Advice for Owyhee in early July

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Jimmyphatfingers
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:19 am

Advice for Owyhee in early July

Post by Jimmyphatfingers » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:28 am

I'm trying to research from NY, and I've been planning a week or so on the owyhee in ID and/or OR first week in July. Is there enough flow there in July? If not, I'm keen on other suggestions. I'm not at all averse to full days of hiking between rivers. 7-8 days probably.

CaptainPepper
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:03 pm

Re: Advice for Owyhee in early July

Post by CaptainPepper » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:14 am

Even with last year's large snowpack, flows got too low by mid-late June.

Note the current snowpack in the Owhyee headwaters (surrounds the NV/OR/ID corners) here:
https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... update.pdf
It's roughly 40% of normal for this date. There are storms on the way, but it would take something truly special for that snowpack to recover meaningfully. In fact, these next few storms might be warm enough to deplete the snowpack rather than build it.

Now, looking at historical flows. Here is a hydrograph from 2016 (larger snowpack than this year so far)
https://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv ... 2016-06-15

The last usable flows dropped out beginning of June that year.

If you are set on the timing of your trip, I would look at:
Minam River (melts out much later, wilderness class IV)
DuMor route or stuff in the Gros Ventre (good snowpack this year)
Bob Marshall zone (good snowpack this year, some stuff could still be too high early July!)
Simply put, you'll have to look at higher elevation stuff, and towards the northeast from the Owhyee zone.

Reneebeth
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:29 pm

Re: Advice for Owyhee in early July

Post by Reneebeth » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Too low is relative, I packrafted the OR section of Owyhee in July two years ago, it was 200 when I put on at 5 bar, and 140 when I got to Rome, but Class III were fun, and it was a true wilderness experience with big portages, incredible views, no people, and flatwater paddling.

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