This is an absolutely fantastic river trip due to some spectacular scenery and a few great Class IV rapids. Fewer people do the Middle Owyhee than the Lower Owyhee due to the narrower flow window (1200 - 3000 cfs), smaller camps, and the Class V+ Widowmaker.

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When flows are above 2,000 cfs negotiating Widowmaker becomes incredibly difficult to catch an eddy on the right just before the main drop which makes scouting (and portaging) more difficult. Widowmaker is like other Class V+ rapids. You'll see exactly where to go and then you'll see the sieves and undercut wall and wonder if you can make the move to avoid them. Most people choose to portage or line the rafts down the right side.

Beautiful Canyons of the Middle Owyhee River

Beautiful Canyons of the Middle Owyhee River

The vertical canyon walls here are downright breathtaking.

Trip Highlights

Mile 0: You put-in at Three Forks which is near the confluence of the North Fork, Middle Fork, and Main Stem of the Owyhee.

Mile 1.5: The Ledge which is a long Class IV rapid with a tricky (and fun) entrance. The rapids below here are fairly straightforward.

Dropping over The Ledge on the Middle Oywhee River

Dropping over The Ledge on the Middle Oywhee River

Mile 10.3: Half Mile (IV) is as long S-Turn Rapid quickly followed by the Raft Flip (III). The next 10 miles bring the rapids Subtle Hole (III), Bombshelter Drop (III+), Sharks Tooth (II+), and Finger Rock.

Mile 15: Subtle Hole (III) and Bombshelter Drop (III+) are fun rapids. There is a great cave camp in Bombshelter Cave on the left just below Bombshelter Drop.

Mile 21: Widomaker (V+) is about a mile below Soldier Creek. This drop is runnable, but most people line and/or portage it on the right side. About five miles past Widowmaker the canyon opens up and the rapids are Class II and easier. You'll be floating through private farmland as you approach Rome where you can take out or continue down the Lower Owyhee.

Mile 37: Take-out at Rome.

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