We got it! After two years of a long application and review process, we've finally received our permit to take guests down the Chetco River. Maybe you don't know how big of a deal this is - no outfitter has been permitted to run this river for 10 years!
At Northwest Rafting Company, we've made it a mission to tie together our passion for whitewater adventure with conservation, respect, and protection of the environments that provide us with such incredible experiences. We also aim to have great working relations with all the players that make-up the whitewater community. Being granted this permit has proven the trust we have gained within this community.
Alan Vandiver, who recently retired as district ranger of the Gold Beach Ranger District, made it his personal mission before he retired to get this permit granted:
"When I received the special use application, I considered the review and preliminary decision one of the most important of my career. I have kayaked the Chetco River from Taggarts Bar to the wilderness boundary, and I believe this stretch of river is one of the jewels of the National Wild and Scenic River system. This stretch of river is unsurpassed in its primitive nature. It has an extreme amount of natural resources highlighted by water quality, aquatic habitat, geologic features and biological diversity, just to name a few."
And we haven't only been working on the paperwork side of the permit - we've been physically out there doing trail-clean up from the 2002 Biscuit Fire to improve access for everyone. The work obviously paid off, and we are stoked beyond belief here at NWRC to be able to take a few guests out there with us.
This will be a river adventure of a lifetime. A trip for those of us who want to challenge ourselves, see some stunning wilderness, and encounter a solitude very few people have the privilege to experience. The runs may be bony at times, but the tight river canyon and emerald-green waters make everything worthwhile.
The trip starts with a four-mile hike down old mining roads through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness to put-in, where we'll pump up boats and camp our first night. After a simple breakfast the next morning, we'll be on our way! Day hikes, swimming holes, wildlife, geology, flora, fauna - all of it sure to amaze and inspire.
We'll probably only be doing one trip per year on the Chetco, with about 2 - 4 guests and 4 - 5 guides. We'll hope to break even, but as Zach said, "There are some things we do to pay the bills and there are some things we do because it's our passion. This is the passion side."
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Last week we returned to the spectacularly beautiful Chetco River. This mighty river has it's headwaters in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and flows 56 miles to the Pacific Ocean. We are lucky to outfit and guide a few intrepid groups down this river each year. Anyone who has been down the Chetco will talk about it's amazingly clear water, jaw dropping scenery, and the hard work it takes to get there. Developing the techniques and equipment to run this style of trip has been a fun project...
It is truly an honor to outfit trips on the Chetco River through the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. This extraordinary trip begins with a 10 mile hike (with a heavy pack) to the river followed by 20 miles of paddling Class III and IV rapids (and some portages) in an inflatable kayak. It's a challenging journey but you are rewarded with absolute solitude and beauty. Last week a few hardy souls joined us to make this epic journey at a flow of 500 cfs. The Hike First of...