Five Mile Rapid- Roberson Trail Head
Rafting The Bruneau River
How Do I Get To The Roberson Trail?
Getting Anywhere In The Owyhee Canyonlands & The Bruneau river can be a little daunting, but hey you only live once! With years of rafting and chukar hunting in the high deserts, I have had a few experiences. Some great, some not so great, all beautiful. I once had to drag the back end of my truck along a barbed wire fence on a muddy side hill road. I finally got up enough speed and got back on the road. The most painful and expensive 100 yards I can remember. skreeeeeech. My hunting partner wondered off into a blizzard, thank you Owyhee county sheriffs posse. I even returned to my truck after a day chukar hunting to find we had parked on "expansive soils". The mud thawed a little and my rear tires sunk right up to the axle. At zero dark thirty in January that was not a lot of fun...This year on a trip to the Roberson trail to carry/drag our cats down to the river I punched a hole in my trailer tire. No tire iron for the trailer meant a run back to Mountain Home. New tire iron in hand we got home but did not make it to the river that day. That said, a fellow rafter asked in a facebook post how do I get there and what is the trail like. So here is a brief, to the best of my recollection.
The Roberson trail itself is starts out mellow for 100 yards, then drops steeply through a small boulder field for another hundred yards. Then it mellows and widens out for a ways. Towards the bottom it does a couple switch backs and gets steep again. It is a 15 minute hike down with no gear. We have light frames and cats so our plan was to work together to get each cat below the boulder field, then drag them (AIRE has a 10 year no fault warranty and they are tough as nails)solo til we could not make it any further. Then tag team them the final third of the way down. We would then hike back up to get oars, pump, lunch etc. If you are doing inflatables it is a much easier task you could carry inflated or just pump them down at the river. No pain, no five mile rapid. Also if you are running super low the fishing can be pretty good.
Directions: Take Highway to Bruneau, Left at Cafe... about 15-20 miles go through green gate to take out. If you leave agricultural into desert you missed the turn at green gate. If it feels like you might be trespassing you are in the right place. The take out is well marked about 3/4 mile past the gate. Back to main road take a right and go towards regular put in. About 3-5 (I did not clock it the sign is obvious) miles past where the road turns to gravel you will see a big sign and a road heading to your right for the Bruneau overlook. See map....It is about 7 miles from this turn to trailhead. At second left there is a metal sign, all twisted up that says Roberson trail. It looks as if somebody tried to rip it out and lost. Before going to Roberson trail, I would go to overlook and check it out it is only a half mile extra and a great view. Once you turn at second left go about 2-3 miles from turn to another of the metal signs with arrow pointing to trail, just follow your nose to canyon rim! The road is slick mud when wet until the last mile when it gets rockier. We were there during the January flood and there was a big wash that required 4 wheel drive to get through. Not sure we would have made it through with the trailer in full melt off.... And don't forget the tire iron... or your sense of adventure.