Between Rome and Birch Creek, Oregon, the Owyhee River

Owyhee River
An Interpretive Adventure
Explore Oregon’s most Dynamic and
Geologically Diverse Wilderness Landscape
The river trip between Rome and Birch Creek is a world-class floating traverse through a fantastic geological
spectacle. There is no end to interesting geological features along the entire trip. Dr. Kyle House has been studying
the geologic history of the Owyhee River Canyon for 12 years. Since 2007, he and his colleagues have been
creating a detailed geologic map that documents the calamitous history of the
Owyhee River. The mapping project has led Dr. House on 100s of miles of hikes
in the Owyhee outback and numerous river trips through the heart of its
landscape. The map forms the basis for an authoritative understanding of the
geological processes that have acted to create the marvelous canyon of the
Owyhee River - thus forming the basis for an informative river trip.
Dr. House is a research geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, AZ. He has
been studying and mapping the geology of ancient and modern rivers and lakes in the
American West for more than 20 years.
Join Ouzel Outfitters and Dr. Kyle House for an exciting and
educational river trip in “Oregon’s Grand Canyon.” Our trip covers 63
miles of the Owyhee River between Rome and Birch Creek. Days on
the river are leisurely, allowing time to respond to the moods of the
canyon and the preferences of our guests. We’ll explore ancidnt
petroglyphs and historic homesteads, and enjoy hikes and the
fascinating geology of the canyon as presented by Dr. House. We
include delicious meals starting with lunch the first day through lunch
the last and are happy to accommodate your dietary needs. We serve
wine with dinner on full-sized tables and always have an assortment of
hot and cold drinks available. All of your camping gear is included and
is first-rate with spacious tents, comfortable pads and warm, cozy sleeping bags. We provide all rafting equipment
including specialized splash tops and pants for cooler days. A detailed packing list and interpretive information will
be sent upon confirmation of your reservation. River travel is by oar raft and oar-assisted paddle raft. We also
bring several inflatable kayaks for the adventurous.
The Geology
Between Rome and Birch Creek, Oregon, the Owyhee River
Space is Limited – Reserve Today!
presents an astounding landscape borne of a long series of geologic
calamities. Among these are a series of massive, valley-choking
May 17, 2012
lava flows; a nearly endless array of valley-flanking landslides; and
River Geology Trip
huge flood-generated boulder bars that record the effects of
catastrophic floods, landslide-dam failures and even the overflow of
$1,029.00 per person
an ice-age lake that once sat in the Alvord Desert at the base of
Steens Mountain.
Ouzel Outfitters
Over the last 2 million years, the Owyhee Canyon has been invaded
by no less than six valley-filling lava flows. The lavas poured down its
[email protected]
tributaries and over its canyon rim creating massive dams.
Spectacular examples of the lava dams are abundant along this
reach of the river, including towering cliffs of lava 100s of meters
high; spectacular lava deltas that record the advance of the lava
flows into large lakes of their own creation; and a series of ancient riverbeds below each lava flow that chronicle the
Owyhee’s inexorable journey to the bottom of its modern gorge.
The Owyhee lava dams were immense, some measuring 10s of kilometers in downstream length. At least some of
them blocked the river for up to 20,000 years at a time. As the Owyhee progressively filled the lakes with sediment
and sought the ultimate path around or through the dams, it generated huge landslides as it impinged on new valley
walls, often resulting in landslide dams and short-lived lakes that failed catastrophically and moved huge boulders