|Wendy and Huck in a January hike in Brown's Canyon|
|Wendy soars in a brisk wind on top of a mountain above Toy Pass|
|Great skyline views from the mountains above Toy Pass|
|The quakies should be golden in Silver City|
|High on the saddle overlooking Silver City and surrounding area ...|
|Sheep Creek canyon ... you'll have it to yourself.|
|Gearing up for our ride in Silver City.|
It looks as if it's going to be a beautiful late September weekend in SW Idaho, with daytime highs in the low 80s and night-time temps in the high 40s or low 50s, depending on elevation. It'll be a great weekend for hiking, biking or camping in the Owyhee Canyonlands.
I've been thinking a lot about the Owyhees lately because of the 285,000-acre Soda Fire, and the subsequent recreation closure of multiple trailheads in the Owyhee Front. I also am giving a REI clinic on exploring the Owyhees next Wednesday at 7 p.m. (still openings available at press time), and I've been checking into the extent of the burn zone to share with folks who want to know!
So for my outdoor tip this week, I'll detail five places to go outside of the burn zone. Keep these in mind for the coming weeks in October as well. All of the trips are drawn from The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide.
Also, Avimor is hosting their fall Demo Days event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. There will be show-me rides, food, music and beer. The event provides a great chance to demo various new mountain bikes on the market. George's peeps said that demo trucks from Trek and Specialized will be there with 2016 models for people to test out. Idaho Mountain Touring, Ridgeline Sports, Broken Spoke, Kore North and Boise Bike Wrench will be there with more bikes to demo as well!
Now, back to the Owyhees ... See the burn map below for a big-picture view of the Soda Fire burn zone (click to enlarge):
|Soda fire perimeter|
In Eastern Oregon, the fire spread to points east of the Succor Creek Road, but none of it crossed Succor Creek itself or the road, leaving everything to the west in good shape, including Three Fingers, Sage Creek, Painted Canyon, Carlton Canyon, the Honeycombs, Leslie Gulch, etc.
So here are my 5 recommendations for the weekend:
4. Mary's Creek Canyon, south of Bruneau - Follow directions in a previous blog post on finding the Mary's Creek trailhead. This area is part of the Sheep Creek Wilderness on BLM land. The full loop is 8.75 miles, walking along the rim of Mary's Creek Canyon, dropping into the Sheep Creek Canyon, and then looping back to the trailhead. Travel time: 4-5 hours. You could do this as a backpacking trip and camp in Sheep Creek canyon. Be sure to pack your own drinking water and plenty of food.
5. Big Jack's Creek - The hike into Big Jack's from the Parker Trailhead is well east of the Soda burn zone, and it's a quick and easy way to get into the Big Jack's Wilderness, south of Bruneau. The directions, map and photos for this hike can be found in a previous blog post. It's 2.5 miles out and back. Rated moderate to strenuous (steep downhill into canyon; steep back out). Good hike for hikes and families.