Home to North America’s largest concentration of nesting birds of prey, the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) was established in 1993 to protect a unique environment in the cliffs along the Snake River. Falcons, eagles, hawks, and owls live here in unique profusion and variety. This unique area encompasses 485,000 acres and hosts about 800 pairs of falcons, eagles, hawks and owls that come here each spring to mate and raise their young. The best time to view raptors is from mid-March through June during morning and early evening hours. Numerous other recreation opportunities are available such as camping, boating, fishing, hiking, picnicking, hunting, OHV riding, and scenic/wildlife viewing. A developed campground is located at Cove Recreation Site and primitive camping is available throughout the area.
The tallest sand dune rises 470 feet above small lakes in the high desert south of Mountain Home. The state park includes desert, dune, prairie, lake and marsh habitat with opportunities to observe nocturnal species. Activities include fishing, birdwatching, camping, hiking, swimming and viewing the stars at one of only two public observatories in Idaho. Feel free to climb but no vehicles are allowed on the dunes. A visitor center offers information on birds of prey, insects, fossils, wildlife and the sand dunes. A variety of gift items are available for purchase. Two cabins are available for rent. Also 82 serviced campsites with W/E and 31 standard sites. The Equestrian Area provides facilities for visitors to camp with their horses and there is a 9-mile riding trail around the park.
The Owyhee Uplands National Back Country Byway, known locally as the Mud Flat Road, is the primary access to central Owyhee County. From there, many rough roads and hiking routes enter more remote areas. The Byway can be reached through Jordan Valley, Oregon (80 miles southwest of Boise) or from Hwy 78 near Grand View, Idaho (70 miles southeast of Boise). The Byway is primarily a gravel road: 92 miles within Idaho and 12 miles within Oregon. A round-trip excursion on the Byway from Boise takes a full day. There are no services along the Byway. Services are available in Jordan Valley and Grand View. The Byway is a graveled road that is mainly one and one-half lanes wide. It can be traveled by most passenger vehicles during the summertime. The road traverses relatively flat to gently rolling topography, but short grades of up to 12% are encountered in a few places. The Byway is usually impassable from late November through March due to snow. Precipitation can make the road treacherously slick, so use caution during inclement weather. Due to the fragile nature of the soils and vegetation, keep all vehicles on the roadway.
The Owyhee Field Office offers a wide range of OHV recreation, including single track for OHV motorcycles and wider trails and two-tracks for ATVs and other motorized vehicles. The most popular area for single track is along the Owyhee Front. The BLM has established three OHV trailheads along the Owyhee Front that provide loading ramps, staging areas and restrooms. An extensive trail network radiates from each trailhead. These trails are used primarily by OHV recreationists. Other recreational users are welcome, but be aware that the emphasis of these sites is motorized recreation. The trailheads offer restrooms and loading ramps, and they provide access to hundreds of miles of roads, moderate to difficult trails and sand washes on steep, rocky terrain.
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P.O. Box 128
Murphy, ID 83650
20381 State Highway 78
Murphy, ID 83650