OwSR No. 16: Owyhee River

Hike Out Camp on the Owyhee River

Hike Out Camp on the Owyhee River | Photo: Michael Hughes

Quick Facts

  • Managing Agency: Vale District (BLM)
  • Designated Stretch: Idaho/Oregon Border to Owyhee Reservoir, excluding the Rome Valley from China Gulch to Crooked Creek
  • Designation Length: 120 miles (120 miles Wild)
  • Outstanding Remarkable Values: Recreation, scenic, geologic, cultural, wildlife
  • Wild and Scenic River Designation: October 19, 1984

More Information

Celebrated by Emily Little, Brodie Sullivan, Michael Hughes, Courtney Donald, Kristen Bryson and guests on a five day Northwest Rafting Company trip from Rome to Birch Creek that started on May 10, 2017.


Raft on the Owyhee RiverMichael Hughes: The Oywhee River came onto my radar when I first moved to Oregon in 2010. I had heard stories of deep canyons, sweeping desert landscapes, and a remote river with weather that changes faster than the scenery. After a drought and a couple years of low snowpack and rain I finally got on the river. We showed up to Rome late in the afternoon, rigged, and floated downstream as the sun went down. The following days were solid gray overcast but warm with a river and tall canyon walls all the our selves. Night three gifted us a spectacular lightening show, with high winds, and a hailstorm that left the ground covered in a blanket in pea sized ice balls. The storm only last about 20 minutes, but gave us a good story. I always think back to the first trip down the Oywhee when the weather turns bad. I watch the snowpack throughout the winter and keep a close eye on what is happening down in the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Learn about Oregon Wild and Scenic River No. 17: The Metolius River >>


Northwest Rafting Company Exploratory Division