Owyhee, Idaho, US/Oregon, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+(V) (for normal flows)|
|EF OWYHEE RIVER AT CRUTCHER CROSSING, ID|
|usgs-13176400||500 - 3000 cfs||II-III+(V)||00h32m||144 cfs (too low)|
|OWYHEE RIVER NR ROME OR|
|usgs-13181000||800 - 6000 cfs||II-III+(V)||01h04m||405 cfs (too low)|
The Upper Owyhee begins where the flow converges from Duck Valley in Idaho and continues in to Oregon. The 36 mile trip below Crutcher typically takes 2 to 3 days to Three Forks or you may continue on downstream to Rome or farther. The canyon is magnificent. Most of the run is a float trip but there are a few class III rapids and a couple of more challenging rapids: Cabin and Cable.
Cabin Rapid is approximately 1/2 mile long and if you plan to scout you will want to do it in stages. It is easily recognized by the stone cabin on river right, followed by a right bend. At the top of the rapid, run left of the giant boulder that splits the current, because the right side leads to narrow slots between huge boulders. The flow combines beyond the giant boulders into a class III-IV big water section, then a brief slowdown at lower flows, then the river splits again around a cobble island and the whitewater continues. Either side can be run, but at 1100 at Crutcher the left entrance, then cutting to the right below the island, had eddies for boat scouting.
There are three relatively easy class III rapids in the space between Cabin and Cable.
Cable Rapid is easily recognized by its increased gradient leading toward a line of boulders with no obvious passage. Eddy right to scout. There is a cable affixed to boulders on river right that has been used by fishermen to portage their boats. The right channel leads to an impassable sieve. The center slot may be runnable by a kayak. The far left slot looks runnable however the move to get left is class V in difficulty and hazard, at least at 1100cfs. I'm told the rapid is easily runnable in canoes at very low water, and it probably develops into hellishly big holes at high water, though a left sneak may open up.
Hiring a shuttle is recommended for this run.
Self issue permit can be downloaded from BLM website.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
Named after the steel cable