Outdoors

Jump Creek access improvements finished

 It's still cool enough to hike to Jump Creek Falls, and the drive to the trailhead near Marsing has been improved.

A two-month reconstructing and resurfacing project on the access road to the Jump Creek Recreation Site has been completed ahead of schedule, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Owyhee Field Office said. The trailhead is 10 miles southwest of Marsing.

"The recreation site is a popular area that receives about 20,000 visitors per year and is typically open to the public year-round," said  Owyhee Field Office Outdoor Recreation Planner Ryan Homan.   Recreation activities in the area include camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, picnicking, gold panning and rock climbing. Jump Creek also serves as a staging area for activities such as off-highway vehicle riding, horseback riding and hunting.

The project included reconstructing the existing roadbed, adding culverts for drainage under the 500-foot roadbed and laying down roughly 200 yards of concrete on top of it.  The Jump Creek project was funded by a grant of $84,000 from Idaho Parks and Recreation as well as the cost of BLM labor used as a match.  The total project cost, including BLM labor, was about $130,000.

"Prior to the upgrade, the road leading into the recreation site received periodic maintenance that typically only included blading of the road surface," according to Homan. 

Magnesium chloride was occasionally applied to the roadbed to bind the materials. However, the road would quickly washboard, rut and erode due to heavy traffic use, improper drainage and the steep grade, making it unusable to two-wheel drive vehicles and occasionally stranding visitors at the recreation site.

“Overall, the much needed upgrade of the access road has resolved resource issues, greatly extended the lifespan of the facilities in the area, and ensures all recreationists safe and improved access to the restroom facilities and day use area year-round,” said  Homan. 

This is a welcomed improvement. I've driven the old road and it could be a mess.

Jump Creek Falls is a major attraction in the area and worth seeing when there's a good amount of water flowing.

Watch for the area's famous and lush poison ivy.

Getting there: Here are directions from BLM -

From Boise, take Interstate 84 west to the Nampa exit for Idaho 55 (Exit 33A). Follow Idaho 55 through Marsing and on to the junction with US 95. Continue 1½ 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. Just after passing under power transmission lines, the road curves right, through private land – stay on the roadway as it curves back to the left toward the entry to the recreation area.

 

 

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