Leslie Gulch is a hidden gem in Oregon. Tucked away as far east as you can get, it is a canyon in Malheur County. The gulch was named after a local rancher who in 1882 was truck by lightening and died.
Visit Leslie Gulch in Oregon
Some of our favorite spots we have explored are through Gulches. Towering rock walls, beautiful colors and exciting hiking come with gulches. This is something you definitely don’t expect to find in Oregon, but here we are and it stands up to the Gulches that most people associate with Utah.
Getting to Leslie Gulch
Getting to Leslie Gulch is actually easy, but can take you some time. Off of Highway 95 turn onto Succor Creek Road, then continue onto Leslie Gulch Road. This road is gravel and not maintained. While only 16 miles, it took us well over an hour. As soon as you reach the Leslie Gulch sign, the roads get a little better.
It is beautiful to drive through.
Things to do in Leslie Gulch
Hiking in Leslie Gulch
There are multiple options of hikes in Leslie Gulch. Here are a couple we chose.
Juniper Gulch Trail
Situated half way between the entrance and Slocum Campground, it is a must if you are interested in crazy rock formations and beautiful views. Read about our hike here: Juniper Gulch Trail
Slocum Creek Campground Trail
This trail starts at the back of the Slocum Creek Campground. It is a point to point and very long but you can do as much as you want. We stayed close to the campground but you hike along a dry creek bed and through a valley.
A couple other options:
Timber Gulch – 1.5 mile easy hike to a natural amphitheater
Dago Gulch – 2.1 mile easy hike through beautiful rock formations.
Hot Springs in Leslie Gulch
You have a couple options that are really close to Leslie Gulch.
Snively Hot Springs – These rest along the banks of the Owyhee River.
Echo Rock Hot Springs – Located on the southern bank of the Owyhee River, it will take a hike to get to them.
There are hot springs that are close, but only if you are headed west.
Alvord Desert Hot Springs – These are not primitive and you have to pay to use. Three small pools with views of the Alvord Desert.
Crystal Crane Hot Springs – These are also not primitive, but part of it actually feels like it is. With RV parking and other accommodation options, they are probably our favorite in Oregon. Read about it here: Crystal Crane Hot Springs.
OHV, Biking and River Use
Aside from hiking you can also grab your gravel or mountain bike to get around. There are gravel roads that wind along with the river. These roads are great for OHVs. OHVs are only allowed to drive on roads. There is no off roading.
In the fall and winter the river is very low, so you can wander around the cracked bottom.
Big Horned Sheep
If you are lucky enough, you will find the herd of big horned sheep! Reintroduced to the area in 1965, they are now the largest California big horn sheep herd in the nation! We were bummed we didn’t see any of them.
Camping in Leslie Gulch
There is only one campground in Leslie Gulch. Slocum Creek Campground. You are not able to park wherever you want or make your own spots. There is backcountry tent camping, but that is it. This campground has 12 spots with fire pits and some have these shelters. There is a pit toilet but no garbage service and zero cell service even with a booster. You can stay here for up to 14 days for free!
Follow along for more fun adventures to add to your bucket list!
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