Juniper Gulch Trail

Photo by: Steve Vidito Photo by Steve Vidito

Highlights: A geologic wonderland filled with red-rock spires and pinnacles, this hike starting in Leslie Gulch takes you through a sandy gulch past caves and overhangs. At 0.6 miles, the trail forks. Head right and take the path up the ridge to an amphitheater of honeycombs. Keep an eye out for California bighorn sheep. Looking south you can see Mahogany Mountain. This is an out-and-back hike. To follow the Oregon Desert Trail, keep left at the amphitheater up the gulch for another 0.75 steep miles to the ridgeline. If you press on for the ridge on the Oregon Desert Trail the hiking is very steep and difficult but the views of the surrounding Owyhee Canyonlands and Lake Owyhee are worth the effort.

Need to Know: The difficulty is moderate to low for the primary section. Approximately 1.6 miles roundtrip. The Juniper Gulch Trailhead is well-signed and has a pull-out for vehicles and restrooms.

Temperatures can be extreme in the summer. Wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Bring plenty of water and electrolytes. Occasionally you can encounter a rattlesnake in the Owyhee. After hearing the rattle, locate the snake. Step quickly in the opposite direction. If need be, use a walking stick or hiking poles to usher the snake away.

Getting There: From Jordan Valley, take Highway 95 north for 27 miles and turn left at the sign for Succor Creek. Take this road 8.5 miles to a junction at the Rockville School, where you will head left toward Succor Creek. In less than 2 miles, turn left on the gravel road for Leslie Gulch. It’s a little less than 11 miles to the Juniper Gulch Trailhead.