Spring Rivers and Rafting
I have run rivers all over the world and there are few places that can match the Southern Oregon / Northern California area for rafting and river running in the spring. The sheer number of rivers packed into a relatively small space, the numerous mountain ranges, the wet snow filled winters, the vast areas of wilderness, and the mild beautiful weather, makes for a combination that has few rivals. Spring river running is something that gets in your blood and once you are hooked spring becomes a season you look forward to almost from the very beginning of summer.
Spring river running means the smells of everything growing; the wet green pine forests, the pungent budding riverside poplars and willows, the succession of blooming flowers. It means the views of brilliant green hills, snow capped mountains, and crystal clear water. It means the sound of all that water trickling, running, and pouring down every mountain, out of every part of the earth, and into every canyon. And of course spring rafting is about all of that water awakening beautiful rivers and creeks that lie dormant the rest of the year.
For some spring river running can also mean roaring rapids whoâ€™s sound and chaotic motion can make your heart race just looking at them- that once entered will force all other thoughts from your mind. Rapids that have no equal in terms of shear fun and excitement when compared to most summer whitewater.
For others spring rafting does not mean big adrenaline fueled rapids, but mild, remote, and rarely run rivers like Eastern Oregonâ€™s Owyhee. A river whoâ€™s boating season may last less then a few weeks but its Grand Canyon like cliffs and bluffs will be etched into your memory for years.
For most spring boating means seeing fewer people on the water. And it means that the people you do see have the same glint of excitement and expectation, the same â€œgod, I am so happy to be hereâ€ look in their eyes.
There is a wonderful march through the spring months â€“ as one rivers water drops too low another comes into perfect form. Beginning in late March and your first days on the river and continuing into April as the water rises. Then the big water of May when most rivers peak, when the rapids are amazing, and when every drop of water seams like it is in a race to the ocean. And finally the warmer days of June when you are many times bumping down your favorite spring river at lower water, savoring every last trip knowing that it could be another year before you can float this river again.
Whether you are looking for the adrenaline rush of a class V river like the California Salmon or Scott; a rarely seen wilderness journey like the Illinois or Middle Owyhee, a mild float through a spring gem like the Lower Owyhee, or having one of your favorite summer rivers all to yourself. Whether you are an experienced river runner or a beginner going with an outfitter. Get out there because with the right people, experience, and equipment and a good healthy dose of caution this area is a springtime river playground!
Momentum River Expeditions