After spending the better part of Spring Break sleeping off the flu on the couch at my parents' house, I wanted to get out and do some hiking. My brother and I put the dog in the back of my pickup and drove the 30 or so miles to Jump Creek Recreation Area in Owyhee County, Idaho. My parents followed us in their car and we all made the short hike to the falls. From there it is a bit of a scramble to get above the falls and hike along Jump Creek further up the canyon. This scramble involves a bit of actual rock climbing which the dog could not make it up. That did not keep her from trying, however. She was able to make it up to a little ledge where she could not go up any further and did not feel like she could get back down. After I helped her back down, she ran back to where my parents were and my brother and I started up the canyon.

I had been to Jump Creek my first year at college in 1993, but I had just gone up directly above the falls and no further. My brother had been much further up the canyon about a month previous, but he had hiked up above the canyon and then climbed down into the canyon to hike back, so our route was somewhat new for each of us. There was a pretty obvious trail to follow and since it was still pretty early in the year, there was not a lot of thick plant growth to contend with. There was a bunch of poison ivy along the way, but luckily for us it was just stems and berries which were fairly easy to avoid. I'll bet it is a bit trickier to avoid later in the year. We stopped for a break where the canyon opened up a bit and I told Jonathan that I had better take a picture while we were stopped just in case I never got around to taking anymore. As it turned out, that was not a problem.

After our break, we continued up the canyon. At one point it turned toward the east and narrowed significantly. We were still able to make our way further without too much difficulty, though at times we were forced to do some scrambling, climbing on the rocks and wading to get by. We startled a heron at a particularly narrow section and it had to do some tricky flying to make its way through the rock walls. My brother had seen a heron the last time he was there as well, so that makes me wonder if it considers the canyon home.

We had been hiking for at least a couple of hours and figured that it was probably a good idea to head back since our parents were (presumably) still waiting for us. We found a steep slope where we were able to climb out. When we were about 3/4 of the way up the side, we saw a fellow hiking down the canyon below us. It turned out that he had hiked up the canyon earlier and was on his way back down. I imagine that we made it back much faster than him since hiking out on top was much easier than down in the canyon. Hiking on top offered little to slow us down except for the wide parts of the canyon which we went around. We went back down into the canyon just above the falls. Our parents were still waiting (taking a nap in the car) and the dog was still with them. They had done a little bit of hiking on some of the closer trails while we were gone. It was good that they were there since we had brought the dog. It would have been a truly painful task to have tried to get the dog up some parts of the canyon (though in other parts she would have done better than us, I am sure).

   View on Break
   Looking Down Canyon
   Jump Creek Horizontal View
   Jump Creek Vertical View
   Jonathan by Jump Creek
   Jonathan in Canyon Shadows
   Narrow Portion of Canyon
   Looking Into Canyon
   Picture of Me
   Stepping Carefully
   Grass and Sage
Home | Journal Index | Winter/Spring 2000