|State||Idaho / Utah|
The Raft River's headwaters are mostly on the east side of the Albion Mountains, southeast of Oakley, Idaho. But its Clear Creek tributary also drains the north side of the Raft River Mountains in Utah, and runoff from the nearby Grouse Creek Range also flows into the Raft River. Portions of the Black Pine and Sublett mountains are also in the river's watershed. The river flows generally north to join the Snake River in Cassia County, Idaho.
The Raft River's drainage basin includes four divisions of Sawtooth National Forest, and is approximately 1,506 square miles (3,901 km2) in area, of which approximately 95% of the overall area is in Idaho.
The river is named after a crossing of the Oregon Trail where pioneers built rafts out of whatever was available to aid in crossing the river. The river is presently dry for much of the year.
The Oregon Trail crossed the Raft River approximately 2 miles (3 km) south of Interstate 86. At the top of the bluff above Raft River the "Parting of the Ways" took place. The Oregon Trail continued west and the California Trail headed south. Graves of those who died from being mortally wounded at Massacre Rocks can be found in the same area along the river. The Clark Massacre of 1851 took place near the Raft River itself.
The Raft River also was a turning point for the Emigrants. They would see the Raft as a separating place.
- List of rivers of Idaho
- List of longest streams of Idaho
- List of rivers of Utah
- Tributaries of the Columbia River
- U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 4, 2011
- Upper Snake, Headwaters, Closed Basin Subbasins Plan Plan, Northwest Power and Conservation Council
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