The Bruneau River in southern Idaho is among the most spectacular desert rivers in the United States. Whitewater rafting connoisseurs looking for a remote wilderness river trip will find few that compare with the Bruneau River. From mellow Class II whitewater to raging Class V, each section on the Bruneau River is unique. ROW's 40-mile Bruneau trip is an incredible Idaho adventure with exciting whitewater, desert canyon scenery, and diverse wildlife and plant life.

For a longer and more exciting adventure, you can combine a Bruneau raft trip with the narrow and fast-moving whitewater of the Jarbidge River. Both the Bruneau and Jarbidge are early season rivers with limited departures.

Fast-flowing and narrow, with action-packed rapids requiring quick responses, we run small rafts on this stunning desert canyon river.

Bruneau and Jarbidge River Trip

Flowing through dramatic sheer-walled canyons, the remote Bruneau River is among the world's best-kept whitewater rafting secrets. Undammed and free-flowing, the Bruneau is only raftable during the spring snowmelt from April to mid-June. Secluded and impressive, technical and incredible, the Bruneau is one of the nation's finest desert rivers, and one of the most exciting whitewater trips we offer.

Whitewater permits for the Bruneau are strictly controlled and ROW operates just three rafting trips per year on this isolated river. Jarbidge/Bruneau Whitewater Combo trips are available by request. The Jarbidge River is a 29-mile stretch of narrow and technical whitewater that adds a lot of excitement to a Bruneau trip and shortens our trip shuttle times, but it also makes a more expedition-style trip. The tight corridors of the Jarbidge require light rafts and a portage around Jarbidge Falls, so we provide fewer creature comforts on a combination trip.

Newly designated a Wild & Scenic River by President Obama on March 31, 2009, the Jarbidge and Bruneau Rivers are truly national treasures.

The whitewater experience on these rivers is as diverse as the flora and fauna growing on the neighboring canyon hillsides. Intermediate Class II rapids and raging Class IV's keep our guests hooting and hollering when they're not busy marveling at the desert canyon's incredible kaleidoscope of life.

Wildflowers, birds, reptiles, beaver, otter, coyote, antelope, and bighorn sheep are common on the Bruneau. Campsites are set on sandy beaches among twisted juniper trees and sagebrush. And as your guides prepare the evening meal, you may want to hike up a canyon draw for sweeping views and a chance to glimpse some of the area's wildlife. After dinner, we'll sit beside the glowing embers of a campfire and admire the pinnacles of rock silhouetted against the fading evening sun.

For the nature lover and river connoisseur, whitewater rafting on the Bruneau River is a dream come true. In May the desert is in full bloom and dozens of plants are flowering, making the canyon a rainbow of color.

 

Itinerary

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.
 
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.
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.
One of the highlights of this trip is our layover day. Today we enjoy our beautiful riverside camp - perhaps taking time to explore more of this amazing river canyon or simply relax and enjoy the views!
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. 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.
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. Enjoy a hot shower and change of clothes and then meet your guides for ROW’s hosted dinner at a local restaurant around 7:00 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.

ROW. Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity recreation service provider under special use permit from the Boise and Vale Districts of the Bureau of Land Management.  

Dates & Rates

Supplementary Information

5-Day Bruneau Wilderness Rafting Trips
Departures: June 2, 9, 16; or by request
Adult Price: $1630

7-Day Jarbidge/Bruneau Wilderness Rafting Trips
Departures: May 31; June 7, 14; or by request
Adult Price: $2650

Images & Videos

FAQ & More

Why go with ROW on the Bruneau and Jarbidge River?

Experience & Awards
ROW Adventures is a seven-time National Geographic award-winning company. We haven't only been "operating" since 1979, we've never changed ownership!

Responsible Travel Ethics
We operate following the best in "responsible" or "eco" travel ethics including Leave No Trace camping and many other best practices that are sometimes forgotten about in the world of travel.

Rich Itinerary
Our itinerary is designed to visit many different points of interest, taking advantage of rock art sites, pioneer homesteads, and natural wonders in the river canyon.

Luxury Camping
Our luxury-style camping includes all camping gear such as tents, sleeping bags and thick, self-inflating mattresses. All rafting gear is also included to make things easy for you.

Guides Like No Others
Your trip is enriched by knowledgeable guides who share the canyon's cultural and natural history. No other company trains guides like we do, and most of our guides are also Certified Interpretive Guides through the National Association for Interpretation.

Carefully Orchestrated
Our guides are divided into a "guest crew" and a "kitchen crew." While the kitchen crew prepares dinner, our guest crew is available to spend time with you, lead a hike, show you how to cast a fishing line or simply sit in the shade and visit. This is a fundamental distinction between us and others.

Sharing Our Passion
Guides join you at all meals, sharing conversation and laughter at meal times and around the campfire.

All-inclusive
Complimentary beer, wine, juice and soda, all in moderate quantities, is provided. We are proud to serve fine local Northwest wines. We always have plenty of ice!

Your Security First
We carry satellite telephones on all trips - for emergency use only.

Local Support
Our trips support local hotels, on our farewell dinner we eat in a local restaurant, we hire local guides and buy all our trip provisions and food in local communities. This means our trips and the money you pay for them has a significant impact to our local area. Our trips offer an excellent opportunity for our guests to interact with locals, providing a cultural element that allows you to learn more about the American West.

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