Okay. So you are heading to the legendary Lochsa River. It’s time to get fired up.
The Lochsa is a designated Wild and Scenic river in north central Idaho. It’s a free-flowing (undammed) river, and in the early spring offers some of the best whitewater in the world. The river is cold, and a typical spring day on the Lochsa presents a mixture of rain, sleet, snow, and maybe a spot of sun if you’re lucky. With these thoughts swirling through your head like foam in an eddy, it’s essential that you be prepared for the adventure. We are here to help.
Before the Trip
Gas. The Lochsa is located in the middle of nowhere. There is no gas between the Lochsa Lodge and Kooskia, ID. Fill up your gas tank in Lolo, MT or Kooskia, ID.
Food. If you plan on camping or running the river, you have to do your grocery shopping before you arrive in Lowell, ID. It’s a great idea to bring some pre- and post-trip snacks. There is also a great café in Lowell called Ryan’s Wilderness Inn.
Beer. If you think you have brought enough, double it. You can always bring surplus back home. Don’t short -change yourself here.
Yourself. You need to be a proactive self-rescuer and a willing paddler on the Lochsa River.
Camping comforts. If you’re spending the night in the Lochsa corridor (and we strongly suggest you do!), don’t forget the creature comforts you need to deck out your campsite: firewood, coffee, French press, camp chairs, pop-up tent/tarp, yard games (like corn hole or horseshoes), rain gear, and warm, dry layers.
During the Trip
Gear. Bring Capilene, merino wool, or polypro to wear underneath your wetsuit. Make sure your layers aren’t too bulky, as thick, bunched-up material will not be comfortable or keep you as warm under your wetsuit.
Camera/Go Pro. If you want Go Pro footage, bring a mount for our helmets. And you’ll want to make sure your selfie game is strong.
Snacks. It’s not a matter of if, but when.
After the Trip
Warm/Dry Clothes. There is nothing more comfortable than being warm and cozy after being on the river all day. Add a nice warm hat to your post-river kit, as well.
Extra Cash. When you’re in the middle of nowhere, cash is king. Paper bills can be used for a trade, tip, or gambling at river camp yard games.
Water/Beer. Bask in the glory of the Lochsa River: make sure you drink some water before having a beer!