The Lower Owyhee has been compared to Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon National Parks but in the end it probably defies direct comparisons. The river is a land of hot springs and hoodoos, of towering bluffs and windswept plateaus, of jaw dropping beauty and awe inspiring loneliness. It is extremely remote, bizarrely beautiful, unpredictable, sometimes haunting, very wild, and rarely seen. Our Lower Owyhee Inflatable Kayaking Expedition is six days of high adventure paddling and exploring the “Grand Canyon” of Oregon at a time and in a way that few have ever enjoyed it. During April and May the river is one of the most beautiful and remote rafting trips in the country. We are very excited to offer trips in June when the weather is consistently beautiful, the water is warm, we are generally the only people on the river, and there is world class small mouth bass fishing. This is a true high adventure, off the beaten path trip.
We journey down river in small maneuverable inflatable kayaks at a pace that allows plenty of time to make our way through the numerous rapids, fish, hike up the many side canyons, check out pictographs and historical sites, and enjoy the rare feeling of being in a truly remote place. Days are spent paddling down the river past towering desert bluffs and through technical and sometimes challenging low water rapids. Evenings are spent camped on sandy riverside beaches enjoying the long warm afternoons, hikes and at some camps, natural hot springs.
This is an expedition style trip – we travel lighter than on our regular rafting trips. All gear and supplies are packed in our kayaks and sometimes in very small rafts. However it is emphatically not roughing it or a backpacking style trip. We have spent many hours working with chefs to create lightweight meals that, like our rafting trips, are still three courses, delicious (grilled halibut, steak, etc.), and feature local and organic produce and products. And we have worked with our guides and gear suppliers to design camp items that are lightweight enough for trips like these but still make camping way more comfortable than people would expect.
While the camping is comfortable participants do need to be in reasonable physical condition and adventurous. The rapids are not huge and can always be walked around, but they are technical and challenging. Participants need to be able paddle their kayak down the river each day and walk along rocky shores when needed. While you do need to be in reasonable physical condition you do not need to have any previous rafting or kayaking experience. The trips start with a dry land session where you learn basic river hydrology, how to read rapids, and basic paddle skills. All of our Lower Owyhee Inflatable Kayaking trips feature a 3 to 1 guest to guide ratio.
We generally run one to two trips per year in June. It is a classic Momentum spring trip: remote, very rarely run, and with the kind of challenging logistics that we relish! We truly love showing people this place and nobody does these style trips quite like we do (if they do them at all). It’s a lightweight, high adventure trip that should not scare away those who are not used to spending nights out under the stars. Like our rafting trips you just need to bring your clothes, a toothbrush, and a big sense of adventure. If you have any questions or are wondering if this is a trip for you give us a call.