#mypubliclandsroadtrip 2016: Search for Solitude, Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness
Find Solitude on an Idaho Wilderness #mypubliclandsroadtrip! In Idaho, BLM currently manages 541,812 acres of wilderness.
The Owyhee Canyonlands is a huge and remote 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.
Idaho is home to some of the newest Wilderness in the nation including the beautiful Boulder-White Clouds complex of central Idaho. These protected areas, designated in August 2015, preserve approximately 276,000 acres of high mountain backcountry with crystal lakes and abundant wildlife. The BLM manages 23,916 acres in the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness. This mountainous and dry area features hiking, fishing, hunting, and equestrian use, as well as opportunities to just “get away” and enjoy some solitude. The Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness area also includes the upper Herd Creek watershed with one of the most intact native plant communities in the state. This patchwork of riparian willows, abundant bunch grasses, forbs, aspen and conifers provides critical habitat for fish and wildlife species in the wilderness area. A great way to get to the wilderness is to take a short hike from the end of the road to Herd Lake A hike to the top of Jerry Peak will greet you with great panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges. Jim McClure-Jerry Peak is the least visited of the three new wilderness areas, so if you want to enjoy solitude, great vistas, and the natural environment with minimal impacts, this is a great place to visit.
Photo courtesy of Matt Leidecker