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Idaho First Time at Owyhee -have some questions

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Hey guys, my brother and I are loading up the truck and heading towards Owyhee this weekend. I was hoping to get some suggestions on where to camp, we will be tent camping.

Right now I am leaning towards the Chalky Butte area, what are the camping rules? Campfires allowed? Can we camp anywhere, maybe away from one of the parking/ staging areas.

Does anyone know if WA ORV tabs are also accepted in ID? we are current for WA, but I wouldnt know where to start to get tabs for ID.

Is there anywhere we can stop on the way in and get a decent map? I have the BLM .pdf map, but a real map would be better.

Forecast calls for rain and im sure it will be crowded, were still stoked!

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Blm has no say in what registration is accepted. that's a state thing, and blm just enforces it (so does the county sheriff).

There is no decent map, but it's hard to get lost. You're penned in between hwy 78 and mountains, so if you don't cross either of those, you can only go forth and back.

You can have campfires, but you'll need to bring wood, since it's the desert. If you are tent camping, you can go many places away from the main staging areas for a more pleasant experience. I would probably suggest getting away from the hemingway/chalky buttes area a little, although if you go all the way up to kane springs parking lot (next one past chalky butte) it's not bad. Probably be a couple campers there tho. We only ride that area in the winter, although it should actually be pretty good conditions with the cooler temps. we got hammered with rain last night too. Probably already dusty again tho, lol.

Please stay on the marked trails and don't go randomly climing hills off-trail or other stupid stuff.

Many decent places to camp along the old silver city stage road, which starts about 1 mile south of murphy on rabbit creek road. It's a good quality dirt road for any reasonable truck.

I'd offer to show your around but with the snow finally melting we're camping up near idaho city for the weekend.

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Your WA tabs are good in Idaho for up to 30 days.

As for camping in the Oyhees, you can camp anywhere, and fires are okay. Chalky Butte is right in the middle of the highest use area, but the trails are mostly ATV trails until you get south of Murphy. From Murphy south the trails are mostly single track. Lots of squids stage at Hemingay Butte, the first staging area on your way to Chalky Butte.

There are some nicer camping spots off of the Silver City road at the base of the mountains, but beware of the dirt roads if it rains, some of them are almost undrivable even with 4X4 and good mud tires when they are wet.

As for maps, the new ones posted on the BLM Owyhee Field Office website are the best available for now, and that map has only been up for a couple of months. The roads and trails are all numbered now, so a BLM map is very helpful.

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/id/ohv.Par.66314.File.dat/Murphy_poster_public_lowres2OPT_508.pdf

Another local Boise area to consider is Blacks Creek/Danskin Mountains just east of Boise. This area is more mountainous with some trees and has a lot of more challenging trails (mostly single track) than the Owyhees. Proceed on I-84 about 5 miles past Boise to the Blacks Creek Exit, and then about 10 miles north.

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Chalky Butte would be OK, generally not as many people there but also not many trails intersecting there. No vault toilets. The first two parking areas which are at Hemmingway Butte have vault toilets. Lots of trails intersect there but usually on busy weekends tons of people and quadtards :smirk: There is, however, a huge flat area east of the proper parking lot that people tend to camp all over. It is criss-crossed by lots of kid/beginner trails though.

A better place to camp might be at the Rabbit Creek trailhead. Which is another 10 or so minutes south on the 78. A lot more motorcycle-only trails in that area, has vault toilets and is just minutes from Murphy which has a general store where you can grab a burger or something when you get sick of your own cooking :smirk: From Rabbit there is good riding to the north going towards Hemmingway and even better riding towards the south. Downsides are it is a popular trailhead so likely to get busy during the days, there is a small circle track in the parking area so can be dusty which kids going 'round and 'round, not a whole lot of flat area to camp on, mostly along the south/west perimeter fence (but then not a whole lot of people camp there).

The numbers on the trail system are pretty new so AFAIK there are no paper maps yet available.

I would offer to show you around be we are also heading to Idaho City for the weekend.

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Another local Boise area to consider is Blacks Creek/Danskin Mountains just east of Boise. This area is more mountainous with some trees and has a lot of more challenging trails (mostly single track) than the Owyhees. Proceed on I-84 about 5 miles past Boise to the Blacks Creek Exit, and then about 10 miles north.

Turtle Bite, here is a link to the online map for Blacks Creek/Danskin area:

http://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5026618.pdf

For this area you can buy a quality map at most any dealer or dirtbike type store in the Boise area.

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Blm has no say in what registration is accepted. that's a state thing, and blm just enforces it (so does the county sheriff).

There is no decent map, but it's hard to get lost. You're penned in between hwy 78 and mountains, so if you don't cross either of those, you can only go forth and back.

You can have campfires, but you'll need to bring wood, since it's the desert. If you are tent camping, you can go many places away from the main staging areas for a more pleasant experience. I would probably suggest getting away from the hemingway/chalky buttes area a little, although if you go all the way up to kane springs parking lot (next one past chalky butte) it's not bad. Probably be a couple campers there tho. We only ride that area in the winter, although it should actually be pretty good conditions with the cooler temps. we got hammered with rain last night too. Probably already dusty again tho, lol.

Please stay on the marked trails and don't go randomly climing hills off-trail or other stupid stuff.

Many decent places to camp along the old silver city stage road, which starts about 1 mile south of murphy on rabbit creek road. It's a good quality dirt road for any reasonable truck.

I'd offer to show your around but with the snow finally melting we're camping up near idaho city for the weekend.

I was planning on bringing some firewood. Ive seen plenty of WA areas closed due to damage, we will not be blazing any trails.

Your WA tabs are good in Idaho for up to 30 days.

As for camping in the Oyhees, you can camp anywhere, and fires are okay. Chalky Butte is right in the middle of the highest use area, but the trails are mostly ATV trails until you get south of Murphy. From Murphy south the trails are mostly single track. Lots of squids stage at Hemingay Butte, the first staging area on your way to Chalky Butte.

There are some nicer camping spots off of the Silver City road at the base of the mountains, but beware of the dirt roads if it rains, some of them are almost undrivable even with 4X4 and good mud tires when they are wet.

As for maps, the new ones posted on the BLM Owyhee Field Office website are the best available for now, and that map has only been up for a couple of months. The roads and trails are all numbered now, so a BLM map is very helpful.

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/id/ohv.Par.66314.File.dat/Murphy_poster_public_lowres2OPT_508.pdf

Another local Boise area to consider is Blacks Creek/Danskin Mountains just east of Boise. This area is more mountainous with some trees and has a lot of more challenging trails (mostly single track) than the Owyhees. Proceed on I-84 about 5 miles past Boise to the Blacks Creek Exit, and then about 10 miles north.

I would actual prefer some woods riding to the Owyhee desert (we ride desert EVERY weekend) but I just assumed that everything was snowed in like WA. From this link: (scroll down to mountain home)http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPyhQoY6BdkOyoCAGixyPg!/?ss=110402&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=STELPRDB5302555&navid=180000000000000&pnavid=null&position=News&ttype=detail&pname=Boise%20National%20Forest-%20News%20&%20Events it looks like Blacks Creek is open...:smirk:

Thanks for the tips. I did actually hear the roads can get pretty nasty. I am planning on rain/ mud. We wont be too adventerous with the truck, but Ive got a shovel and highlift jack at least.

Chalky Butte would be OK, generally not as many people there but also not many trails intersecting there. No vault toilets. The first two parking areas which are at Hemmingway Butte have vault toilets. Lots of trails intersect there but usually on busy weekends tons of people and quadtards :smirk: There is, however, a huge flat area east of the proper parking lot that people tend to camp all over. It is criss-crossed by lots of kid/beginner trails though.

A better place to camp might be at the Rabbit Creek trailhead. Which is another 10 or so minutes south on the 78. A lot more motorcycle-only trails in that area, has vault toilets and is just minutes from Murphy which has a general store where you can grab a burger or something when you get sick of your own cooking :prof: From Rabbit there is good riding to the north going towards Hemmingway and even better riding towards the south. Downsides are it is a popular trailhead so likely to get busy during the days, there is a small circle track in the parking area so can be dusty which kids going 'round and 'round, not a whole lot of flat area to camp on, mostly along the south/west perimeter fence (but then not a whole lot of people camp there).

The numbers on the trail system are pretty new so AFAIK there are no paper maps yet available.

I would offer to show you around be we are also heading to Idaho City for the weekend.

Thanks for the offer. Looking at the map I am going to follow your suggestion and head down 78 towards the Rabbit Creek area to get closer to all those green singletrack trails further south on the BLM map. The BLM map has a 2/25/11 in the key which is better than im used to, should be good enough for this trip.

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I would actual prefer some woods riding to the Owyhee desert (we ride desert EVERY weekend) but I just assumed that everything was snowed in like WA.

Well, assuming you and your brother are nice guys and not dorks (and you sound like decent responsible folks), and also assuming you are decent riders (and if you ride every weekend you're probably decent riders), you might enjoy black's creek or idaho city more. Most of us will have real camp trailers, but if the weather looks tolerable for tenting, you are welcome to join us for some real woods riding. I'll pm you the club info msg that has directions (I think). Idaho city is woods riding. Its sort of like little naches (there is some chop and whoops), but the trails are much narrrower and not nearly as heavily used and there are more of them.

Idaho city is typically a little wetter than boise proper. lots of times they'll get afternoon showers that don't really show up down in the valley.

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Llama... guys like you give us Idahoans a good name!

Everyone be safe, last year I broke my Tib/Fib at Danskin Memorial day weekend..:smirk: I'm not even sure the trail I was on is open anymore...

it seems like it bisected the 412 loop from 410? did 411 used to continue

up a ridge and split 412? Confused....

Anyway, everyone have fun and be safe, I'll be at work this year...:smirk:

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Everyone be safe, last year I broke my Tib/Fib at Danskin Memorial day weekend..:smirk: I'm not even sure the trail I was on is open anymore...

it seems like it bisected the 412 loop from 410? did 411 used to continue

up a ridge and split 412? Confused....

There are 1 or 2 trails over there that were not really official trails I think, but it's not like it's easy to tell without a map.

Good reminder on safety. Snow conditions mean that more people will be riding in a smaller area. 4 years ago I had an ugly head-on at winom-frazier that resulted in a mild compound femur fracture, which made for a sucky and annoying ride out to the road, and an even suckier and annoyinger drive to the hospital and then plane flight to a hospital that had an actual doctor. :smirk:

Go slow when you can't see.

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There are 1 or 2 trails over there that were not really official trails I think, but it's not like it's easy to tell without a map.

Good reminder on safety. Snow conditions mean that more people will be riding in a smaller area. 4 years ago I had an ugly head-on at winom-frazier that resulted in a mild compound femur fracture, which made for a sucky and annoying ride out to the road, and an even suckier and annoyinger drive to the hospital and then plane flight to a hospital that had an actual doctor. :smirk:

Go slow when you can't see.

Yes everyone please be safe... btw... the price of a helicopter ride from Danskin to St Al's is roughly $14,000...:smirk:

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A quick update, at the last minute we decided to dry out Danskin instead of Owyhee. We camped near the Willow creek trailhead, it was raining pretty hard saturday as we were setting up camp. First day we started out going up 400, some of the water crossings were pretty hairy, we found out how much water our boots can hold pretty early. Didnt put much mileage in the first day. The second day we did about 40 miles and the weather was pretty darn good, and we were going up 410 to try and stay a little dry. I forget all the different numbers we ran Monday, alot of them quad quad trails. I loved the single track we did touch. Thanks for all the information. Hopefully before summer is gone we will try out Idaho City also.

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A quick update, at the last minute we decided to dry out Danskin instead of Owyhee. We camped near the Willow creek trailhead, it was raining pretty hard saturday as we were setting up camp. First day we started out going up 400, some of the water crossings were pretty hairy, we found out how much water our boots can hold pretty early.

lol, glad you had a good time. They should put a warning at the trailhead about willow creek. It's usually pretty ugly early in the year, but this year is the worst i can remember. We try to avoid it until the water level gets more reasonable.

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