HOW TO PLAN FOR A TRIP TO THE OWYHEE
Heading out into the Owyhee? Here’s a few things to remember about this vast, beautiful, and remote area.
Carry water in your vehicle no matter what. If you’ll be camping or packing near reliable water (such as the Owyhee River), bring a filter. If you’re going into more rugged country with less reliable water sources, bring a handkerchief to filter before you filter!
Bring hard copy maps, a compass, and a reliable GPS device. Make sure you know how to use these tools together before you leave. Consider a messaging/SOS/locating device such as a Garmin InReach or similar—you’ll seldom have any cell service.
Always, ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. This will help you with not only your peace of mind, but also assist others in locating you in the event of a mishap.
Plan for the elements. The weather can be highly changeable out here in the desert. A seemingly clear sky can turn to a hailstorm very quickly, and the roads in and out of the Owyhee turn to gumbo when wet. Unexpected gullywashers (short, heavy rainstorms) can potentially block your exit for hours even if you can’t see where the rain came from. Bring clothing and gear that can manage those unexpected weather changes, and always have extra food, shelter, and warmth for emergencies.
If possible, bring extra tires. Yeah, we mean real ones—not just your spare doughnut. Owyhee rocks are sharp and roads can be quite rough. Don’t take your vehicle down any road you’re not absolutely sure it can handle or back out of.
Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list of what you’ll need out there. Ultimately, you’ll use common sense, talk to others who’ve taken the route you’re planning, and ask questions. Of course, you can get in touch with us for tips and guidance. We’d love to hear from you.
Don’t forget: take your camera and binoculars, leave no trace, and go enjoy YOUR wild Owyhee!