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Old 04-13-2015   #1
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 4

A friend and I are planning a road trip down from Vancouver BC to Taos. Our first stop will likely be the April 25 Sultan River release in Washington. After that we will pick our way down through Idaho. I would love to get on the Jarbridge/Bruneau if it is running.

Is anyone interested? Any beta would be much appreciated.

Ben H

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Old 04-13-2015   #2
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
Beautiful stretch of river, but pretty unlikely that you'll have enough water.

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Old 04-14-2015   #3
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 10
There probably won't be enough water

You'll need a bare minimum of 500-600 cfs on the Bruneau at Hot Springs gage for kayaks. At that flow the Jarbidge seems to go okay but the 5-mile section of the Bruneau is really boney. I've never ran it in a raft at low water but Id estimate that you'd need a minumum of about 900 or so.

Unfortunately the Jarbidge/Bruneau and Owyhee watersheds are really low on snowpack this year.
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Old 04-14-2015   #4
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 4
Thanks, maybe NF John day would work better on the drive south then try it on the way back in mid may..

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Old 04-14-2015   #5
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,147
No, there will be more water in the Jarbidge/Bruneau at the end of April/early May than the NF John Day. I bet you could paddle and IK and scrape down on the Jarbidge/Burneau then. The NF JD probably won't be floatable then unless there is some rain right before your trip. Snow pack in the John day is like 5% right now. Near 50% in Jarbidge/Bruneau. Matt L. has some photos of the Jarbidge/Burneau near 500 cfs in small rafts so could probably IK even lower. I have been on the NF JD in IKs between 750 and 800 and would not go lower than that (speaking as a low water rat).

p.s. upper Sultan rules!
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Old 04-14-2015   #6
slickhorn's Avatar
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 365
I've gone as low as 450 on the gauge. Jarbidge goes better than the B at that flow. 90% of the river is no problem, but parts of 5 mile are borderline too low.

I've run 5 mile at 500 or less at least four times, in everything from a loaded-to-the-gills 14 foot bucket boat to self-support IKs. In both boats, the crux is the same.

I don't think it has a name, but it is the early in 5mile, above Devil's Garden. You will go around a gentle left bend and, too late to stop and scout, or otherwise have a plan B, you will face a river-wide picket fence.

There is one move. It is leftish cutting hard left, almost to the bank, the back right. It isn't obviously the line from above. It's tighter in the IK than in the raft because you can pull the move in the raft. In both boats it's about as tight a move as could be considered runnable.

my first time, boat scouting in the 14 footer raft, a crew had wrapped cat boats on the picket fence. looked pretty epic. made my move but couldn't stop in time to help them.

if you have legit IV-V mank skills, go for it. those canyons are sublime and a little groveling is a minor price to have it to yourselves. hasn't stopped me from goin' back and I'd do a 500 lap again anyday.

Iks might be friendly on the hip-checks than creekers though.
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Old 04-15-2015   #7
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 478
Ran the J/B last spring at 700. Felt like plenty of water everywhere to us, in packrafts. We had one guy in a hardshell creeker join us at the put in, and I don't remember him complaining about lack of water. Seemed like a great flow.
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Old 04-15-2015   #8
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
I paddled the Jarbidge in 1998 with a group of 8, 2 in my dad's smallish 13' raft and 6 kayakers of varied skill. The level was about 3000 on the Jarbidge, it was a survival trip. I'll never forget it. We found a lot of wood that year, most likely from all of the flash floods just before we arrived. We made it to the Bruneau and paid a shuttle service to get us out of there before something bad happened lol. I'd love to go back and run the Bruneau. 3000 is a high on the Jarbidge
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 05-22-2015   #9
GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 478
Bam: USGS Current Conditions for USGS 13168500 BRUNEAU RIVER NR HOT SPRING ID

729cfs this AM. Hope somebody's getting some.

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