Owyhee River arises from the mountains of northern
Nevada and southern Idaho, because the snowpack
in the headwaters is normally not deep, the springtime
runoff is rather short-lived despite the impoundment
at Antelope and Wild Horse reservoirs far upstream.
The Owyhee River has cut a canyon as deep as 3,000
feet down through volcanic rock. In many places
the cliffs rise 1,000 feet straight up from the
river in a smaller version of the Grand Canyon.
The countryside is arid with little vegetation
and no inhabitants. The steepness of the cliffs
and narrowness of the canyon provide a fascinating
particular stretch of the river has an interesting
diverse landscape. The canyon in general
is broad and shallow, although there are
several stretches with narrow, steep-walled
inner canyons. The predominant basalts found
in the upper canyon are interbedded with
rhyolitic ash and sediments, which add various
shades of white, red, green, and black to
the canyon walls. Lambert Rocks are colorful
badlands eroded from these sediments.
and one-half miles from the Rome put in; Crooked
Creek comes in on the left, marking the start
of the canyon. The canyon opens for several miles;
about 6 miles below Crooked Creek is Upset Rapids,
class III, followed by Bullseye, class II-III.
Artillery Rapids (mile 21.5) is a straightforward
class III. About 1 mile below this rapid, Rustlers
Cabin makes a nice break stop along the right.
The cabin has been badly damaged over the last
ten years, and only some of the walls remain.
Old farm equipment and rock corrals here are impressive
historic sights. Look for a hot spring near the
river within the marshy area if you crave a warm
Rocks rise majestically along the left 2 miles
beyond Rustlers Cabin. After beautiful Lamert
Rocks, Bogus Creek Falls is seen on the right
at mile 27.5. Another 1.5 miles farther is class
III Dogleg; after 2 more miles comes Whistling
Bird Rapids, class IV-. Continuing along, the
next rapid you encounter is Montgomery rapid,
the canyon narrows dramatically as it makes an
S-turn and then widens again. Next look for beautiful,
spring-fed Rinehart Creek which cascades down
the left bank. Just downstream of Rinehart Creek
is Morcum Dam rapid, formed by the remains of
an old diversion dam for Hole-in-the-Ground Ranch.
mile below the ranch, on the left, look for some
historic Indian petroglyphs on rock slabs near
the river. Respect the area and take only photos.
A hot spring is located at a grassy spot on the
left just 2 miles below the petroglyphs. We will
take out at Birch Creek Historic Ranch on the
4 day trip and continue on to Leslie Gulch on
the 5- day trip for a powerboat pull to the take
trip is always a custom package for your group
lasting from 4-5 days. The menu, launch points/take
out points may be altered upon request. Call well
in advance for your reservations – prices
will vary depending on trip options.
This is a spectacular early
Spring river adventure that all river enthusiasts
headwaters of the Owyhee River are in Nevada.
After flowing through Idaho, it crosses the Owyhee
uplands of southeastern Oregon, eventually flowing
into the Snake River. The river has cut deep canyons
into the landscape which reveal a geologic history
beginning nearly 14 million years ago.
river exposes strata of miocene, pliocene, and
pliestocene eras. The Owyhee offers breathtaking
towering cliffs, above the river, picturesque
multilti-colored geological formations of basalt
flows interspersed with sedimentary rock and fossil
Owyhee Canyon offers a wide variety of recreational
pursuits: scenic, geologic, biologic, and historic.
The area attracts hunters, fishermen,
boaters, tourists, and scientists. Wildlife in
the gorge includes mule deer, big-horn sheep,
chukar, quail, golden eagles and a variety of