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North Fork Owyhee Hike

By jsteciak - Posted on 10 February 2017

Camp at North Form Campground in Idaho. Hike into the North Fork Owyhee Wilderness. Drive the Owyhee Scenic Byway on the way out.

The landscape within the North Fork Owyhee Wilderness, in the southwest part of Idaho near the Oregon border, is diverse, ranging from river canyons over a thousand feet deep to vast expanses of sagebrush and grassland plateaus. This ecosystem provides habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, songbirds, raptors, and numerous rare plant species. The river canyons in Owyhee County have been called the largest concentration of sheer-walled volcanic rhyolite and basalt canyons in the western United States. Many of the canyons are more than 1,000 feet deep, nearly twice as deep as the Washington Monument is tall. River enthusiasts come from around the country to challenge the famous white water rapids of these rivers.

This will be a great trip for individuals to get out with a group that are not into hiking but loves the scenic beauties of the Owyhee and wildflowers. We will car camp with the possibility of a mobile camp (a different spot each night).

Trip highlights and challenges: Scenic beauties of the Owyhee; Wildflowers; Road Conditions; Weather; Possible seasonal water flows in drainages; Please note there is no Cell Phone Coverage in the Owyhee.

Trip Timeline: Friday May 19: Meet in Jordan Valley at 4pm. Location for the meeting: The park in Jordan Valley just past the rodeo grounds. On left Highway 95. We will then Gas up in Jordan Valley and head south to the North Fork Campground. If you will be later than 4pm I can send directions on how to get to the North Fork Campground

Saturday May 20: We will hear from Evan Worthington from the Boise BLM on the creation of the Owyhee Wilderness of Idaho and have a small hike up the North Fork Owyhee River in the Designated Wilderness. (Hike Optional)

Sunday May 21: Pack up and drive the Owyhee Backcountry Scenic Byway to Grand View Idaho. Depart in our separate directions back home. For those that need to get back home early, you can head back the way that we came to the Campground toward Jordan Valley

*Alternative plans (depends on weather and road conditions):

Saturday May 20: We will hear from Evan Worthington from the Boise BLM on the creation of the Owyhee Wilderness of Idaho and then drive halfway to Grand View, Idaho on the Owyhee Backcountry Scenic Byway. We will stop many times to admire the beauty of the Owyhee and the Wildflowers.

Sunday May 21: Pack up and finish the drive on the Owyhee Backcountry Scenic Byway to Grand View Idaho. Depart in our separate directions back home.

We will meet in Jordan Valley and convoy to the camp site

Directions from Ontario to Jordan Valley (cut and paste in your browser),-116.9766337/Jordan+Valley,+OR/@43.5107839,-117.4407042,9z/am=t/data=!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x54b19ace44329241:0x2d8260a1b93c9e88!2m2!1d-117.0543038!2d42.9740445

Directions from Boise/Nampa to Jordan Valley,-116.2961195/Jordan+Valley,+OR/@43.2919711,-117.243655,9z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m9!4m8!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x54b19ace44329241:0x2d8260a1b93c9e88!2m2!1d-117.0543038!2d42.9740445!3e0

Camp Site Location,+Oregon/42.5926449,-116.9814544/@42.7830432,-117.297861,10z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m9!4m8!1m5!1m1!1s0x54b19ace44329241:0x2d8260a1b93c9e88!2m2!1d-117.0543038!2d42.9740445!1m0!3e0

If we drive the Owyhee Backcountry Scenic Byway home,+Murphy,+ID+83650/42.9896847,-116.0971419/@42.9862035,-117.1341243,146110m/am=t/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m9!4m8!1m5!1m1!1s0x54b23756000725d5:0xd72fc75e0efecdc6!2m2!1d-117.0118606!2d42.6694762!1m0!3e0

Participants are responsible for their own food, camping gear, and transportation to and from the trip. We can try to arrange carpooling options if wanted/needed.

Friends of the Owyhee provide excellent guidance in the field, and a number of group camp items to make things more comfortable (firewood, table, shade/rain tarp, etc.). First aid kit and Emergency Spot beacon is provided as well.

Group size is limited to 12 individuals. (Children no younger than 7 years of age)

Event Date: 
Fri, 05/19/2017 - 5:00pm - Sun, 05/21/2017 - 7:00pm
Event Contact: 

Time Davis, Friends of the Owyhee

Please email for trip sign up or call (541) 212-1907.

A confirmation email will be sent with 5 days after receiving an email. A Participation Waiver and Release Agreement we need to be signed at camp.

Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the wait list. One Week before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc. However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact the trip leader.

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