The Classic - Lochsa River Rafting

Few rivers on earth can beat the thrills of Idaho’s Mighty Lochsa River
Overview
  • Dates: Daily May 14-June 30*
  • Rates: Monday-Friday = $140 
    • Saturday or Sunday = $165
  • Recommended Minimum Age: 17. 14-16 on approval.
  • Whitewater: Class III-IV+ rapids
  • Meet: River Dance Lodge, Syringa, ID
  • Time: 9 a.m. PDT
  • Duration: Full Day
  • Lunch Included: Yes

*Please note we require a minimum of 6 guests to run a trip. If you have less than 6 in your party, you can still reserve space and we will work to place you with another group in order to confirm your trip.

*Dates subject to change due to water levels and availability.

For intermediate and expert rafters, few rivers on earth can beat the thrills of Idaho’s Mighty Lochsa River (pronounced Lock-Saw). On our classic trip, you are treated to continuous, heart-pounding rapids. While some rivers are known as big-volume, slower rivers, and others are prized for their swift, technical courses, the Lochsa manages to combine the two in a unique marriage of a fast, technical run on a high-volume river. This combination produces huge hydraulics and holes, treating rafters to an exhilarating whitewater adventure!

There are only a few outfitters who raft the Lochsa River. Be confident in our unmatched history, expertise, and quality. The season is short, so book today!

LOCHSA GEAR LIST
Packing properly for a river trip is CRITICAL to your enjoyment while on the river. Although ROW supplies all of your essential gear, there are certain extras that will increase your comfort. We want you to be comfortable and secure so that you can fully enjoy your Lochsa experience.

Weather on the Lochsa is completely unpredictable. It can be raining and/or cold in May in early June. In late June and July the weather is warmer and dryer, although you must come prepared for cold weather. The following information will help you be prepared for the expected as well as the unexpected events of your trip. You may not use all of the gear listed below, but we recommend bringing it all! If it's a hot day, you can remove some layers.

GEAR PROVIDED BY ROW 

  • Farmer John style neoprene wet suit
  • Long sleeve neoprene zip-up jacket
  • Neoprene Booties
  • Fleece Sweater (synthetic nylon pile)
  • Paddle/Splash Jacket (similar to a light rain coat)
  • Helmet
  • Personal Flotation Device

CLOTHES & GEAR FOR THE RIVER (Recommended)

  • Swimsuit to wear under wet suit
  • Hat to wear under helmet
  • Polypropylene or silk long underwear (top and bottom) when it is cold
  • Shorts or swim trunks to wear over wet suit 
  • Wool or polypro socks to wear under booties (ski socks work well)
  • Wet suit or wool gloves (optional)
  • Sunglasses with "Chums" style eyeglass holder 
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (A cheap solution is to buy bottled water for the day)
  • Bee Sting kit (ROW does not carry epinephrine) 
  • If you have size 13+ feet, bring a pair of old tennis shoes and good wool socks to wear on river 
  • Towel/change of clothes for end of day (keep these in your vehicle) 

We will have one waterproof bag per boat for use to hold a spare warm clothes item, sunscreen, etc. Keep this with you and give it to your guide before boarding your boat. It’s best to only bring a disposable, waterproof camera for use on the river. We have these for sale at our store.

Remember: Cotton is a non-water wicking material and should never be worn on the river. Cotton holds water against you and makes it difficult to stay warm. Fleece, Pile, Polypropylene, bunting, Capilene, etc., are a few examples of the trade names for a class of synthetic materials that retain their ability to insulate when wet. 

Images & Videos
Rates
Daily

May 14-June 30, 2022*

Starting at 9:00 am

Monday to Friday: $140
Saturday or Sunday: $165
Group Special: Groups of 16 or more - weekdays - $130; weekends - $155

*Please note we require a minimum of 6 guests to run a trip. If you have less than 6 in your party, you can still reserve space and we will work to place you with another group in order to confirm your trip.

*Dates subject to change due to water levels and availability.

*Prices plus 8% Land & Water Access fee.

Meeting Location

We will meet you at River Dance Lodge in Syringa, Idaho. If you plan to fly, the closest airport is in Lewiston, Idaho (about 2 hours away). The closest major airports are Missoula, MT (about 2.5 hours) and Spokane, WA (about 4.5 hours). At the airport, you will need to rent a car to drive to the Lochsa.

Please note, although we are meeting at River Dance Lodge, the lodge is closed, for sale, and not accepting reservations.

Click Here for driving directions to the Lochsa.

 

Physical Requirements: 

Here at ROW Adventures, our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.

All of our rafting trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions.  ROW Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities, and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip.  We ask that you consult your doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure.  In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:  

  • Wear all protective and safety equipment that is required by ROW Adventures and recommended/required by industry-wide standards.
  • Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for ROW Adventures activities.
  • Reach the river access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
  • Enter and exit the raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
  • Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
  • Perform all on water activities, including following instructions that like paddling commands from the guide in class I and higher whitewater on their own or with the assistance of a qualified companion. 
  • Float on their back when entering moving and still water.  The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while underwater.
  • Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a whitewater swim.
  • Get out from under a raft, whether the raft is up-right or capsized, in moving water.
  • Climb into the raft, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the river.
  • Make progress toward the shoreline or a raft by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the river and ascend the shoreline once reached.
  • Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of the trip. 
  • Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.


Click HERE to see Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice: ROW has an excellent safety record, but you should know that whitewater rafting is inherently risky. You will be required to sign a "Release and Assumption of Risk" agreement prior to the trip, recognizing and accepting the risks involved. If you're interested in trip cancellation, travel or accident insurance, contact our office. We do not allow alcoholic beverages or any drugs.

FAQ's

I've never been rafting before. Is the Lochsa an appropriate choice?

Probably not. We prefer people with previous rafting experience on the Lochsa. Of all the rivers where we run 1-day trips, the chances of falling out of a raft are higher on the Lochsa than any other river. We want your first rafting experience to be a positive one. If you fall out and find out that you're terrified, you may not want to go rafting ever again. It's better to gain experience on an easier river where you're more likely to stay in the raft all day! Here's another way to think of it. Say you had never tasted wine in your life. Someone pours you a 20-year old French Bordeaux. With no point of comparison, the excellence of this wine would likely not be appreciated. Think of the Lochsa as the French Bordeaux. Better to learn more about whitewater on other rivers so you truly appreciate the Class IV power and excitement of the Lochsa's rapids.

Can I go rafting if I don't swim?

Generally yes. Everyone wears a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and this is a more important tool than knowing how to swim. However, often people who swim are more comfortable in the water and the idea of falling out of a raft. Your best choices would be an easier river like the St. Joe or Clark Fork Rivers.

Is rafting safe?

We've taken tens of thousands of people on our trips lasting from 1 to 6 days over the past 40+ years. We do our best to mitigate the natural risks of rafting. However we are human and nature can create difficult conditions. People fall out of rafts, rafts can turn over, people can accidentally hit another person in the raft with a paddle. In the end however, outdoor adventures such as rafting are inherently risky, thus accidents can and do happen.

What is the most exciting 1-day trip you offer?

Rivers are rated by the difficulty of their rapids, with Class I-II being easier than Class III (Intermediate) or Class IV (advanced). However, bear in mind that the "most exciting" trip may not be the one appropriate for you. Previous rafting experience, water temperature and the age of those in your party determine which trips are appropriate for you. To help you decide, here's a list of rivers along with their season, water temperature, and rapid classification from easiest to most difficult. (To learn more about rapid classifications, visit our Understanding Whitewater Classifications blog.

Clark Fork - Class II-III with warmer (62-68 degree) temperatures in July and August
St. Joe River - Class III-III+ cold (50-60 degree) water in May/June
Lochsa River - Class IV - IV+ cold (45 degree) water in May/early June and cool (55-63 degrees) in late June/early July

Reviews 25

Overall Rating

Your email address will not be made public.
Rating
Kate R
June 27, 2022 at 5:51 pm

Absolute Blast

Jeff, Austin and Ross were absolute top-notch river guides for our Lochsa adventure. They were super professional, clear communicators and made it fun, making sure everyone felt informed and safe, every step of the way. I did fall in and became a member of the Lochsa Swim Team, but I barely had time to register that I was in the water before Austin grabbed my PFD, said "I've got you," and hauled me into the boat. A situation that could have been scary was nothing more than a dunk because of Austin's training and super calm demeanor. Our whole group of six had an absolute blast thanks to these guys! We will be back next year. You've been warned! ;) One thing: we do wish you'd had a photographer. Since we can't take our cameras, it would be nice to have some memories from the day.
Jessica Rivers
June 22, 2022 at 9:19 pm

Terrific company!

Recently rafted the Lochsa and had quite possibly one of the best river experiences ever! Water was high, our guide Jeff was exceptional and the company was as professional as always. As former guides ourselves (and private boaters for over 25 yrs.), we know what a good experience looks like and ROW has never let us down. When we don’t have the energy to do all that work ourselves, we book with ROW. They hire only the best guides who make the trip not only fun but informative. Jeff was super attentive and accommodating…so much so he noted my well kept “vintage” drysuit! Shout out to Anne who ran safety in the catboat. She did an awesome job and her enthusiasm was contagious! Had a fantastic trip! And if you don’t already know, the Lochsa is truly premier whitewater. Some of the best Idaho has to offer. Thanks to Peter/Betsy (owners), Jeff, Anne, Ross, Austin and even Emily in the reservations office. Terrific company!
Angela Hsiung
June 21, 2022 at 11:56 pm

Super Fun!

super fun and relaxing! instructors are great!
Mike Perry
June 10, 2022 at 2:42 pm

The most excitement per minute possible

The Idaho sandbag was in full effect with the Lochsa running at 19,000 cfs… class IV? Really? That said our group felt 100% safe and stoked under the leadership of Jeff, Ross, and Ana. I don’t think Ross could have hit Lochsa falls any more perfectly. What a line! We also appreciated the interpretive talk from Jeff during lunch and Ana in the “safety cat” put us at ease when facing a near vertical wave of whitewater.

My group of 10 bachelor party dudes are already talking about the next trip. Thank you for a life-changing day!
Kelly Filasky
June 6, 2022 at 5:10 pm

20 miles of pure fun

Excellent trip today! The staff was laid back but professional and fun. Never felt rushed or unsafe. Excellent lunch selection. And the River was running high and swollen around 16,000 whatever you measure water with. Man I had a blast! 20 miles of pure fun
Suzanne Metzger
May 24, 2022 at 10:09 pm

Fun trip on Lochsa

Fun trip on Lochsa as always but with a real twist. Fifth time on this journey and, odds being what they are, our raft flipped in the House rapids. The guides, Jake and Bridgette, are highly experienced and got us right, verified we were all safe, and got the three rafts on our way quickly. The other guides in the turkey boat were great as well. This is a hard ride in May but ROW experts can help determine what fits your needs best to pick the perfect one day rafting trip.
Emily
June 18, 2021 at 12:33 am

Highly recommend!!

We took the one day Lochsa rafting trip and would 100% do this again if we are in the area! Our vacation was planned around this trip and it did not disappoint! It is worth going out of your way for. Jonah, our guide was amazing! He expertly guided our raft down each rapid. It was exciting and thrilling, without feeling dangerous. (Water levels were around 6500 CFS and were perfect)
Lunch was amazing! Exceeded our expectations. The guides are excellent cooks.
Emily
June 17, 2021 at 9:43 pm
Highly recommend! We took the one day raft trip down the Lochsa. It was so much fun, plenty of thrill without feeling too dangerous. We had an amazing guide, Jonah, who expertly guided our raft through every rapid. Lunch was delicious! Way exceeded my expectations. The guides are excellent cooks. (Water level was around 6,300 which Jonah said is about where he likes it to add the most fun to all the rapids as they tend to change in difficulty based on flow.)
Jerry Effenberger
June 3, 2021 at 2:24 pm

3 Days on the Lochsa

3 days of the most exciting white water that we have experienced and we have rafted almost all Pacific NW rivers. Continual adrenaline rush! Malcom and Trevor were not only personable, area knowledgeable, and safety conscious , they showed a high level of river navigating acumen hitting every rapid perfectly. Resort facilities and gear provided were excellent. The staff was professional without being obtrusive. We will definitely be back.
Jerry and Susie
Henry L
March 1, 2021 at 5:12 pm
Awesome Lochsa guided trip for a group of co-workers. ROW staff all very professional. Made everyone feel safe, and it was a blast through the rapids! Would do it again in a heartbeat!