Wednesday, June 13, 2012

O'Brien RAP

Once again, neither Upper nor Lower O'Brien Campgrounds are RAPs in the traditional sense.  They are not set up for boating access.  However, Lower O'Brien would be suitable for launching a small pontoon cat or a small inflatable raft.  A group of our friends launched a full on multi-day river trip at Lower O'Brien back in 2006 using rafts that measured up to 16 feet so it can be done.  Bear in mind that any use of the river within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area requires a free use permit.  The closest place you could find these permits would possibly be Torrey's Hole or the RAP near the Yankee Fork.  If you are passing through Sawtooth Valley heading downstream be sure to pick up a supply of the permits from the Stanley ranger Station (weekdays) of from the permit box by the Stanley RAP that's located just above Valley Creek.

The turnoff to access Upper and Lower O'Brien is located at Milepost 104.4 on Highway 75.  Our theoretical RAP indicated by the "x?" above is located approx. 2.0-2.5 river miles upstream from Torrey's Hole and about 5-6 river miles downstream from the Yankee Fork (Elk Creek) RAP.

The stretch above Upper and Lower O'Brien Campgrounds is definitely a challenging rated whitewater river.  Only those with proper equipment, skill and training should attempt to navigate this stretch of river.  It is highly recommended that anyone wanting to fish the river above the O'Brien Campgrounds utilize the service(s) of a licensed commercial outfitter with the proper equipment and professional guide(s) capable of safely traveling this portion of river.

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