Difficulty IV-V
Length 28 Miles
Flow Range 450 - 2500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 28 minutes ago 291 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/12/2019 8:47 pm

River Description

The West Fork Bruneau into the Bruneau is a great 3-5 day self-support kayaking trip flowing through a remote and scenic canyon.  Paddlers can put in at Rowland, NV using good roads or cut off a few miles by putting in on unmarked confusing and hard-core dirt roads leading to Blackrock Crossing.  Unless you have a jeep, a skilled driver, and a great sense of direction, stick with Rowland. Between the two put-ins is at least one challenging rapid called Pintoe. The West Fork offers an earlier season than the adjacent Jarbidge River.  

Below Blackrock Crossing, the river promptly romps through several creeky class-III and IV rapids seperated by swift and deep flatwater. Even at 220-250 cfs on the Rowland gage, there is ample flow and depth to move really quickly between the rapids.  At those flows the most challenging rapids, Al Beam Falls and Julie Wilson Falls, are challenging and runnable Class IV+/-V rapids. At higher flows these rapids, especially Julie Wilson Falls, would become challenging Class-V rapids. After these standout rapids are more Class-III and IV creeky rapids and lots more fast flatwater to the confluence with the Jarbidge. 

The West Fork generally lacks the dramatic narrow slot canyons of other nearby runs and the downstream Brunea River; however, the tall cliffs, challenging rapids, interesting rock formations, ancient junipers, and deep remote canyon all provide stunning scenery. Birds of prey abound.  here are a lot of grazing impacts on the West Fork, caused by some of the wildest cows you will encounter in the US. Besides the grazing impacts and the occassional old fence, paddlers will likely see virtually no sign of humans in the canyon.  Camping opportunities are ample and scattered all along the river. Bring a water filter, and be prepared for anything because this area is extremely remote. The roads on the map that are 5-10 miles from the river are generally dirt-tracks that might not see a car in any given week or month.      

Gage: Rowland, NV
Lat / Longitude data are very approximate.


Rapid Descriptions


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Doug Nicholson
2 years ago

Poison Ivy can be abundant on this section and barbed wire across the river in the first 10 miles is a possibility. To portage JW Falls take out left side and go high... it can be a long portage.

Gage Descriptions

This gage is on the main Bruneau, and thus should be used only as a guide.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports



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Idaho Proposes Registration Fee for Non-Motorized Boats

John Gangemi

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Idaho is proposing a $13 registration fee for non-motorized boats greater than 7 feet in length. Under this registration fee proposal all kayaks and rafts on Idaho waters would be required to have a registration sticker fixed to the bow of each boat greater than 7 feet in length. Stickers would not be transferable between boats. Out of state boaters would be required to comply as well.

article main photo

Can You Taste Victory?

American Whitewater

FERC revokes Preliminary Permit for
hydropower project on Boundary Creek in
Northern Idaho.

Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1212891 06/12/19 n/a updated image position
1190329 05/18/08 n/a n/a