Friday, January 10, 2014
Owyhee River – Oregon
There’s this river…
|Owyhee River BLM Signage|
…Not many have run it, and the odds are you’ve never heard of it.
Because of its remoteness. Though it courses over 346 miles, through Northern Nevada, Southwest Idaho and Southeast Oregon, it’s among the more remote commercially runnable rivers in the western U.S. (The nearest settlement to the put in, a place called Rome, which seems an ironic name for a place on the ghost end of ghost town.)
|Contrary to the saying, there’s only one road leads to Rome.|
Because its flow is lower and more fickle—and its runnable window shorter—than most. If a river’s main stem is to a trunk what a tributary is to a branch, then the trunk of this branch is the well-known and voluminous Snake River. But unlike the mighty waterway into which it flows, this river is low volume, not big water, which, among other things, limits the size and type of watercraft with which one can navigate it. In addition, the window for running it is early in the season and short induration (usually two to three weeks in late April/early May), which means less predictable, likely colder weather conditions.
Because of these barriers to entry, this river remains known to few and run by far fewer still.
But to those who know it, for those who’ve run it, the Owyhee River must rank among the most incredible, unsung river trips in the Western United States—for it’s remoteness, for it’s scenic beauty, and for its rich natural and human history.
|Owyhee River Canyon|
|South Side of Pruitt’s Castle|
|The Chalk Basin|
|Native American Petroglyphs|
|Riverside Hot Spring|