Anderson Crossing is a wonderfully unsophisticated place, where adventurers can park a vehicle and pitch a tent in some of the most remote country in the Lower 48. Primitive sites dot the area downstream of the West Little Owyhee crossing. Abundant willows near the river are a great place to admire the handiwork of beavers. When the sun dips below the canyon rim, keep an eye out for emerging stars. Later, the great ribbon of Milky Way unfurls across the dark sky.
Highlights: Use this area as a basecamp for day hikes or a starting-off point for a weeklong backpack. With a change of shoes and an intrepid spirit, explore either up or downstream in Louse Canyon. Whether you pick an out-and-back hike, a loop, or begin a shuttle-hike here, the side canyons, horseshoe bends and caves throughout Louse Canyon will delight. In a good water year, cast a line for trout into one of the intermittent pools. Or drive along one of several existing roads to the sagebrush sea to the east, then leave the vehicle to look 300 feet down into the canyon below.
Need to know: The road into Anderson Crossing presents challenging driving conditions. For more than 30 miles, you will travel on a rocky and washboarded surface. RVs and trailers are not recommended here because vehicles must cross Antelope Creek, but high clearance trucks with campers and vigilant Subaru drivers will find it manageable. This part of the Owyhee will test both driver and car’s mettle. Keep a full-size spare tire, towing straps/chains, a jack, some flat boards, Fix-A-Flat, lug wrench, jumper cables and a five-gallon water jug.
Getting there: From Burns Junction, head south for 40 miles past mile marker 106. Turn east off the highway to follow the brown sign pointing toward Antelope Flats. 7.47 miles from the highway you will reach Jackson Summit (6,296 feet). Continue on this road until you reach the junction of Pole Creek Road at 16.2 miles. Follow Pole Creek Road south and east for another 4.1 miles to a small creek crossing at Antelope Creek. Stop to make sure that the crossing is shallow enough to cross. After Antelope Creek, you will have approximately 16 miles before reaching the slight downhill to Anderson Crossing. Cross the West Little Owyhee River and proceed left to one of the three primitive campsites.
Elevation: Approximately 5,500 feet.
Amenities: Water can be found in the creek, but it must be treated or filtered. Please pack in and pack out all waste.
Best time to go: Late summer through early fall.