Earlier this month the hit a high water mark of just over 100,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) after three days of locally heavy rains overwhelmed the tributaries that feed into the river. It’s only hit this benchmark 15 times since 1960 with two historic flood events in 1964 and 1997 when the river raged at over 200,000 cfs.
The Statesman Journal reported on February 12 that three local guides Will Volpert, Aaron Lieberman, and Hunter Connolly, the youngest in the group who actually kayaked, accomplished what may have been the first successful rafting and kayaking attempt at flood stage on the wild and scenic section of the River. What is typically a 3 or 4 day whitewater adventure covering more than 35 miles at normal water flows turned into a 4 and a half hour white knuckle once in a lifetime experience for these thrill seekers. They said that a river which they know very intimately was nearly impossible to recognize. Rainie falls, a class V waterfall drop, had disappeared somewhere below the brown frothing torrent and the normally winding river pushed out of its banks and raged in nearly a straight line, according to the guys.
Nearly all of the major flood events that have occurred on the River typically happen in the winter and spring months when a combination of heavy rains and/or snow melt inundate local tributaries. Our River rafting season begins in late April and runs through to October and the ‘preferred’ water flow for the wild and scenic section that begins at Grave Creek is 1000-6000 cfs. It’s not unusual during the regular whitewater rafting season to have isolated high water events that can push the gauges close to 10,000 cfs, but still a mere fraction of the recent flood.
A River rafting trip on the wild and scenic is truly a bucket list kind of trip. There are very few places left in the lower 48 where you can still experience unbridled adventure like you will find on the River. Within the 35 mile wild and scenic corridor it’s not uncommon to see majestic bald eagles gliding on thermals above the trees, playful river otters swimming along the river bank in search of food, and curious black bears sniffing the air for an easy meal. We pride ourselves in providing a once in a lifetime whitewater rafting opportunity to experience Mother Nature on her terms.
We can plan and execute a River rafting trip that will exceed all your expectations providing you with the most experienced and knowledgeable guides, state of the art gear and equipment, and what we consider a five star dining experience with thoughtfully prepared meals that will have you rethinking what ‘roughing it’ really means. In fact, all you need to bring on a River rafting trip is your sense of adventure and a waterproof camera to capture all those Kodak moments you’re guaranteed to experience along the way.
For more information and help with planning your trip check out our page or call our office at 1-800-461-5823.