Rafting on the Lochsa provides big thrills in the early season. Lochsa, a Nez Perce word meaning "rough water," is a great early season rafting river for anyone looking for some whitewater fun.
The Lochsa season typically runs between April and mid-July. However, due to lower than average snow pack this year, the best time to raft the Lochsa is in May and June. But fear not: the lower water levels still provide BIG rapids, though not as big as in most years, making it an ideal season for a somewhat less intense rafting experience.
While some people are worried about the lower than normal water levels due to the low snowpack this year, our founder and owner Peter Grubb, who has been guiding on the Lochsa since 1984, says that there will still be plenty of punch in the Lochsa this season. The season will be a few weeks shorter, but the Lochsa never disappoints. The rapids are still solid class IV's, even at lower flows. Lower flows make some rapids tougher, in fact, and overall, medium to low flows are more fun! And with the unusually warm spring weather this year, May is proving to be a great month to be on the Lochsa!
In addition, our guides are more relaxed with lower flows, and the calm stretches between the rapids last a little longer, allowing you to soak in the beautiful mountain scenery that is sometimes missed at high water.
We offer both one-day and multi-day trips on the Lochsa, so you can have your pick as to how much thrill you get!
Where to stay?
Many people who raft the Lochsa camp or stay at a local lodge. Our River Dance Lodge, just 30 miles from the Lochsa put-in, and 14 miles from Kooskia, ID, offers camping, glamping, and modern log cabin lodging. We also offer all-inclusive Lochsa packages, making it a piece of cake to book your trip and not worry about all of the details!
Looking for some more moderate whitewater rafting this summer? Consider the Snake River and Rogue River, both controlled by dams that allow for good rafting all season long (May through September), and the Salmon River Canyons that has fun, splashy rapids and warm waters during it's peak summer season in July and August.