High Water Bruneau


Jan 20, 2012
There are some hard truths one has to accept as they get older. First - is it becomes increasingly clear that time is not on your side and you will not be able to see "everything." Another is that you will never be as skilled as your older brother navigating rivers. These things can be hard to swallow. So when life gives you lemons............


Follow your better than you older brother down a river few ever get to see. That was my solution for this trip. Cherry picking an incredible canyon and solid whitewater with a solid group of people.


The drainage photographed/written about in this post is one I'd like to plumb a bit more. It and its neighbor the Owyhee offer a lot of wilderness boating, much of it new to me.


And while so different from the Colorado Plateau which seems to be where my soul seems stuck at the moment, it is not less grand, no less mysterious, no less maddening.


Miles overall are pretty damned easy to make. Deep canyon riverside camping with ample room to stretch the legs make it a classic.


We came at the apex of high water and as a result the edge of my comfort zone. Bank full and cranking a flip here could be rough. I'd love to come back with the packraft in the 300-500 CFS range.



It's neat to be out with a group of people who're sharing with you one of their favorite places. All except my dad and I had been on this trip before and were neatly attuned to its intricacies.


And yet, like those special places we all seem to cling to once is just not enough. Each return trip requiring further craning of the neck.


Thankfully, with the river running high and miles churning by we had ample time to sit still and take it all in.



But alas, we could not stay.





Apr 27, 2016
This really makes me homesick. I grew up in the area and spent most of my youth in the Owyhees and Bruneau areas. Did you visit any of the hot springs in the area. If not it is worth seeing if any of them are close where your trip takes you. If I remember correctly there are a few in the area of the Bruneau and Jarbidge rivers. A couple either require accessing from the river side or rappelling down to them.

Sorry to get off topic. Great post with great pictures.


New Member
Nov 25, 2015

These are some great photos. I got to looking at your Vimeo channel. What was the flow on that low water Yampa that you did? Also, I've enjoyed your instagram account this last winter, the dirty devil in rafts = awesome!


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
Gorgeous! Excellent photos and write-up. Videography was great too! Did you use some sort of stabilizer mount while on the river or did you stabilize it in post?


Jan 20, 2012
Thanks everyone!

@swmalone We didn't visit any hot-springs on this trip but i hear ya. I've run the lower Owyhee a few times (dying to get on the East Fork and South Forks!!!) and visited some of the hot-springs on that stretch, Amazing country for sure!

@Selway - we ran it around 750cfs. Got stuck a few times up top and glad to have the small boats for Warm Springs but we had the river to ourselves! The Dirty Devil raft trip was one of the neatest I've done, hoping to post something soon about that. Thanks for the follow.

@WasatchWill - thanks for the kind words. I did all the stabilizing in Adobe Premiere with the warp stabilizer filter. My camera just died on the Escalante River last week while packrafting it and I'm hoping to get a camera with some in body image stabilization for the next go around.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Parma Camping with a double high air mattress? General Discussion 2
travel2walk preventing high altitude (khumbu) cough techniques? Resource Discussions 1
NorthwestWanderer First time in the High Uintas | Red Castle SNEAK Loop | I give these mountains 5 out of 5 stars Backpacking 7
NorthwestWanderer 8 Day High Sierra trek : Humphreys Basin, Star Col, Granite Park, Lake Italy & Piute Canyon 6/25-7/2/22 Backpacking 7
TheMountainRabbit Red's Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows via the High Route (Ansel Adams/Yosemite Wilderness) - August 2022 Backpacking 5
Bob Teton Wilderness - 50 miles of High Country - Aug 2022 Backpacking 45
TrailScot "I'll take the High Road ..." - A Loop Hike around the Canyons of Needles - May 2022 Trip Reports 12
balzaccom My second mystery novel set in the High Sierra is now out! General Discussion 6
balzaccom Gibbs Lake, High Sierra Backpacking 2
fossana Palisades Roundabout (High Sierra) Backpacking 12
fossana Evolution Loop (High Sierra) Hiking & Camping 10
N Gilbert Meadows- High Uintas Trip Planning 0
norwegianxplorer Backpacking Norway, Lysefjorden/Kjerag/Kjerag Waterfall/Kjeragbolten, 4 days Solo Hiking high above the Norwegian Fjords Trip Reports 2
balzaccom Mystery set in the High Sierra General Discussion 4
WasatchWill The High Uintas 4-4-4: Four Basins, Four Passes, Four Days Backpacking 18
C High Uintas Wilderness - Last minute plans Trip Planning 4
Mountain Wanderer High Uintas Wilderness - Granddaddy Basin Backpacking 4
Tarp Boy High Sierra Camp Loop, Yosemite, CA Trip Reports 5
fossana A taste of the GR11: 6 Days on the Travesía Pirenaica (High Pyrenees, Spain) Backpacking 18
Born to Hike Mountain Solitude: Reconnaissance Lake, High Uintas, early Sept 2019 Backpacking 9
fossana Bear Lakes > Royce Lakes overnighter (High Sierra) Backpacking 12
DrNed Plan B to High Uintas Backpacking Trip Planning 20
Dave High Uinta sheep grazing EIS General Discussion 2
J Cali: Cinder Cones, High Sierra Rambles, Famous Domes Oct 26-31, 2018 Hiking & Camping 3
R Psuedoephedrine at high altitude General Discussion 6
fossana Pine Creek/Granite Park fall excursion (High Sierra) Hiking & Camping 14
David Rule High Peaks Wilderness-August 2018 Backpacking 1
Boognish Four days in the High Sierra Backpacking 10
Born to Hike Clements Lake and East Basin in the High Uintas, mid-July 2018 Backpacking 6
scatman High Sierra Trail Backpacking 23
D Wind River High Route Trip Planning 4
LarryBoy Absarokas Fun Route - 12 Days of High Adventure Backpacking 21
Ross High Spur and North Wash Canyoneering 5
westy High Uintas - West Basin Backpacking 0
George_Washington_Hayduke High Uintas: Allen Lake and Thunderstorms Backpacking 0
westy High Uintas - Henry's, Painter, Yellowstone, Smith's Backpacking 5
westy High Uintas - Middle Basin Backpacking 5
Luke High elevation uinta campgrounds/lakes General Discussion 9
S Central Utah high alpine suggestions Trip Planning 2
N Which High Uintas overnight hike? Trip Planning 2
Tim Valentine High Sierra Lakes Tour Backpacking 11
Perry Sierra Designs High Route 1FL Tent - Looks interesting Gear 6
S High alpine in central Utah Trip Planning 4
Devin Ashby Ostler Peak - Amethyst Basin - High Uinta Wilderness Backpacking 0
Devin Ashby Ostler Peak - High Uintas - Who's Done It? Trip Planning 5
Jen High Uintas Quintuple Pass backpacking adventure Backpacking 15
Kullaberg63 Sawtooth. High Route style trip? Trip Planning 9
Mike Jones High Sierra Trail to Mt Whitney through hike Backpacking 11
someguy High Uintas Backcountry with Goats General Discussion 1
piotrek.szz Wind River High Route July 2017 Trip Planning 16

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.