Leslie Gulch

Area of Critical Environmental Concern - Oregon

Towering cliffs painted in desert hues and honeycombed rock formations sculpted over millions of years for the landscape of this remote region. The unique soils here support a number of rare plant species, including two that are only found in the Leslie Gulch Drainage. Mule deer, California bighorn sheep, Rocky mountain elk, coyotes, and bobcats all call this area home. Birders can spot chukar, raptors, California quail, and more over these 11,000 acres. The striking geology and unique opportunity to spot plant and wildlife make Leslie Gulch the perfect area to set up camp and get away from it all.
Leslie Gulch ACEC https://www.blm.gov/visit/leslie-gulch-area-critical-environmental-concern https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leslie_Gulch Towering cliffs painted in desert hues and honeycombed rock formations sculpted over millions of years for the landscape of this remote region. The unique soils here support a number of rare plant species, including two that are only found in the Leslie Gulch Drainage. Mule deer, California bighorn sheep, Rocky mountain elk, coyotes, and bobcats all call this area home. Birders can spot chukar, raptors, California quail, and more over these 11,000 acres. The striking geology and unique opportunity to spot plant and wildlife make Leslie Gulch the perfect area to set up camp and get away from it all.
WILD ROGUE Welcome to Leslie Gulch Area of Critical Environmental Concern! Towering cliffs painted in desert hues and honeycombed rock formations sculpted over millions of years for the landscape of this remote region. The unique soils here support a number of rare plant species, including two that are only found in the Leslie Gulch Drainage. Mule deer, California bighorn sheep, Rocky mountain elk, coyotes, and bobcats all call this area home. Birders can spot chukar, raptors, California quail, and more over these 11,000 acres. The striking geology and unique opportunity to spot plant and wildlife make Leslie Gulch the perfect area to set up camp and get away from it all. Know before you go overnight backpacking and horses are not allowed in the Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Vehicles are limited to existing roads and parking areas. camping and fires are limited to the Slocum Creek campground. Maximum stay is 14 days. Collection of vegetation, rocks and firewood is prohibited. Drinking water is not available. Toilets are available. flash floods, wet roads or winter conditions can make the road impassable—high-clearance vehicles are recommended. Large recreational vehicles are not recommended. directions Leslie Gulch is located east of the Owyhee Reservoir in Malheur County, Oregon. From Highway 95 in Idaho, go west 8 miles on McBride Creek Road to Rockville, then 1 mile north to Leslie Gulch Road and 15 miles west. You can also take Succor Creek Road from either Oregon Highway 201 or US Highway 95 to the Leslie Gulch Road Junction. Contact info don’t forget! 100 Oregon Street Vale, OR 97918 541-473-3144 BLM_OR_VL_Mail@blm.gov Geology and wildlife: The Leslie Gulch Tuff makes up the bulk of the volcanic formations. The area is also home to more than 200 California bighorn sheep, reintroduced in 1965.
Most of the area is composed of Wilderness Study Areas. To preserve the wilderness values that make this area so remarkable, please remember:  Camping and fires are limited to Slocum Creek campground. Camping is limited to 14 days.  Overnight backpackers must camp outside of the Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  All motorized vehicles and bicycles are limited to existing roads and parking areas.  Horses and other domestic livestock are not allowed in the Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  The collection of vegetation, rock materials, and firewood is not permitted.  No drinking water is available.  Portable toilets are distributed along the road and at Slocum Creek campground.  Avoid wet road conditions. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Large recreation vehicles are not recommended. Flash flood events and winter conditions can make the road inaccessible. Geology Recreational Activities Slocum Creek campground has 12 campsites. Picnic tables are also available. A concrete boat ramp provides Owyhee Reservoir access for small water craft. Hiking, photography, plant and wildlife viewing are all popular activities in this unique canyon setting. Take caution and be prepared for ticks, rattlesnakes, and extreme weather conditions. Wildflowers The talus slopes and unique soils of Leslie Gulch support a number of rare plant species. Two annual species are found only in the Leslie Gulch drainage (Packard’s blazing star Wildlife Leslie Gulch In 1965, 17 California bighorn sheep were reintroduced into Leslie Gulch. The herd has expanded to over 200 animals. Mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk are also found in the area. Bird watchers can spot chukar, numerous song birds, raptors, California quail, northern flickers, and white-throated swifts. Coyotes, bobcats, bats, and many reptiles, including rattlesnakes, also live in Leslie Gulch. Cultural Native Americans fished, hunted, and camped along the Owyhee River in Leslie Gulch 5,000 years before Europeans came to the area. In 1882, a cattle rancher, Hiram E. Leslie, was struck by lightning while working in what was then known as Dugout Gulch; thus, the area was renamed Leslie Gulch. The original Leslie Gulch Canyon Road long served as a wagon and mail route between Rockville and Watson. Today, the town of Watson lies at the bottom of the Owyhee Reservoir. Directions to the Site The site is located east of the Owyhee Reservoir in Malheur County, Oregon. From Highway 95 in Idaho, go west 8 miles on McBride Creek Road to Rockville, then 1 mile north to Leslie Gulch Road and 15 miles west; or take Succor Creek Road from either Oregon Highway 201 or US Highway 95 to the Leslie Gulch Road junction. Vale District The most striking features of Leslie Gulch are the diverse and often stark, towering and colorful geologic formations. The Leslie Gulch Tuff (consolidated volcanic ash), makes up the bulk of these formations. It is a rhyolite ash that erupted from the Mahogany Mountain caldera (a large volcanic depression which encompasses Leslie Gulch) in a series of violent explosions about 15.5 million years ago. Much of the material fell back into the volcano as a gaseous deposit of fine ash and rock fragments up to 1,000 feet thick. About 100,000 years later, volcanic eruptions from the Three Fingers caldera, located several miles to the northeast, deposited another layer of rhyolite tuff in Leslie Gulch. Today, the tuff is beautifully displayed as steep slopes and vertical, honeycombed towers carved over time. and Etter’s groundsel). Grimy ivesia, sterile milkvetch, and Owyhee clover are rare perennials found at a few isolated sites in the canyon. BLM Know Before You Go District Contact Information Vale District Burueau of Land Management 100 Oregon Street Vale, OR 97918 (541) 473-3144 www.or.blm.gov/Vale BLM/OR/WA/GI-05/033+1122.32 Public Lands USA: Use • Share • Appreciate Welcome to Leslie Gulch Towering cliffs painted in dert hu and honeycombed rock formations sculpted over millions of years form the landscape of this remote region. More than 11,000 acr bounded by the watersheds of Leslie, Slocum, Juniper, Dago, and Runaway Gulch are managed by the Bureau of Land Management as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern to prote the outstanding scenery and habitat of California bighorn sheep and several rare lant spi.

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