ClassClass III-IV+ rapids
Meeting Point2024 Meeting Location TBD
9 a.m. PDT
The Classic - Lochsa River Rafting
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!
Rates from May 24 - June 30, 2024*
*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.
Starting at 9:00 am
We will meet you near 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.
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)
- 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
- 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.
2024 Meeting Location TBD (in or near Syringa, ID)
Click here to view the National Weather Service's forecast for Syringa, Idaho.
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.
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
What if I have to go to the bathroom while out on the river?
ROW abides by the motto “the solution to pollution is dilution” in regard to liquid waste. For solid waste, guides will have wag bags to dispose of waste properly. For feminine hygiene, come prepared with some small zip-lock bags. These are useful for disposal during the day while on the river and can be put into our trash containers at lunch or the end of the day.
Just after our lunch location on the Lochsa, there is an opportunity to use the pit toilet at Fish Creek, just let your guides know if you need this option.
What do we eat for lunch?
Lunch is comprised of a spread of appetizers like chips and dip, veggies and hummus, and fruit. The main lunch spread is a build-your-own sandwich bar and freshly prepared hot soup. Beverages include, but are not limited to sparkling water, soda, tea, and water. No alcoholic beverages will be served during the trip.
Guides will pass out snacks on the bus ride to and from the river ranging from fruit snacks, trail mix, granola bars, etc.
Can I bring extra layers on the river?
The short answer is, yes you can.
The long answer is, ROW does not provide dry bags for guests on our one-day trips. So should you want to bring an extra layer, phone, or anything else you would like to keep dry, you will need to provide your own dry bag.
For a full packing list, see the Packing List above.
What are the characteristics of the Lochsa?
The Lochsa is a unique river because it offers both a steep gradient, dropping 20-40 feet per mile, and at certain times, a fairly large volume of water. Ideal flows for running the river are from about 2500 to 14,000 cfs (Cubic Feet Per Second). However we run the river as high as around 18,000 cfs and as low as around 1200 cfs. At medium to higher flows more rocks are covered and the waves tend to be bigger with more punch. At medium-low to low flows there are more rocks to avoid and the technical nature of the river is more challenging. It’s an ever-changing and living river and we recommend you come experience it at various water levels to understand how magnificent the Lochsa really is! Few other rivers offer so much continuous whitewater!
When is the best time to raft the Lochsa?
This depends on what you’re looking for. Because the Lochsa is a free-flowing river, flows depend on air temperature, how much snow is in the mountains, whether it’s raining or not, and many other variables. We sometimes have to cancel trips, or substitute another section of river if the Lochsa gets too high.
Generally, the highest water is from May 25th - June 5th. Our favorite time is from about June 8 to June 30 when the weather is generally warmer and so is the water! Medium to lower flows make for a very exciting whitewater trip on the Lochsa.
What is the water temperature on the Lochsa?
During May and the first couple weeks of June water temperatures vary from about 50-58 degrees Fahrenheit. From mid-June until we stop running in July, the water warms up based on how many hot sunny days there are. By early July it can be in the low 60’s.