I had the chance to do a couple of trips on the Upper Owyhee River this spring. The snow melted off very slow and kept up a really nice flow for the whole season. Then a wild and wet weather pattern took hold and we were deluged with moisture for an additional month. Bottom line, we had an incredible, albeit very strange paddling season in the desert.
We started off in mid May by doing a steep canyon tributary of the Owyhee, 3 days and 27 miles with lots of swift water, but all easy with our open boats, canoes, and IK’s. lots of bizarre weather, a bit of rain, sleet, snow, sun, and finally a wind to beat on us as we flat water paddled to the final take out.
We had the brilliant idea of doing another section because the flows were holding, so we dropped of my Suburban at a remote take out, and then the next week headed back out to float. We were hit with a wild storm, and a foot and a half of snow fell. We aborted, and then tried again, another storm, this time torrential rains, the roads were absolutely impassable, mud and gumbo. Finally a month later, we were able to get on the upper section in beautiful weather. Blue skies, warmer than typical temps, and great flows. We floated another 3 days, another 27 miles of canyons, homesteads, and beautiful remote canyons. We hiked one side canyon and found a wild falls and pool, hidden up the canyon.
Another great season in the desert. This is probably the most remote area in the entire US, as we have no pavement or town for over 100 miles. What a tremendous playground