Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon River Adventures
Owyhee Canyon

Oregon's Owyhee River


The Owyhee River is a birdwatchers paradise and a photographers dream! If you are fascinated by geology, the desert in bloom, birds in flight, and Indian petroglyphs join SUNDOG EXPEDITIONS for a spring raft trip down this fascinating and intimate river.

With its headwaters in Nevada, Southeast Oregon's Owyhee is a true desert river. The pristine waters flow freely through the basalt gorges, open badlands, and sagebrush valleys of the Owyhee Uplands, until they meet the Snake River waters on the Oregon-Idaho border. The Owyhee, which was included in the National Wild and Scenic River Systems by Congress in 1984, is characterized by dramatic geologic formations! The pinnacle towers, colorful spires, and sheer canyon walls work together to create an inspiring, and at times surreal, environment. Located on the Pacific bird flyway, the river corridor provides passage in April and May for migrating birds as they head north for the summer months and the spring wildflowers are in abundant bloom! What more can we say?

Owyhee River

Owyhee River Photos

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  • Trip Details
  • Experience, Age, Fitness
  • Equipment Supplied
  • Weather
  • River Classification
  • Travel
  • FAQ'S

The tripOwyhee River
Our trips begins in Boise, Idaho where we meet to ride by van to our put-in at Rome, Oregon. Our float commences in agricultural lands, but we soon pass through the "Walls of Time" on our way into the spectacular steep canyon, where the geology is dominated by recent volcanic activity. We will float, run exciting whitewater, hike, camp, and explore in this gorgeous river canyon on our way to our take-out point at either Birch Creek or Leslie Gulch, on the other side of the Owyhee Reservoir.  Along the way we may visit fields of basalt erratics (boulders) covered with Indian petroglyphs and hike to the rim of Chaulk Basin.

Camping along the river
In keeping with the nature of the place, SUNDOG EXPEDITIONS provide a participatory experience. We camp daily along the river on beautiful sand beaches with backdrops of arches and spires. You will be involved in setting up camp and if so inclined, you will have the opportunity to help the crew in the preparation of meals.

Experience, age, and fitness
We recommend the Owyhee River trip for children 12 years of age and older and there is no upper age limit. You should be reasonably healthy because river trips require a certain amount of physical exertion. If you have a health condition you should have physician approval before embarking on any river trip. Persons with handicaps and challenges are welcome on our trips, we will need to talk with you to be sure we can meet your special requirements and needs for safety.

Owyhee River

SUNDOG EXPEDITIONS provides each guest with a Coast Guard Approved/Type V Lifejacket, all eating utensils (including plates, bowls, and flatware), an insulated coffee mug with lid, a high quality 3-season tent (double occupancy), waterproof bags for personal gear, and storage for breakable items.

Since the weather can be variable and layers are always a good bet. When you sign up for a trip with us, you will receive an information package which will include a detailed list of what you will need to bring with you to be comfortable both on the river and at camp.

Sundog Expeditions has Rental Sleepkits available. Each kit includes a high quality sleeping bag, pillow, pillowcase, sheet, ground cloth and a comfortable sleeping pad (paco pad). Rentals are $40 per person/trip. All sleeping gear is thoroughly laundered after each use.

Owyhee River

WeatherOwyhee Flowers
The Owyhee Rivers trips will often be dry because its located in a sagebrush desert.  You should be prepared for variabilit,. it is often warm and sunny, but it can become windy, cold, and rainy for extended periods of time. Temperatures range from the mid 20's to 50's (Fahrenheit) at night, and daytime in the50's- 70's and occasionally the 80's. It is usually cool while we are floating on the river.

River classification
Class III WhitewaterOwyhee River

Lodging and accommodations
Our Owyhee trips base out of Boise, Idaho. Comfortable accommodations can be made there before and after the trip. We suggest you stay at the Best Western Vista Inn located at 2645 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho 1-800-727-5006. The Vista Inn is located near the Boise Airport and provides a free airport shuttle and luggage storage (space is limited so soft-sided luggage is recommended). If driving you can leave your vehicle at the Inn for $5.00 per day.

Travel Logistics
When you sign up for a trip with us you will receive a detailed information pack which will include information on travel and accommodations

By air, fly to Boise, Idaho
By Air fly to Boise Idaho Most major airlines serve the Boise Airport

If you are planning to drive If you are driving to Boise, Idaho we recommend that you consult one of the travel planners found on the internet for directions. *Rental cars should be reserved well in advance to insure availability during peak traveOwyhee Birdsl times.

Meals and Food
All meals will be provided on the river beginning with lunch before we launch on the first day of your trip and ending with lunch on the river before we reach our take-out. We serve a wonderful menu of delicious and healthy foods. Including fresh fruits, vegetables and meats which we carry in large coolers. Each evening and morning your crew will prepare amazing meals and lunch will be prepared on the river at around noontime. We are able to accommodate most all dietary requests and requirements.

A sample menu for one day might go something like this...For Breakfast, Fresh Brewed Coffee, Tea, and Orange Juice, Blueberry Pancakes with real Maple Syrup, Thick-sliced Bacon, and Grapefruit and Orange Compote. For Lunch on the river...Mexican Burrito Wrap Sandwiches with Tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa. And later on at camp, Egg Drop Soup, Marinated Mushrooms, Gouda Cheese and Crackers. Dinner of fresh Curried Shrimp served with Balsamic Rice and a fresh Caesar Salad. For Dessert...Cheesecake!

Bathing You may bathe using river water at any of our camps. To keep the Owyhee River clean all soap is rinsed off above the annual high water mark. Bring your soap, shampoo, and a towel and our guides will tell our everything you will need to know. Sundog Expeditions practices LOW IMPACT camping techniques.*
Owyhee River
Toilet order to maintain the pristine camps on the Salmon River we carry out all waste and trash. Each day when you arrive at camp your guides will set up a private portable toilet system. Please don't worry! Your comfort is paramount and your crew will explain everything you need to know at the very beginning your trip

Campfires are made in fire pans to avoid scorching the sand or soil and allowing us to remove the ash from our campsite, leaving a no trace camp.

Our guides work very hard to provide a great trip for you. At your discretion, a tip may be left with your trip leader and will be appreciated by all of your crew