One of the most remote locations in Oregon, the Three Forks Recreation Site offers camping, fishing, swimming, and boating opportunities in the canyonland confluence of the North Fork Owyhee, Middle Fork Owyhee, and Owyhee Rivers.
Know Before You Go:
The Soldier Creek Loop Road can be impassable when wet or muddy, so plan accordingly. It is designated a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Watchable Wildlife road, and is enjoyed by a variety of users – including outdoor enthusiasts, birders, ranchers, upland bird and big game hunters, rafters, and campers. Cattle graze on the open range here, too, so be prepared for the occasional cow-in-the-road experience.
Along the way, plan a stop at the Owyhee Canyon Overlook (22 miles from the highway turn-off) for breathtaking views of the Owyhee Wild and Scenic River far below.
The last two miles to the site drop quickly into the Three Forks canyon. It is best to stop at the canyon rim and assess the road conditions before attempting the descent with your vehicle, as it’s rocky, steep, and not regularly maintained. Visitors are encouraged to park their cars at the rim and hike down to the site, should driving conditions be too treacherous.
Once in the canyon, the recreation site features five designated campsites, a boat launch, vehicle parking, and vault restrooms.
The site is named Three Forks for the three sections of rivers – the Owyhee, the North Fork Owyhee, and the Middle Fork Owyhee – that converge in the area.
Pronghorn antelope can be found on the rangeland above the canyon, and the canyon interior is particularly important as mule deer winter range habitat. Elk also use this area in the winter and California Bighorn sheep are year-round residents within the Owyhee River corridor.
Point of Interest:
Remnants of a historic military road can still be seen today, zig-zagging up the canyon’s west face, and old wagon and ranching roads near the recreation site allow for hiking and walking in the area.