Jump Creek recreation site to close for repairs

March 13, 2014 

The falls at Jump Creek.

ROGER PHILLIPS — rphillips@idahostatesman.com

The popular spring hiking area 10 miles southwest of Marsing will be closed from March 24 to May 19 so U.S. Bureau of Land Management crews can repair about 600 feet of the road that leads to the lower parking area of the recreation site.

In addition to rebuilding the existing road bed, BLM will install structures for drainage and resurface the road bed with concrete.

The project is being funded with grant money from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

"The road reconstruction project is a much needed upgrade that will resolve public safety issues and mitigate damage occurring to natural resources at the site," said Ryan Homan, BLM Owyhee Field Office outdoor recreation planner.

Because of heavy traffic, a steep grade and improper drainage, the road quickly erodes, gets washboarded and develops ruts.

Damage can make the road unsafe to drive and inaccessible for two-wheel-drive vehicles, said Homan.

"The project will ensure recreationists year-round access to the day-use area and restroom facilities," he said.

The Jump Creek Recreation Site is a popular area that receives close to 20,000 visitors per year, according to BLM. It is used for camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, gold panning and rock climbing. It also serves as a staging area for off-road vehicles, horseback riding and hunting.

The area is best known and popular for a 1/4-mile hike to Jump Creek Falls, a waterfall in a lush desert canyon. There is also a trail to the falls overlook.

After the area reopens on May 19, visitors can reach the site from Boise by taking Interstate 84 west to the Nampa exit for Idaho 55 (Exit 33A). Follow Idaho 55 through Marsing and on to the junction with U.S. 95.

Continue one and a half miles past the junction and turn left onto Cemetery Road. Turn left at the T-intersection with a stop sign. The road becomes Jump Creek Road as it continues south.

BLM officials say just after passing under power transmission lines, the road curves right through private land. Stay on the road as it curves back to the left toward the entry to the recreation area.

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