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“Fantastic Owyhee River Trip”

Wilderness River Outfitters
Reviewed May 12, 2017

On a previous trip to Oregon, I had learned about the Owyhee River. It’s only runnable for a few weeks each spring. The river sounded wonderful and I made a plan to return one day.

There are three sections to the Owyhee. The Upper and Middle Sections are very remote and have some great whitewater sections. The Lower Owyhee is easily accessible, tamer, and the scenery is less dramatic.

There are only about 3 companies that ever run the Upper and Middle Sections. Wilderness River Outfitters has been doing it for years. They offered a trip on the Upper or Middle and they also had an option to do the entire Upper and Middle back-to-back. We opted to do the combination trip for 13 days. We started in Idaho and ended up near Rome, Oregon.

We’ve done a lot of river trips all over the world. But we’ve never done one this long and in such a remote area. The scenery is fabulous and is national park quality. The canyon has stupendous rock formations and felt like a cross between Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

Wilderness River Outfitters is the perfect company for this trip. They know the river very well and they are very conscious about safety. The guides are all friendly, kind and helpful. Oh, and they’re great cooks, too! The quality of all the gear was outstanding.

If you go on the Owyhee you should be aware of a couple of things. Since the river can only be run in the spring, the weather can vary greatly. Some days were sunny and warm and others were rainy and cold. Use the drysuits offered by the company and you’ll be much more comfortable.

Also, there is a physical component of this trip that we’ve not dealt with on other rivers. Due to the remoteness and infrequent use of the river, there aren’t established trails and portage routes. Depending on water levels, there are at least 2 significant portages around unrunnable rapids. With no established trails, it means helping to haul a bunch of gear over huge boulders or while clinging to mountain slopes—sometimes for a lengthy distance.

Wilderness River Outfitters does other trips in some pretty remarkable places. They do a couple of trips in Alaska, a couple in Montana, and an annual trip on the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. They also do standard trips for the entire summer on the Middle Fork of the Salmon and the main Salmon in Idaho.

We really enjoyed this company and we’re currently looking at some of their other remote trips for the future. We hope to see Seth and his crew again sometime soon!

Date of experience: April 2017
Thank Keith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 15 of 20 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2016

My friend Gayle and I joined about 14 others for an absolutely outstanding trip down the Salmon Middle Fork last July. We had the best guides: PJ, Alex, Erin, Jessica, and Brad. Not only did they arrange for the rain to stop after the first day, but they set us up in beautiful camps the whole way. They catered to our delight in hot springs and made efforts to get us to at least 5 of them! The dutch oven cooking was amazing to behold and all the food was 5 star. We also jumped off rocks into the river, challenging our nerve and verve, made a thrilling hike down a bouldered waterfall, and lay under another high waterfall letting drops land gently on our faces. I loved paddling a raft and a kayak, and just being rowed down the river looking for wildlife. Best trip ever!

Date of experience: July 2016
Thank alc752016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2016

This is as fine an outfitter as you will find for a wilderness river trip. This is my 3rd trip with WRO. I've previously done the Middle Fork of the Flathead in Montana and the Tatshenshini River in Alaska with them and will look forward to my next trip with WRO. Their entire staff is superb, from the front office to their guides. There is no detail that is left undone. Their attention to safety is first and foremost. The food is fantastic. Their knowledge base on all their trips is tremendous as it relates to the history of the area, the geology, the botany as well as the wildlife. They have truly become great friends.

Date of experience: July 2016
Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2016

This was my seventh whitewater trip, but my first with Wilderness River Outfitters. We rafted the Middle Owyhee River. The WRO guides were very safety conscious, fun, caring, professional, and very helpful. The food was the best I've ever had on a river trip - amazing dutch oven meals! The Owyhee was spectacular and I am so glad I chose Wilderness River Outfitters to take me through the Class IV+ rapids - great fun. Trip was 4 days, 3 nights...I'm looking forward to the next trip with WRO.

Date of experience: April 2016
Thank mswestlinn2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2016

You will not find a better outfitter!! WRO has a tremendous respect for the wilderness and their trips go out of the way to pay homage to its beauty and grandeur. I've had the privilege of going on 2 trips with them (the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Montana and the Tatshenshini in Alaska) and am thrilled to be signed up for a 3rd trip this summer on the Alsek River in Alaska. Seth and Amy have carried on the first class philosophies of their parents in regards to the therapeutic beauty of the wilderness. First class guides, food and equipment.

Date of experience: January 2016
Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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