Zimo: New book gives secrets on biking and hiking in the Owyhee Canyonlands

It’s a good winter read to help plan your spring and early summer trips.

December 25, 2013 

The Owyhee Canyonlands is one heck of a big place, and I thought I knew a lot of it.

Then I started thumbing through “The Owyhee Canyonlands — An Outdoor Adventure Guide,” by Boise outdoor writer Steve Stuebner and photographer Mark Lisk.

I’m jealous. They sure got to a lot of areas that I haven’t been to and didn’t even know about.

The guidebook features 55 hikes and mountain bike rides from Leslie Gulch and Succor Creek in eastern Oregon, south of Ontario, across the Owyhee Front from Marsing to Grand View, and to the Bruneau, Sheep Creek and Jarbidge canyons, south of Mountain Home. It covers millions of acres. That’s a lot of hiking and biking.

The guidebook sells for $19.95. A full-color e-book costs $25.

I’m especially interested in the Leslie Gulch area and have been exploring it since the 1970s. However, in the book, I found several other hikes in the nearby area between there and Succor Creek that I’d like to try.

Because the Owyhees are so remote, and there are no convenience stores around every sagebrush, it takes a lot of research to explore the vast area, which is southwest and west of Boise.

The book gives detailed driving directions to trailheads, GPS coordinates for trailheads and good descriptions for hiking and mountain biking.

GPS is important. Even though the book gives detailed directions, you’ll need to track yourself with GPS. A lot of roads and vistas look the same.

Actually, you never know about the high desert. In some low-snow years, outdoors enthusiasts have hiked at Little Jacks Creek in February. Some friends camped at Leslie Gulch one January when the road was clear of snow and frozen.

I usually hit the high desert in early April, but it’s accessible nearly year-round.

Anyway, now I’ve got to check out Three Fingers Rock, Quest for the Arch (was there 36 years ago but can’t remember), West Fork of the Little Owyhee, North Fork Owyhee and lots of others.

Don’t know if I have enough time for all of these in 2014. Who knows?

Anyway, whet your appetite for the Owyhee Canyonlands. Check out local outdoor shops for the book. For more information go to SteveStuebner.com, liskstudio.com or amazon.com.

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY

We travel far and wide to get outdoors photos, but the winter photo ops in Boise and along the river and Greenbelt are many.

The coyote decoys in Ann Morrison Park seem like they are standing guard over the geese instead of scaring them away.

The frosty mornings also are proving to be incredible when it comes to scenery. The white, crystalized trees, grasses and brush in the Boise Foothills and in the city make for wild images. Take a hike.

I’ve gotten my best shots just when the sun is rising. There’s sort of a pinkish, white, gray hue all around.

The other day when the inversion covered the valley, the best time for shooting didn’t come until the time when the afternoon sun started coming through the clouds.

You may hate the fog and its bone-chilling cold, but sometimes the photography can be hot.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

Statesman outdoor writers Pete Zimowsky and Roger Phillips alternate columns on Thursday. Look for Roger next week.

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