Bureau of Land Management
- Owyhee River Wilderness Area

The BLM manages more than 267,000 acres of public lands in the Owyhee River Wilderness Area. The Wilderness Area of the Owyhee Canyonlands is remote comprising a huge area of eastern Oregon, southwestern Idaho and northern Nevada. Hidden within this vast high desert plateau are deep canyons carved by the Owyhee, Bruneau and Jarbidge Rivers. The rivers of the Owyhee and Bruneau-Jarbidge systems offer something for nearly every level of boating experience. The Owyhee and Bruneau-Jarbidge river systems provide visitors with unsurpassed solitude in canyons of unique beauty and form. From placid pools to turbulent whitewater; from vertical cliffs to steep grassy slopes; and from wildlife, such as California bighorn sheep to wildflowers, including the Bruneau River flox, these rivers and their canyons present visitors with challenging and extraordinary experiences.

Owyhee River The "Owyhee Country" had been visited by scouts, traders, and trappers in the early part of the nineteenth century, and the name "Owyhee" is derived from the old way of spelling "Hawaii". A number of natives from the Hawaiian Islands were brought to the Pacific Northwest to work as laborers for the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company. They were also used as boatmen to transport fur traders into the Snake River country. Peter Skene Ogden was the first to make note of this fact in the report on his second Snake River expedition in 1826. He noted that two islanders had been killed near the river in 1819 by Snake Indians, and the river was named for these Hawaiians. The river drains a large area in Oregon and western Idaho, and there are several other geographic features bearing the name, derived from the name of the river. Wild and Scenic Rivers the West Little Owyhee River, Oregon - Owyhee River, Oregon - Deep Creek, Idaho.

The headwaters of the Owyhee River are found in Elko County in northeastern Nevada. The Owyhee flows north along the east side of the Independence Mountains before it proceeds through southwestern Idaho where it is joined by the South Fork of the Owyhee River before reaching the Oregon border. In 1984, Congress designated 120 miles (193 km) of the Owyhee, beginning at the Idaho-Oregon border downstream to the Owyhee Reservoir (excluding two short segments). The entire segment is classified as ‘wild.’ The Owyhee flows through areas that are remote, arid and sparsely populated. Much of the river cuts through deeply incised canyons that, along with canyon rims, are home to a rich assortment of wildlife. It has become increasingly popular for recreation despite its rugged nature and limited access. Click on the following Bureau of Reclamation websites for information on water volumes in some of Oregon's reservoirs.

Fly Fishing Oregon's Owyhee River

Each year, ODFW stocks millions of trouts in dozens of reservoirs, lakes and ponds throughout the state. You can use the search and filter functions to search the stocking schedule for specific locations and dates. The schedule is subject to change without notice; see individual waterbody listings in the Recreation Report for updates.

The U.S. Army Corps stockings have been incorporated into the ODFW stocking schedule.  ODFW provides U.S. Army Corps stocking information as a courtesy to anglers, but changes may be made to those stockings without notice.

Health Alert for the Owyhee River and Owyhee Reservoir. We advise anglers to limit consumption of all resident fish species. However it is our recommendation that you and your loved ones avoid consuming any fish species, crawdads or bull frogs taken from any contaminated Waters of the State. It is our opinion that consuming any aquatic organisms: fish, crawdads, frogs or freshwater mussels and clams exposes you family and friends to the contaminates that bio-accumulate in these aquatic organisms.

The State of Oregon claims, "Advisories are designed to help you gain the health benefits of eating fish and shellfish while protecting you and your family from contaminants sometimes found in seafood." We dispute the States claims because the State refuses to test seafood taken from areas where contaminated seafood is harvested.

The Owyhee Uplands Backcountry Byway Guide IDAHO / OREGON

Birch Creek Historic Ranch

Nestled among cream and chocolate colored hills, barren red cliffs, and towering rock spires lays a secret oasis: the Birch Creek Historic Ranch. Established in the early 1900s, the ingenuity and determination of a Basque sheepherder and a West Virginia cattle rancher are still evident at the site today. Stone walls built in the Basque tradition still ascend the mesa. Remnants of a waterwheel hint at the lush alfalfa fields fed through the gravity irrigation system. Nineteen buildings and structures at the ranch contribute to the property's designation as a historical rural landscape on the Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. The Birch Creek Historic Ranch serves as a takeout point for boaters floating the Owyhee River from the Rome Access or Three Forks Access.

Open YEAR ROUND, best access May-October.

  • Accessibility is dependent on road conditions. A high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.
  • There is a single water source and restroom. Five-unit campground.

Contact the Bureau of Land Management Vale District office for facilities rental information, current road access conditions, and any seasonal fire closure restrictions. 541-473-3144

Directions The Birch Creek Historic Ranch is located in the southeast corner of Oregon in Malheur County. From Highway 95, 8 miles north of Jordan Valley, turn west at the Jordan Craters sign onto Cow Creek Road. Follow BLM Owyhee River access signs 28 miles to the Ranch.

BLM Brochure of the Birch Creek Historic Ranch

Explore Oregon Recreation: Birch Creek Historic Ranch

Rome Access to the Owyhee River from Burns Or. The trip takes 1 hr 56 min (104.6 miles). This is a long trip and the traveler should be aware of their trucks fuel capacity. Depart from US-20, Burns, OR 97720 to 3563 Ion Hwy, Jordan Valley, OR 97910. Depart US-20 / US-395 / W Monroe St toward N Court Ave for 0.2 miles. Keep straight onto OR-78 / E Monroe St. for 91.5 miles. Bear left onto US-95 / Ion Hwy. for 12.9 miles. Arrive at US-95 / Ion Hwy on the right. If you reach Grassy Mountain Loop, you've gone too far. Turn right onto the access road to the boat launch on the right.. The Rome Access is no use fee to launch facility managed by: Bureau of Land Management. Contact: 541-473-3144 for additional information.

Three Forks Access One of the most remote locations in Oregon, the Three Forks Recreation Site offers: camping, fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities in the canyon land confluence of the North Fork Owyhee, Middle Fork Owyhee, and Owyhee Rivers.

Directions Getting there is a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. [Note: high-clearance four-wheel drive is highly recommended.] From U.S. 95 near Danner, Oregon, approximately 16 miles west of Jordan Valley, Oregon, look for a sign marking the Soldier Creek Loop Road, Owyhee Canyon Overlook, and Three Forks. Turn south onto this dirt road and follow it for 36 miles until you reach the rim of the canyon. No motor use above approximately river mile 70 at Pinnacle Rock, as marked. Managed by: Bureau of Land Management. Contact: 541-473-3144 for additional information.

Health Alert for Lake Owyhee it is our recommendation that you and your loved ones avoid consuming fish, crawdads or bull frogs taken from any contaminated Waters of the State. It is our opinion that consuming any aquatic organisms: fish, crawdads, frogs or freshwater mussels and clams exposes you family and friends to the contaminates that bio-accumulate in these aquatic organisms.

The State of Oregon claims, "Advisories" are designed to help you gain the health benefits of eating fish and shellfish while protecting you and your family from contaminants sometimes found in seafood." We dispute the States claims because the State refuses to test seafood taken from areas where contaminated seafood is harvested.

Bureau of Reclamation Pacific Northwest Region Columbia River Basin in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana & Wyoming

Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Region Major Storage Reservoirs in Southeastern Oregon

Lake Owyhee Dam Ramp a no use fee boat launch is managed by Malheur County. Contact at 541 473 5191. The boat ramp facility is closed due to safety. Directions from Haystack Rock Rd on the face of the dam to the Dam Ramp located 0.4 miles on Lake Owyhee Rd.

At Owyhee Reservoir, Malheur County maintains two concrete boat ramps, one just above the dam and one at the resort at the end of Lake Owyhee road. Parking and vault toilets are provided at the dam ramp during the summer season. The resort is currently operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and provides camping and marine fuel. The ramp and parking lot at the resort are public facilities.

The reservoir stretches for over 50 miles when full and offers fishing, water skiing, boating, and spectacular scenery. It can be reached by traveling 31 miles southwest of Nyssa, Oregon, on paved roads.

Gordon Gulch Day Use is a no use fee to launch boat ramp managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Call 800-551-6949 for further information. Directions from Haystack Rock Rd on the face of the dam to the Dam Ramp located 2.5 miles on Lake Owyhee Rd.

McCormack Campground is a no use fee to launch boat ramp managed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Call 800-551-6949 for further information. Directions from Haystack Rock Rd on the face of the dam to the Dam Ramp located 3.3 miles on Lake Owyhee Rd. Turn right onto the access road to the boat launch at the campground.

Indian Creek Campground The resort is currently operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and provides camping and marine fuel. The ramp and parking lot at the resort are public facilities. Indian Creek Campground a no use fee boat launch is managed by Malheur County. Contact at 541 473 5191. The boat ramp facility is closed due to safety. There is a slow-no wake zone SNW within 200 feet of Indian Creek boat ramp. The dock has been removed due to low water levels. Directions from Haystack Rock Rd on the face of the dam to the Dam Ramp located 4.5 miles at the end of Lake Owyhee Rd. If you turn left onto Fisherman Rd. you've gone too far.

Leslie Gulch From Wikipedia, is a no use fee boat launch is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Call 541-473-3144 for additional information. Directions from Nyssa, Or. Depart US-26 / US-20 / Central Oregon Hwy / Main St toward N 2nd St. Entering Idaho for 2.2 miles. Turn right onto US-20 / US-95 / US-26 for 7.6 miles. Keep straight onto US-20 E / US-26 E / US-95 S 0.4 miles. Turn left onto US-95 for 18.7 miles. Turn right to stay on US-95 19.2 miles. Turn right onto McBride Creek Rd 2.6 miles. Road name changes to McBride Rd. Entering Oregon. Turn right onto Succor Creek Rd / Succor Creek Hwy for 0.3 miles. Keep right to stay on Succor Creek Rd / Succor Creek Hwy for 1.4 miles. Turn left onto Leslie Gulch Rd for14.1 miles. Arrive at Leslie Gulch boat launch.

Succor Creek Campground Succor Creek State Natural Area lies in a deep, rocky canyon and is a remote haven for rock hounds and wildlife watchers. Limited souvenir collecting by rock hounds is permitted in the park.  A rough 15 mile dirt road leads from Oregon 201 to the park, which has  primitive camping and day-use areas along both side of the creek.   No water is available.

Directions to Succor Creek Campground on Hwy 201 Hwy, Nyssa, OR 97913. Depart Hwy 201 Hwy on OR-201 / Succor Creek Hwy for 18.7 miles. Keep left to stay on OR-201 for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto Succor Creek Rd an unpaved Road for 9.0 miles Turn right onto Succor Creek Rd Arrive at Succor Creek Hwy / Succor Creek Rd.  Succor Creek State Recreation Area, OR.

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