The Jarbidge-Bruneau Rivers Wilderness has some of the best class V whitewater that Idaho has to offer. The Jarbidge River offers a remote and challenging 29-mile float trip taking boaters through a maze of spectacular canyons, "hoo-doo" rock spires, junipers and red volcanic cliffs. The Bruneau River flows north from headwaters in the northern Nevada mountains and is known for its sheer-walled, rocky canyons and whitewater boating opportunities. The 50-mile long Bruneau River begins at the confluence of the Jarbidge River and the West Fork Bruneau River.
In the Wilderness, which ranges from 2,600 to 5,100 feet in elevation, plateaus are divided by deep, winding river canyons. These canyons and plateaus provide habitats for sensitive species including bighorn sheep, redband trout, bobcat, and river otter. Sagebrush dominates the area which only receives about 7.62 inches of precipitation each year. Average temperatures are 72 degrees F in summer, 52 in spring and fall, and 40 in winter. However, average high temperatures in July and August are around 95 degrees.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Bruneau-Jarbidge Rivers Wilderness.
The Jarbidge-Bruneau Rivers Wilderness is located 90-120 miles southeast of Boise, Idaho.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.
The Jarbidge-Bruneau Rivers Wilderness offers remote and challenging floating opportunities on both rivers.
Boating on the Jarbidge River Directions: From Rogerson, Idaho, take Jarbidge Road ("Three Creek Road") to Murphy Hot Springs. The launch site is several miles downstream from the town of Murphy Hot Springs.
Put In: Confluence of the West and East Forks of Jarbidge Rivers, two miles north of Murphy Hot Springs
Take Out: Indian Hot Springs (If you choose to run the 40-mile Bruneau River from this location, you can take out on private land one mile downstream of Hot Creek, on the east side of the Bruneau River.)
Additional Info: Difficulty: Class III, IV and V rapids; Experienced river floaters only due to difficult portages; Kayaks are recommended, but rafts are also possible; Float Season: Spring; Ideal flows: 500-2500 cfs; Mandatory registration; Maximum group size: 15 people; Primitive camping available; Wildlife/scenic viewing ; A waterproof river guide may be purchased for $10 from BLM at the Idaho State Office, located at 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise or call (208) 373-4007 to order.
Boating on the Buneau River Directions: South of Mountain Home; Take Highway 51 to Bruneau. The preferred route can be accessed by the Clover Creek Road. See the Bruneau-Jarbidge-Owyhee Boater Guide for more detailed information.
Put-in: Indian Hot Springs
Take-out: Bruneau River take-out
These rivers provide challenging whitewater, but also significant danger due to dramatic variations in flows, severe weather, log jams and portages. Be cautious!
Additional Info: Rough roads; Four-wheel drive with high clearance required; Mandatory registration, portable toilets and firepans; Maximum group size-15 people; Class III-IV rapids expected; Float season: Approximately April 1 to June 15; Trip length: Approximately 40 miles; Ideal flow: Between 500 and 2500 cfs (rafts: over 1,000 cfs); not recommended above 2500 or below 500 cfs. A waterproof river guide may be purchased for $10 from BLM at the Idaho State Office, located at 1387 South Vinnell Way, Boise or call (208) 373-4007 to order.
Want to Volunteer for Wilderness?
Citizens who volunteer their time to steward our wilderness areas are an essential part of wilderness management. Contact the following groups to inquire about volunteer opportunities.