Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
cfm
Posts: 1031
Joined: June 18th, 2008, 6:49 am

Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by cfm » January 2nd, 2021, 12:05 pm

My inner bubble pal and I decided to take a trip to the Owyhee area in November. We had planned to camp, but the weather forecast was predicting possible snow and temps down to the 20s, yikes. We were able to book one of the two cabins at Lake Owyhee State Park. Turns out we were the only people there for two of the three nights. Nice and comfy, with heat, electricity and a microwave!
cabin.jpg
On our first day, we explored around the lake and climbed up to the rim of the canyon above the campground.
Owyheelake.jpg
Canyon above campground.jpg
highabove campground.jpg
In the evening, we drove to the Snively Hot Springs for a soak-what a heavenly location! It wasn't too busy when we were there.
Snively.jpg
On day 2, we took the long drive to Leslie Gulch Canyon, and hiked up Timber Gulch. This is home to "the honeycombs" formation, where hundreds of feet of ash are topped with a hard thin layer of basalt. The softer stuff erodes faster and creates these macabre pockets, slots and hoodoos.

So much fun to scramble around here. We didn't see anyone and were reluctant to leave, but had to get back for our evening soak!
Honeycombs.jpg
amphtheater.jpg
greencap.jpg
slot.jpg
Snivelysoak.jpg
On our final day we drove to the remotest part of Oregon. With a thin layer of snow on some of the gravel roads, it was sketchy at times. After over 3 hours of white knuckle driving, we dropped back down into the Owyhee Canyon south of Jordan, to a boat launching area called 3 Forks.
3forks1.jpg
We forded the icy N Fork Owyhee river, and hiked upstream about two miles. It was 37 degrees but no wind and the sun kept us comfortable. Came around the corner and spotted this, our destination- Three Forks Hotsprings! Yes, a hotspring waterfall in a gorgeous desert canyon. We had to cross the river, but it was only up to our knees at the deepest section.
3forks2.jpg
3forksford.jpg
3forks4.jpg
I've been dreaming about this spot for 20 years. We had the further good fortune to enjoy it alone.
3forkssoak.jpg

User avatar
naturallog
Posts: 28
Joined: February 2nd, 2016, 9:07 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by naturallog » January 2nd, 2021, 1:57 pm

What a great looking trip! I'm glad you were able to experience some solitude at the hot springs. Sounds like they are very remote to start with, but hot spring solitude also just seems unheard of.

Had no idea there was a state park out that way with cabins. These look similar to the ones available at Cottonwood Canyon, which look quite nice!

Thanks for sharing your trip.

User avatar
bobcat
Posts: 2182
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by bobcat » January 2nd, 2021, 4:57 pm

Great to see a report from the Owyhee! I've been meaning to get out there and have noted down all your destinations!

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 13293
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by retired jerry » January 2nd, 2021, 5:28 pm

yeah, same here

it's a bit of a trip from Portland

User avatar
jessbee
Posts: 871
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by jessbee » January 3rd, 2021, 7:12 am

Nice! My husband and I spent a week out there around Thanksgiving, tent camping in those cold nights :) haven't made it to Three Forks yet, but it's on my list. The one spot I thought was the most magical was Chalk Basin. It's in the Sullivan book, check it out next time :)
Will break trail for beer.

Blog and photos

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 13293
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by retired jerry » January 3rd, 2021, 8:07 am

can you get to chalk basin in a regular car?

User avatar
jessbee
Posts: 871
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by jessbee » January 5th, 2021, 3:21 pm

retired jerry wrote:
January 3rd, 2021, 8:07 am
can you get to chalk basin in a regular car?
We drove a Subaru crosstrek, I'd say the high clearance was pretty essential. There were a few spots on the road that I looked out the side window while my husband was driving so I wouldn't get stressed out :)
Will break trail for beer.

Blog and photos

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 13293
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Owyhee Canyonlands Nov 2020

Post by retired jerry » January 5th, 2021, 3:37 pm

thanks

I'll have to put that on my list

Post Reply