River (66.5 miles) Rome to Leslie Gulch
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. The countryside is arid with
little vegetation and no inhabitants. The steepness of the cliffs
and narrowness of the canyon provide a fascinating experience.
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 soak.
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 continue
past Birch Creek Historic Ranch to Leslie Gulch for a powerboat
pull to the take out.
trip is always a custom package for your group lasting from
5-7 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.
is a spectacular early Spring river adventure that all river
enthusiasts should experience!