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Pole Creek Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images
Small shrubs grow in clumps across a desert glassland with a flat horizon.
Library image #3615: Wagon Box Basin


The United States Congress designated the Pole Creek Wilderness (map) in 2009 and it now has a total of 12,529 acres. All of this wilderness is located in Idaho and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


The landscape within the Pole Creek Wilderness, in the southwest part of Idaho near the Oregon border, is diverse, ranging from river canyons over a thousand feet deep to vast expanses of sagebrush and grassland plateaus. This ecosystem provides habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, songbirds, raptors, and numerous rare plant species. The river canyons in Owyhee County have been called the largest concentration of sheer-walled volcanic rhyolite and basalt canyons in the western United States. Elevations within the Wilderness boundaries range from 5,200 to 5,700 feet and many of the canyons are more than 1,000 feet deep, nearly twice as deep as the Washington Monument is tall. River enthusiasts come from around the country to challenge the famous white water rapids of these rivers.

Planning to Visit the Pole Creek Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Pole Creek Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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