Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hike To "Didn't Follow Map" Peak In The Owyhee Mtns

Last edited on April 8, 2017

On April 5, 2017, I hiked up the wrong ridgeline in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho. The hike was still quite excellent with views stretching from the Silver City Mountains, the mountains north of Boise, Mount Bennett Hills and even the Soldier and Smoky Mountain Ranges. The area is really greening up both in the valleys but also in the higher elevation of the Owyhees.

Horsehead Spring Creek. A stream that likely hasn't see that much water flowing in it for the last 10 years.

Ticks But No Tock

With water come ticks too. In the last month or so I've had a few ticks crawling on me but on this April 5, 2017, hike, ticks were plentiful. I picked up some near the 5,500-foot elevation of the hike. But suspect most of the 25-30 ticks I picked off me were living in the lush, green and very wet Lone Juniper Creek area.

In previous years, I never spent much time in this specific area but enough to know streams and creeks rarely ever run as high as they were during this April 2017 microadventure. I also suspect the waters have receded from their high point early in the year.

The Map

This embedded map proves a number of features. The orange line was my planned hike. The green line is my actual GPS track recorded during the adventure. There are a few markers that would make it easier to get to the trailhead. Oh, there is no real trailhead but just a place to park.

Lost My Way

One of the reasons I enjoy hiking in the Owyhee Mountains is because it's hard to get lost on a daytime microadventure. That doesn't mean I always remain true to my planned hike. In this case, I wandered off my planned hike by one mile and a whole ridgeline.

It wasn't until I was taking a break during a steeper portion of the hike that I looked at my map and discovered my navigation faux pas. By that time is was too difficult to get back on track. That really bugged me, however.

As a solo hiker, I always leave detailed plans of where I will be hiking with my wife in case something goes wrong. To me, being out of the area I said I would be hiking is a very bad idea. For example, there were many places where rocks, the size and shape of a softball, littered the steep hillsides. I did the full " slip, slide and fall" on this hike because of one of the rocks. No injuries but the opportunity existed.

Owyhee Peak 6581 and "Didn't Follow Map Peak."

My 6,000 Foot Quest

With Peak 6581 now out of reach being on the other side of the valley, my new goal became making it to the 6,000-foot level. That wasn't a real stretch but it was getting later than I wished. I pushed on so I could say "I did it" and for the views. That little volcanic plug is now and forever named "Didn't Follow Map Peak" and tops out at 6,005 feet.

Hike Details And other Info

  • Date: April 5, 2017
  • Who: Tim Bondy
  • Where: Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho.
  • Land Ownership: Mostly public BLM lands but also a little sliver of Idaho State Lands.
  • Elevation Range: 4,683 feet at the trailhead and 6,001 at "Didn't Follow Map Peak"
  • Mileage: 4.42 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,667 feet / 1,666 feet
  • Avg / Max Slope: 13% / 37.1%
  • Total Time On Trail: 3:50 hours
  • Link To More Photographs:

Owyhee Mountain Scenery - Had to stop and capture this view

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Originally published on April 8, 2017.


Tim Bondy
Freelance Writer & Citizen Journalist

I am currently a proud citizen journalist, aka "enemy of the American People!"

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