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Old 03-05-2011   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Owyhee info needed...

Looking at an Upper Owyhee trip in April. Would like opinions on the safest dates (early, mid, late April) for reasonable flows, as we must commit to dates vs. watching the gauge... Self-support kayak style trip. Recommended side hikes and areas worthy of further exploration would also be greatly appreciated. Also, is the Lower Owyhee a worthwhile float relative to the Upper? Should we be aiming to hit them both while we are there? Thanks to anyone willing to share their knowledge of the area.

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Old 03-05-2011   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
I meant to ask about the Middle Owyhee and the Lower Owyhee in this post...

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Old 03-05-2011   #3
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
This attachment should have most of what you're looking for.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf owyhee.pdf (1.96 MB, 256 views)
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Old 03-05-2011   #4
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
El Flaco, thanks for the PDF really nice document.

Have attempted to do parts of the Owyhee several times but missed out due to low water. I understand the put in road is class 5 and you want to hire a shuttle vendor that provides the truck and driver if at all possible. any suggestions on shuttle as we may try again to do a run.

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Old 03-05-2011   #5
El Flaco's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
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Posts: 1,879

Unfortunately, I haven't gotten on it yet - it's just been on my list for a long time.

The BLM info is here: Owyhee River | Oregon/Washington | Bureau of Land Management (BLM) | US Department of the Interior
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Old 03-06-2011   #6
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vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
River is gorgeous. We did with launch date last year early june around 1400 cfs at put in and maybe 800 cfs at take out. The road wasn't too bad but it was mostly dried ruts. The portage was tough at widowmaker but not an issue for yakers

Call me I'd be happy to talk about it but keep in mind we did rafts so it may not be valuable info
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Old 03-06-2011   #7
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 222
there are trip reports for the Three Forks to Rome and Rome to Leslie Gulch at;
I have yet to do this run but many of my friends have done both so I'll offer up some second hand info; lots more whitewater on the Three Forks run though it peters out towards the end. They also reported that the hot springs upstream from the Three Forks put-in is amazing.Compared to our local overnighter; the Illinois, Three Forks was easier at the same flow. And though a beautiful trip everyone agreed the Jarbridge/Bruneau they liked better especially as a self-support trip. For my whitewater crazed group the lower was deemed a camping trip. Also of note they once paddled the Donner and Blitzen river on the way home and said it was fun. Also the East Fork Owhyee looks like it would be fun too.
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Old 03-17-2011   #8
over the horizon
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Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 267
She's screamin right now...

USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 13181000 OWYHEE RIVER NR ROME OR
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Old 03-18-2011   #9
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 42
We have been researching for a trip on the lower Owyhee, and here is what I have learned so far. Note that snowpack is 103% of normal, an average snowpack year.



The season on the Owyhee is relatively short and variable. The minimum flow for rafts on the lower Owyhee is often listed as 1000 to 1400 cfs, with high water variously described at 3000, 4000, or 8000 cfs. One NRS group, including a raft, ran it at 500-600 cfs in May of 2009, so a low water run is possible.
Weather: Average high for Rome Oregon for March is 54, average low 26. April 62/30, May 71/36, June 81/43, July 91/49, August 90/47, September 80/39, Oct. 67/32.
Streamflow, March Average 2400 cfs, April 2800, May 2000, June 850, July 250. 2006 was a relatively wet year, with the cfs going above 1000 cfs on Feb 28th, peaking at 26,000 cfs on April 6th, and dropping below 1000 cfs June 6th. 2007 was a very dry year, with flow peaking at 4600 cfs February 12th, and being above 1000 from March 8 to March 16th. It was above 500 cfs March 8 to April 30th, so a very short season. 2009 was an average year, the flow went above 1500 cfs April 9th, and stayed above 1500 cfs until April 30th. It went above 1000 cfs March 17th, and way above 1000 cfs until May 12th, so an 8 week season. The peak was March 18 at 5700 cfs. In 2008, average year, it went over 1000 cfs March 12th, and stayed above 1000 cfs until June 9th, so a three month season.
Open boater.
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Old 03-19-2011   #10
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 614
Iíve boated from Deep Creek into the EF and on to the reservoir.

The upper canyon was grander than I was expecting. Itís similar in geology to the Burneau above Three Forks just not as continuous of a canyon. Starting at Deep Creek makes for short shuttle, but you start off bashing willows. The difficult rapids happen in only a few spots and a lot of the run is flatwater.

From Three Forks to Rome is the whitewater run, but the dark basalt canyon didnít appeal to me as much as the scenery up and down stream. Itís a lot like the Taos Gorge.

After Rome the river flows thru mostly open but scenic country. Easy rapids at modest flows occur where the river flows thru the dark basalt again or where side draws join.

The worst road I drove was the one into Three Forks since we hired a motorboat tow on the reservoir. It's not steep just soft when wet and gets deep ruts if driven on then.

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