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You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Local Outdoor News Stalked on Kicking a Plott Hound Creek Hike

Stalked on Kicking a Plott Hound Creek Hike

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Getting stalked on a hike in the Owyhee Wilderness is unnerving even if I never saw a thing. Read on for more about this hike.

Little Jacks Wilderness and Kicking Plott Hound Creek

(January 17th, 2012) This hike was located on the very edge of the The Little Jacks Creek Wilderness in the Owyhee's of Idaho just off Mud Flat Road. I had a longer hike planned but a few things got in the way. Even though it was a short hike, the scenery and solitude was outstanding.

The Kicking a Plott Hound Creek Hike
I parked at the Poison Creek Picnic Area on Mud Flat Road (42.756916, -116.297625) and my Plott Hound Addie and I headed southeast up an unnamed creek bed. My intended route was to take me up and around a minor peak before heading back to the car on the far side of the mountain. It wasn't an overly ambitious plan at around 3 miles.

The Cliffs of Kick Plott Hound Creek

Heading up the self named “Kicking a Plott Hound Creek” was interesting. There were some cool rocks...white rocks with spots of smoky quartz embedded in them. And the creek bed was rather rough and tumble with plenty of small cliffs to scramble up. I probable kicked my dog Addie about 20 times heading up these cliffs. One moment she was on top of the cliff and the next she was right on my heels where she'd get a boot to the nose. Addie the Plott Hound did not seem to mind though.

Rock Hounding Find off Mud Flat Road

On a higher saddle, the creek bed shallowed out as it wandered up to its source on the south side of my first destination peak. This is also where strong southerly winds started howling. Moving out of the creek bed we began our trek up the peak. It certainly did not look all that steep as I headed towards a lone pine tree near the top. But coming down the same area it felt pretty darn cliff-like.

I did not have the lungs nor the will to walk to the exposed peak. The lone pine was quite high enough and brutally cold in what I estimated to be steady 30 mph winds. The sweat I worked up on the uphill leg began chilling me to the bone. But the view from this high vantage point made the effort completely worth it.

Cliff seen from Lone Pine Peak

I was cold so I suspected my dog was rather chilly too. She doesn't have a very thick coat of fur so I got on the downwind side of the lone pine and sat in a small hollow in direct sunshine. Sure enough it was quite pleasant. Warm enough to take off my jacket and drink some water. I fed the dog some treats and a whole quart of water right there.

While enjoying the break, my ever vigilant dog locked on to something down in the valley we just came up. She stared long and hard down there and issued a series of low growls. Something I've never seen her do.

Valley where a mountain lion or wolf might have been stalking us

Stalked or Not Stalked - I'll Never Know
My plan was to head around to the south side of the mountain and head back to the car. The winds were ripping and I did not feel like dealing with it. Plus my dog was spooked about something in the general direction we came up. I wanted to know what it was, so we headed back down the way we came.

I'm not a complete idiot, so figuring my dog would be safer, we kept to the high ground. If it was something like a mountain lion or possibly a stray wolf, at least I might spot the creature by staying high. So we cross-sloped along the side of the peak. And my dog stayed higher than me...obviously still somewhat spooked.

I never saw a darn thing all the way back to the car. And I looked! That doesn't mean whatever was down there didn't see us. But who know, it could have been a badger that spooked Addie.

GPS Track Map of this Owyhee Wilderness Hike

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Hike Stats:
Total Hiking Mileage: 1.75
Elevation Gain/Loss: 719 feet
Average Slope: 14.7% and my thighs are telling me it might have been even steeper.
Road Mileage from Mountain Home: 44.3 miles
Link to More Pictures: https://picasaweb.google.com/tim.bondy/KickingPlottHoundCreekHike?authuser=0&feat=directlink

The Land We Hiked
All land on this hike was part of the Little Jacks Creek Wilderness established in 2009. I don't know when the “wilderness rules” went into effect for this area, but I suspect cattle grazing isn't an acceptable practice here. I'm also not a “scatologist”, but the numerous cow patties I encountered appeared to be “not so old”.

From Kicking Plott Hound Creek Hike

Overall, the land appeared to be fairly healthy but cheat grass was quite abundant in places. While I have mixed emotions on creating more wilderness in Idaho, I figured the Owyhee Wilderness would give me a cow patty free place to hike. As you can see, this wasn't the case. Hopefully in the coming years, this geologically interesting wilderness will eventually return to a more natural state. There's plenty of land in the Owyhees to accommodate hikers and ranching.

The “Call to Action” Section
My call to action is to leave a comment and or question. Gotta be people out there who want more or who could use an answer to a question about this area. Got some answers? I asked a few question in this article...let's hear from you too.

Thanks,


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