When I told my wife there was a waterfall less than 20 miles from our house, I don’t think she believed me.
Nampa is, afterall, rather flat. Maybe not West Texas flat, but it’s in the ballpark. Plus it is a bit of an arid desert and only has water because of a massive irrigation system.
So on a recent warmish Saturday we drove to Jump Creek Falls, which is located near Marsing in the foothills of the Owyhee Mountains.
I’d been here a few times in college and even camped here one night – though there were a bunch of signs saying day use only … I guess we just ignored those?
The hike is exceedingly short. Like less than a mile short, but in the winter months you have to walk down a giant hill to reach the lower trailhead so you will get a bit of workout in coming back up.
You navigate a narrow canyon with tons of caves that are reachable if you want to scramble up the hillside. You also cross the creek at one point, though someone has put in some helpful stepping stones so we made it across with dry feet intact.
The falls feature a 50-foot drop into a pool that is perfect for swimming in the summer. There are lots of giant rocks to play around on and in general, it is just a fun little hike to do.
You can also hike above the falls, though we did not have time on this day. There are also great views looking back toward the Boise Mountains from the upper parking lot.
Be sure and follow the signs to avoid trespassing on the public property located nearby. You can tell the landowners are pretty fed up with trespassers based on the fun sign that sits above a toy skeleton and says, “Despite what your GPS says, this is not the way to Jump Creek Falls.”
– Craig Craker