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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Not so local Outdoor News Rock Hounding Trip Report in Owyhee Mountains

Rock Hounding Trip Report in Owyhee Mountains

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Owyhee Mountain Peak Identification
To see a full size photograph of Quicksilver Mountain, Cinnabar Mountain and Hayden Peak, click the above photo.  

Our Trip up Toy Pass on Triangle Road in the Owyhee Mountains
On Sunday May 16th, 2010 we took a trip up a new road (it's new to us) into the Owyhee's.  The roads we were on included Triangle Road, Bachman Grade Road and a few unnamed roads south of Oreana, Idaho.  We planned on doing some sightseeing and rock hounding around an old gold mine southeast of Quicksilver Mountain.

We unloaded our Arctic Cat ATV above Cat Creek and headed south on Triangle Road and headed up Bachman Grade.  This road is quite nice and just graded so it was one of the smoothest roads into the Owyhee Mountains I've been on.  We saw the prerequisite pronghorn antelopes on the way up the grade and a lone mule deer on top of the grade.  We continued heading south past creeks such as Gilmore Creek, Bridge Creek and Ditch Creek.  All of them had at least a little water flowing in them.  

From Rock hounding in Owyhee Mountains
Find the deer

We started heading north up an unnamed dirt road that would take us to the higher elevations of the Owyhee's and an old gold mine.  But after less than a ½ mile we encountered a gate across the road and “No Trespassing” signs.  I did a lot of research on this ride an knew that encountering private property was a real possibility.  I even marked the spots were I might encounter them on my GPS unit and exactly where one of my markers was located we hit the dead-end (for us).  

Not being one to be stopped by private property, I got out my chainsaw and cut down gate and sped on up the road laughing all the way...NOT REALLY.  We just turned around and pulled off the road a few feet for a nice picnic lunch in a beautiful location.  It didn't take long for us to find some interesting rocks that were just laying at our feet.

Owyhee Mountain Obsiadian in Idaho
It's Obsidian!

What we found were small chunks of obsidian widely scattered around our picnic area.  This got our rock hounding juices flowing and we explored a little more thoroughly.  But that is all we found in this  area but it's still cool, right?  But we did collect about 10, ½ inch sized pieces for our home collection.  Then we decided to start heading back to the truck as a few light rainshowers started falling on us.
We crossed the flowing Ditched Creek and decided to quickly explore the stream bed where we found some more obsidian and some cool pieces of quartz.  This area was quite nice as the shallow valley was filled with lots of grass and greenness.  The rain started getting a little heavier so we jumped on the ATV and continued back down the road.  

From Rock hounding in Owyhee Mountains

At one point on this unnamed road we started seeing more obsidian and big chunks of sparkly quartz.  We walked this part of the road and collected interesting rock specimens.  One huge piece of quartz looked cool enough to break open. The colors and structure of the rock inside was just too cool to pass up so we took a small chuck that was roughly 3 inches long an one inch wide.  When we got home and examined the rock more closely we determined there were small veins of silver running through it.  We are now rich!!!!!! Well, maybe not, but how many times does one get to find silver in its raw form?  

Overall, this trip was great.  We collected cool rocks, saw some fantastic Owyhee scenery and enjoyed the solitude of this wonder place.  During our entire trip we encountered only four trucks and never saw anyone else.  Of special note, the National Weather Service kind of busted their forecast for this area.  For almost half the time we were out there we had rain where no rain was forecasted at all.   

From Rock hounding in Owyhee Mountains

On the way home, just outside of Oreana we encounter a good old fashioned dust storm...likely from a collapsing thunderstorm?   We stopped on the road as the dust storm roared across the road where visibility was down to almost zero.  I would have been afraid to see what the sand blasting would have done to my truck if we had driven through the storm?????

Thanks for visiting and commenting on this story.

Tim Bondy
The Bondyweb.Com author

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