2010 Northern California and Oregon Rafting Snow Pack

Wow. We are excited! The last week has been the frosting on what was shaping up to be a great year (and the forecast for the next couple of weeks is the sprinkles:)). Late snow and cold weather does amazing things to a snow pack. At a time when the snow pack is historically starting to go down it is going up!

So, here is where we are at so far:

Spring Rafting:

The California Salmon and The Scott Rivers:
Did anyone see pictures of the city of Shasta this winter? It was impressive! The California Salmon and he Scott do not drain Mt Shasta,  but the mountains that do drain into them are on the same storm track.  The snow pack for Northern California is at 140% but the Salmon and Scott are probably closer to around  165% (the Scott may be a bit lower). With the cold weather coming this could go up even higher! We should have an amazing season and go well into June! Cal Salmon trips are getting very full though so call if you are interested.

The Owyhee River:
The Owyhee is always super hard to predict. You can have a great snow pack coming into March and because the mountains that drain into the Owyhee are low elevation a warm March can melt almost everything. However, this year we went into March with about an 80% snowpack. With a reletively cold March and the wet couple of weeks  we are at about 110%! The predicted cold weather coming up is huge too. It should be perfect for our Middle Owyhee rafting trips and we should be able to run Lower Owyhee trips into late May. This is a truly off the beaten path river – it does not run like this every year so take advantage of it if you can!

The Illinois River:
The ‘Illi’ is by far the hardest to predict – even now. My best guess is that we are at about 100% snow pack. However, a little more rain and cool temps in the beginning of April are way more important to the rafting season. So, right now it looks great! We can only a few trips a year and the trip are very small. There are only a few spaces left.

Summer Rafting:

The Rogue and Klamath Rivers both have huge basins and both have upstream dams that regulate flows somewhat. What this means is that we need about a 70% snow pack to have a good year with the normal flows. Right now we are at about 83% for both. This means the Upper Klamath should have the normal daily big water flows that make it the best summer day trip in the west and the Rogue should have its usual perfect flows for multi-day rafting trips through the Rogue River canyon!  Use on the Rogue is extremely regulated to preserve its wilderness feeeling so these trips are already getting very full.

We are so excited for this year!


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