Fed from melting snow in the Jarbridge Mountains in Northern Nevada, the Bruneau River System has cut a magnificent labyrinth of deep canyons through ancient lava and sagebrush-steppe. The basalt canyons are up to 1,200 feet deep and often so narrow rivers run wall to wall. In 2009 the primitive and wild character of the Bruneua and Jarbridge Rivers was honored and protected by the establishment of the 89,996 acre Bruneau-Jarbridge Rivers Wilderness.
On Memorial Day weekend 2012, Amy McCarthy, Andy Tyson, and I walked in three miles from a graded BLM Road near Grasmere to the Frank Triguero Homestead on the West Fork of the Bruneau. Three fantastic days were spent descending sixty miles to the take out 10 miles above the town of Bruneau.
The Bruneau River was running between 300 and 350 cfs at the USGS Gage near Hot Springs, Idaho. This was an exceptionally fun level for packrafting. The water was sufficiently deep for our nimble packrafts and we handedly navigated the many steep and rocky Class 3/4 rapids.
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