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Whats down there?

A tributary to the Owyhee River. This is one of my favorite spots in the west - mostly because its not featured in guidebooks or any literature whatsoever. Desert excellence.


My first trip to this canyon, I never got to see the narrows. It was the end of March and the main Owyhee was flowing at 8,000 cfs and chocolate brown. 8,000 is big for this river, I think the return interval is like 1 in 5 years for that volume of flow. So anyhow, the canyon was ice cold and had some deep rapids - no wading there!


The giant stone pillars are made of rhyolite tuff and are the result of differential weathering. In other words, the rocks are eroding according to the pattern of weakness in the structure.. Unlike the basalt more common to southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon, rhyolitic lava flows can be up to 300 feet thick. In this region, the flows are around 15-18 million years old (Miocene) and correspond with the initial appearance of the Yellowstone hotspot.

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Taken on August 31, 2007