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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 http://bondyblogs.com  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

 
You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Rock Hounding and Gold Panning Rock Hunting Owyhee Peak 4189

Rock Hunting Owyhee Peak 4189

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Want to try some wintertime rock hounding in Idaho? Hiking in the Owyhee desert is the perfect cold season get-away. How about blazing your own trail up peaks only but a few have attempted? All this and it's just a 1 hour drive from Mountain Home.

Rock hounding Owyhee Peak 4189

(February 2, 2012) This rock hounding trip was a long time coming. I've been eying this small but completely cool looking peak along the Owyhee Front for over 3 years. With obvious “volcano” looking characteristics, I was hoping to find some cool rocks. The hike was wonderful with brilliant blue skies and the usual solitude of the high desert.

The Hike
One of the problems in this area is finding a parking spot off Poison Creek Cut-off Road. Yeah, you can pull off the shoulder of this gravel road but one never knows how soft and gooey the shoulder will be until you get down there. So I decided to play it safe and park on the side of a double track trail heading almost straight towards Peak 4189.

Rock hunting trail to Owyhee mountain peak

My dog Addie and I headed south on foot along double track trail. Pretty simple walk that gradually climbs the further south you go. Once this trail ended, we headed off-trail straight towards the easily identifiable Peak 4189. Again, the grade is rather slight as it approaches the base of the peak.

Once at the base of Peak 4189, the climb gets steep and rocky. But it wasn't long before we summited out. The sweeping views from the summit are incredible even though the peak only rises about 500 feet above the plains where we parked. As usual, the winds on these Owyhee peaks were quite a bit stronger than down below.

Views from Rock Hunting Summit in Owyhee County

The hike back to the car was mostly off-trail along 3 different dry washes. We explored a few man-made objects out there and followed a few game trails. Yep, there are still deer, antelopes and coyotes alive and roaming the Owyhee Front. Plenty of tracks and scat to prove it.

Hunting Some Cool Rocks
The rock hounding was a little disappointing on and around Peak 4189. There is an abundance of bright white quartz and some near clear chunks up there. But nothing I saw made me want to bring a specimen home with me.

Mining claim in Owyhee Mountains

Obviously someone found something of interest on the flanks of Peak 4189 as there is a mining claim marker up there. Because the claim marker was just lying on the ground, I suspect the claim is abandoned. I'm reasonably sure if I had made a real effort, I would have found some cool rocks but this was just an exploratory trip. In other words, there wasn't any “low hanging fruit” just lying on the ground. I'll be back for some serious rock hounding later in the winter or early spring.

GPS Track Map of the Peak 4,189 Rock Hounding Trip

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Peak 4189 Hiking Statistics
Total Distance of Hike: 3.56 human miles. About 20 Addie Dog miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 553 feet
Average Slope of Entire Hike: 6%
Average Slope from Base to Peak: 20.1% in about 1/5 of a mile

The Land
The entire hike was done on public lands with a majority owned by the State of Idaho. BLM lands, as usual in the Owyhees, made up the ownership of the rest of the hike.

Cheat Grass invasion in Idaho

This is ranching land and the entire hike was done on the East Castle Creek Rangeland Allotment. Expect cow patties along any route you take from car door to the summit of Peak 4189. The predominate vegetation was unfortunately “cheat grass” with areas of sage brush.

The Rough Mountain Quad Topo Map show this peak has an elevation of 4189, while my GPS unit showed the (un)-true elevation at 4,140. I seriously don't know if my GPS unit is off by almost 50 feet or the 1992 Topo Map is wrong.


Thanks for visiting the Bondyweb,


tim-bondy-idaho-blogger



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