Each Memorial Day weekend, the Lochsa River Madness event draws out boaters to enjoy the spring whitewater action and also kick off the start of the rafting season. It’s an informally organized event that has run for years, going that Saturday through Monday, with spectators gathering near milepost 114 on U.S. Highway 12 to cheer on boaters as they celebrate the weekend.
Among Idaho County’s natural draws is its whitewater, and the Lochsa is a world-class river with more than a dozen big-named rapids that provide a challenging and also exciting experience for advanced rafters. The madness event is “the” weekend to run the Lochsa, as it generally coincides with the highest flow on the river.
Attendees can expect to see dozens of boats: guided and non-guided paddle rafts, as well as catarafters and kayakers. Space along the pullout allows watchers to set up chairs and crack open the coolers, where they can overlook the action and cheer participants as they surf or flip.
The event works great for a day trip. Or if you want to spend more time enjoying other area scenery, US12 has a great selection of camping spots, as well as hiking trails. For information: Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, 208-983-1950, www.fs.usda.gov/nezperceclearwater ; also on Facebook and Twitter.