Photo by Mark Lisk
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Standing at Three Forks reveals all the Owyhee Canyonlands has to offer. Here lies the confluence of a triumvirate of desert rivers, each flowing through narrow canyons of dark basalt flecked yellow and green. Whether hiking to hot springs or launching a boat for an epic whitewater journey, Three Forks provides access into the heart of the wild Owyhee.
The three rivers all received limited protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act from Congress in 1984. The designation recognizes the remarkable scenery, geology, wildlife habitat and boating opportunities found within the canyons and prevents further development. It’s a strong but limited tool for protection, as the designation only extends from canyon rim to canyon rim, making the need to protect the upland areas of the Owyhee watershed all the more apparent.