Leslie Gulch, Oregon

Top Photo: Entering Leslie Gulch & Owyhee Canyonlands.

postcard Leslie Gulch and Owyhee Canyonlands have long been on our bucket list. The last 15 miles of gravel road to the campground was slow-going, but it was worth it.

Slocum Creek Campground - Slocum Creek Campground, near Jordon Valley OR: Site #1 (13 sites total) - All sites: Drinking water is NOT available. Campground Notes: vault toilets • river access • trails from campground • trails nearby • 2500’ elevation. Dates: Sept 27th - Oct 1st. Miles traveled: 5️⃣4️⃣ (tap on mileage to see route & elevation change).
• No Reservations!.
• Quite scenic.
• No water available.

Overall Experience: Smile

We enjoyed our visit to Leslie Gulch, which had scenic views in all directions. Slocum Creek Campground amounts to a large cleared gravel lot with about 13 campsites around the perimeter, with most having a shelter and all having a picnic table plus a fire ring. No water was available, but there were vault toilets.

Just past the campground is the boat ramp for the Owyhee River. During our visit, the water was so low that the boat ramp wasn't even close to reaching the water. Along the river, there is easy hiking and amazing views. We were able to drive our truck on the gravel alongside the river for a couple of miles downstream. There was one section that was a tad scary, but we made it through. Parking the truck, we continued to hike another two and a half miles, looking for a hot spring that was on the map. After a bit of searching, we found it, but I wasn't comfortable taking any photos because a young couple was intimately enjoying the spring. Well, darn.

A short distance back up Leslie Gulch Road from the campground are Timber Gulch, Juniper Gulch, and Upper Leslie Gulch; each offers good hikes, all of which we did. We ventured into Timber Gulch a second time around sunrise to catch the spectacular lighting effects on the rock formations.

Someday, I believe we would like to return.

Located in Leslie Gulch in eastern Oregon, the Slocum Creek Campground is a perfect camping spot for nature lovers. It's located near Jordan Valley and can be reached via a 15-mile dirt road, offering a secluded getaway amidst stunning landscapes.

Campground Features
The campground has 12 individual campsites, each equipped with:

  • Fire ring
  • Picnic table
  • Access to vault toilets

Campers are advised to stay within the designated Slocum Creek Campground area as the surrounding Leslie Gulch region requires special permits for overnight stays due to its critical environmental status. From the campground, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the towering rock formations and canyons that define the Leslie Gulch landscape.

Hiking Trails and Exploration
One of the main attractions of Slocum Creek Campground is its proximity to various hiking trails and day-use areas in Leslie Gulch:

  • Juniper Gulch Trail
  • Dago Gulch Trail

These trails provide easy access to some of the most scenic spots in the gulch, allowing families and casual hikers to discover its unique geology and wildlife. For more experienced adventurers, there are opportunities to explore deeper into the gulch, uncovering hidden coves, slot canyons, and panoramic viewpoints along the way.

Other Outdoor Activities
Aside from hiking, Slocum Creek Campground serves as an excellent base for other outdoor pursuits such as:

  • Fishing
  • Birdwatching
  • Photography

The nearby Owyhee Reservoir is a popular spot for anglers looking to catch bass, trout, and other fish species. Meanwhile, the diverse plant and animal life in the gulch attracts nature enthusiasts of all kinds.

Free and First-Come, First-Served
One standout feature of Slocum Creek Campground is that it's free to use and operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Unlike many other campgrounds in the area, there's no need for reservations or fees here, making it an ideal choice for budget-conscious travelers or those seeking a spontaneous camping experience.

However, it's worth noting that the campground can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. To secure a spot, it's recommended to arrive early in the day.

Any comments, questions, etc? Contact us.

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