Idaho River Guides: 2019 Rafting Season 'Looks Tremendous' 

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While some Idahoans keep a close watch on snowpack levels to anticipate the early spring irrigation season or possible river flooding, others take the long view and dream about how last winter's snowfall morphs into this summer's whitewater rafting forecast. For that latter group, this year's news is good: This morning, the Idaho Outfitters & Guide Association announced that snowpack levels were above-average in basins that feed many of Idaho's whitewater rafting and jet boating rivers.

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"It just looks tremendous," Barker River Expeditions owner Jon Barker said in a prepared statement. Barker's company leads river trips in southwest Idaho and four- to six-day canyoneering trips in the Owyhee Plateau. "We're really excited about this year."

"Looking at the snowpack right now, it looks like we might have an ideal water year—not too much water, and not too little," said Jerry Hughes, the owner of Hughes River Expeditions and a river guide veteran of 45-plus years.

Meanwhile, snowpack in the Payette River Basin (125 percent of normal) and the Lochsa River Basin (93 percent of normal) is looking good for those making plans to whitewater raft on two of Idaho’s most popular day-trip rivers.

“We anticipate fantastic flows on the Moyie, St. Joe and Lochsa,” says Peter Grubb, owner of ROW Adventures in Coeur d’Alene.  
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