Owyhee River Trip - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-15-2016   #1
 
Willar, Utah
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Owyhee River Trip

Looking to possibly run the Owyhee river from Rome this year. I have some time off in the middle of June do you think this would be to late. I know it varies from year to year looking at the snowpack last it was just above 150% for the range. I am just looking from first hand experience from someone who has ran it before. Any advise on shuttles and logistics would be appreciated. I have a 16' raft and do not really want to do any Portages. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-15-2016   #2
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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I am praying it holds out until the last week of May when I can go. There isn't anything needing a portage. I've been trying to get some shuttle beta myself. One of my club members had a name and number Jack Tinges 541-586-2548. If I get any more shuttle information I'll pass it on.
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Old 02-15-2016   #3
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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You might get luck and be able to run it in June, I was shooting for Memorial Day weekend, but think I am going to try for April just to be safe. It is pumping right now...
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Old 02-15-2016   #4
 
La Grande, Oregon
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Very Doubtfull

I have floated the Owyhee twice, Rome down. Both time in May. I haven't seen it floatable in May for 5-6 years. I have never seen it floatable in June, but there does appear to be a good snow pack. Problem that area looses its snow early. A friend of mine put in one year after a rain. Got up the first morning and the river had dried up! Sat there three days until luckily another rain came and the got out.
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Old 02-15-2016   #5
 
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Tigard, Oregon
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In 2011 the owyhee ran through early July. It was an exceptionally high year though. Looking at historic flows you are living on borrowed time after the first week of May.
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Old 02-15-2016   #6
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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It would be crazy to see those 2011 June follows again. I think this year is shaping up to be more like 2010, which was still a good year. We floated it in June in an Aire super duper puma with 2 peeps a dog and going normal style, not really light. However, we have run down from Rome many times. When the river gets down near 1000 I would not want to be in a 16' raft, though it can be done. I have no problem taking the 14', but narrow, aire super duper puma down there at the flows we had in mid June 2010 (down to about 700 cfs), and would not hesitate to go when the flow is above 500 cfs in a 14' or smaller raft. This is not the norm. Most folks don't raft it when it is below 1000 cfs or so. There is a good chance it will be in 500 to 600+ cfs range in early to mid-June. But doubtful it would be much more than 1000 cfs unless we get some serious more snow and it comes off slowish. The reservoir will fill up a lot more this year by the time late spring/early summer comes around so take out at Birch Creek unless you can arrange for a tow out.

When rowing a raft and getting down below about 1500 to 1200 cfs, make sure to scout nuisance rapid. It is defenitely tight for a 14 foot raft or larger especially below 1000 cfs. It is hard to determine when you are approaching this rapid, and the scout along the bank sucks, but lots of folks pin badly here at low water on either the 1st or 2nd huge boulder that you have to make a tight quick s-turn ferry right then left to avoid.

Alternatively, use IK's and have a great trip guaranteed. The small mouth bass fishing in June should be ridiculous, using kayaks it is totally fine to paddle out on the reservoir to Leslie Gulch. If you do that plan on camping at echo rock hot springs along the reservoir, it is really nice. Also plan on camping at Leslie Gulch at take out and exploring for a day or 2 before heading home

The flow:


The Raf as it was packed for the above 700 cfs trip.


Or go Kayak style




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Old 02-15-2016   #7
Shapp
 
the grove, Oregon
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along towards the end of April, if snow pack is still around 150% of average for the basin, you could likely be rafting it in mid-June at 800 cfs or well above. Median daily flows are around 400 to 500 cfs in mid June, 75 percentile (25% exceedence) daily flows are around 800 to 1200 cfs during mid-June on the Rome gage.

Also along about the end of April, check in with the NRCS website for the Owyhee runoff prediction of similar year. They haven't done anything with this yet, but it should be very informative the end of April to early May as a predictor for mid-June:
ftp://ftp.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/states/i...ion/owyhee.pdf
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Old 02-15-2016   #8
swimming
 
Coastal, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Learch View Post
I am praying it holds out until the last week of May when I can go. There isn't anything needing a portage. I've been trying to get some shuttle beta myself. One of my club members had a name and number Jack Tinges 541-586-2548. If I get any more shuttle information I'll pass it on.
I would be interested in hitting that trip with you. I am going to try and do the upper in April with a couple people
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Old 02-15-2016   #9
 
Willar, Utah
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thanks for all the info. Looks like I might have to hit it earlier or go to another river in June
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Old 02-17-2016   #10
 
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Salt Lake City, Utah
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Lots of water currently coming off the snowpack with all these warm temps. If we continue this spring trend there won't be much left by May.
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