet we'll do everything in our power to run the trip as scheduled. If we do have to change, it won't change your logistics any, since we will still meet and end in Boise.
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, or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, 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.
- A cool day on the river.
- A warm day on the river.
- Time spent lounging in camp.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Sarong – many uses for both ladies and men
- Sundress for camp – ladies
- 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 Oregon 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!!
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.
IMPORTANT! It is important to keep your gear to no more than 25lbs! This is especially critical on the Middle Owyhee where linings or portages are possible and on the Upper Owyhee where everyone carries their own gear in their inflatable kayak.
Since many of our guests are new to guided adventures, such as rafting, canoeing and similar outdoor activities, you may be unfamiliar with customary tipping practices in this arena. Our guides are some of the best and most highly trained in the business. They not only guide your raft down the river, but also set up camp, cook and serve gourmet meals. They provide interpretation on the natural and cultural history of the area and strive to provide the highest level of hospitality. Simply put, your guides are the most important element of your travel experience.
Accordingly, when it comes to gratuities, we recommend treating your guides as you would any other hospitality professionals, such as your restaurant server or hairdresser. Whether you tip and how much you tip should depend on your satisfaction with the trip, your feelings about tipping, and your financial means. If you believe your guide deserves a tip, A gratuity of 10-20% of your trip cost is customary and very much appreciated. If you had the time of your life, then the sky's the limit!
Tips can be given to the “ROW Team Leader” at the end of the trip or at the farewell dinner in the form of cash or personal check. The Team Leader distributes them equally among the guides and gives a portion to ROW’s behind-the-scenes, unsung heroes like our drivers and food shoppers.
Terms and Conditons
Our hope is that your first trip with ROW Adventures is just one of many. Thus our goal is to provide thorough and complete communications and be clear with the details of our agreement with you. Because the fine print sometimes changes, you will receive the most current Terms & Conditions along with your travel documents at the time of booking.
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
We do our best to provide you with all kinds of great resources to prepare for your trip. These include packing lists, reading lists, detailed itineraries and more. All of our multiday river camping trips include tents, sleeping bags, and pads. In most cases, we will even help you book a hotel room prior to and after your trip. The reservation packet that we send you will include a detailed gear list of what you should bring.
Most of our trips are suitable for beginners; however, some are more active than others. A spirit of flexibility and adventure is a good thing to bring along. It’s important that you understand the physical requirements for whatever trip you choose. If you’re not sure about this, or you’re not sure which trip or date will best meet your needs, please call for advice from our talented and knowledgeable Adventure Consultants. Be sure to read the “Trip Member’s Responsibility” below and if you have any medical concerns we encourage you to speak with your doctor before reserving space on a trip.
If you are planning a special event during the trip such as a birthday or anniversary, please let us know as always have a few surprises up our sleeves. On our trip application form, you can indicate any food need you might have and we’re happy to accommodate those.
HOW TO SIGN UP
To make a reservation, please contact us by one of the following methods:
1) Call us at 800-451-6034 – Monday-Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 pm Pacific Time.
2) Send us an email at info@ROWadventures.com
3) Use the “Book Now” tab found on some trip pages on our website.
We accept all major credit cards for the initial deposit. When we receive your reservation request we will hold your space and send you a confirmation packet including, invoice, trip application, waiver, and a suggested packing list. However, confirmation is not final until we also receive a copy of your completed trip application and deposit. Credit cards are accepted for deposits – balance is preferred by check. Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee. While it is often possible to join one of our trips on short notice, space is limited and we recommend you sign up well in advance.
The following deposit amounts are required to confirm your space(s) within 10 days of your reservation:
Trips lasting 6 or more days: $600 per person.
Trips lasting 5 days: $500 per person.
Trips lasting 4 days: $400 per person.
Trips lasting 3 days: $300 per person.
USA-based trips: Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure.
Prices are based on a 3% cash discount. You are welcome to pay the final balance with a credit card with an additional 3% administrative fee.
Reservations made after the balance due date must be paid in full at the time of booking. We reserve the right to cancel your reservation if full payment is not received by the due date.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately. If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit. Deposits are not refundable. If cancellations are made on or after the final due date, no money will be refunded. If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself. Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore, we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason, we strongly recommend you consider purchasing the Travel Protection Plan ROW offers.
If you transfer from one trip to another, there is a $75 per person charge for USA-based trips (within the same season) up until 60 days prior to departure. Transfers made after these times are treated as cancellations.
GROUP AND CHARTER RATES
On most trips, we offer a Group Rate for groups of 10 or more. We are also happy to arrange private charter trips. Contact us for details.
TRAVEL PROTECTION PLAN
We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan which can include a full trip refund should you cancel at any time for medical or health reasons. Coverage also includes medical evacuation, trip delay, and other elements. Because so many of our guests purchase this plan, we add the cost to your invoice as a convenience and it becomes effective on the day your premium is received in our office. Should you not wish to purchase this travel plan, simply deduct its cost from your invoice.
TRIP MEMBER'S RESPONSIBILITY
Trip members have the responsibility to select a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. We are happy to discuss the trip with you if you have any questions or concerns. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficiently good health to undertake the trip. Members are also responsible for studying all pre-departure information; for bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as detailed therein and, for acting in a manner considerate of fellow group members.
Any person who is diabetic, epileptic, or asthmatic or has a history of heart trouble, is allergic to bee/scorpion stings or takes daily prescription drugs should include this information on the reservation form or inform our office. Trip members will also alert their guide (s) of any medical history that could become a problem on the trip. People with a history of heart trouble, pregnant women or any other potentially serious medical condition should consult their doctor before coming on a trip.
RESPONSIBILITY ~ AN IMPORTANT NOTICE
Payment of your deposit represents your acceptance of the following conditions: ROW Inc., ROW Oregon LLC and Remote Odysseys Worldwide, Inc. (dba ROW Adventures), its subsidiaries and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agents for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services, and assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever for injury, loss or damage to person or property, however caused, in connection with any service, including, but not limited to, that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, irregularity, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from strikes, theft, quarantine, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, government restrictions or regulations, civil disturbances, and discrepancies or changes in transit over which we have no control.
ROW Adventures reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good-faith discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or re-price any tour, trip, or expedition. This includes the possibility of moving to a different river or river segment due to extreme water conditions, forest fires, road closures and/or acts of God. If we are not able to provide a substitute trip, river, or altered itinerary and have to cancel the departure completely, you will be refunded in full. Refunds are limited to the amount actually paid to ROW Adventures.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to cancel trips that are below the trip minimum (usually 4-5 persons). All trip members will be notified a minimum of 30 days before the trip departs and will receive a full refund.
In the event of trip cancellation, ROW Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by trip members, such as penalties incurred through the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets, medical expenses, and passport and visa fees.
ROW Inc., and ROW Oregon, LLC, each doing business as ROW Adventures, are proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider under separate permits from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and Idaho and Washington State Parks. These permits allow us to provide services and access to some of America’s most astounding resources that might otherwise be inaccessible to most members of the public.
ROW Inc. operates under special use permits granted by the Bureau of Land Management: Jarbidge, Vale, Cottonwood, Coeur d’Alene, and Judith Resource Areas. We operate under a special use permit granted by the U.S. National Forest Service on the: Salmon, Payette, Boise, Challis, Clearwater, Umatilla, and Panhandle National Forests. Also the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
ROW Oregon, LLC operates on the Rogue River under permit from the Bureau of Land Management, Medford District along with the U.S. Forest Service in Siskiyou National Forest.
All our operations and facilities are operated on a non-discriminatory basis.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.”
ROW Inc. is bonded and fully licensed by the states of Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Oregon. We are members of America Outdoors; Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association; Montana Outfitters and Guides Association; National Association of Interpretation; Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation and many other effective organizations.
If you wish to be wait-listed for a full trip, the normal deposit is required. If an opening occurs on the trip, you will be informed and automatically transferred to the trip roster if you wish to join the trip, subject to the normal cancellation policy should you accept the slot. Otherwise, your deposit will be refunded in full.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to take photographic or film records of any of our trips and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes.
ROW Adventures reserved the right to decline to accept- or restrain from further participation- any person whose actions or deportment impede trip operations or rights, welfare or enjoyment of other trip members. A refund based on the cost of unused land services is the limit of ROW Adventures’ responsibility.