Deep Creek Wild and Scenic River


A view of Deep Creek Canyon from below
Deep Creek Canyon
Looking upstream on Deep Creek, past a boat into the deeply carved basalt canyon
Deep Creek in its lower reaches

Deep Creek is a major tributary of the Owyhee River in southwestern Idaho. 13.1 miles of the stream (the entire streambed in Owyhee River Wilderness) is designated Wild. Dickshooter Creek is a tributary of Deep Creek, also in the wilderness area.

The Deep Creek area is dominated by a mixture of high, vertical lines and forms of eroded coarse brown, red, or blackish cliffs, often glazed with light green to yellow micro-flora. Talus slopes offer displays of yellow to green sagebrush-bunchgrass and/or dark green juniper, as well as reddish rhyolite or coarse-textured, blackish basalt rubble fields.

Spring waterflows bring brownish high water and rich riparian vegetation. Summertime low flows are usually tinted light green and brown channel colors and expose the whitish stream-bottom gravel and boulders.

A product of extensive volcanic activity during the Miocene Epoch (24 to 5 million years ago), the region is part of the largest concentration of sheer basalt/rhyolite canyons in the western United States. Other rivers in the Owyhee Uplands drainage area also designated Wild and Scenic include Battle Creek, the mainstem of the Owhyhee River, South Fork of the Owyhee River, Dickshooter Creek and Red Canyon Creek.

Looking across a small pond in the upper part of Deep Creek Canyon
In the upper part of Deep Creek
Photos courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management