Geology Rocks: Leslie Gulch

I love the high desert, but let’s be honest – there’s so much of it to love. The stretch of road between Fernley, Nevada and the Idaho border on US-95 is a sea of sagebrush. When you start bouncing back and forth between the rumble strips, it’s time to find an adventure.

The day before leaving Boise, I flipped through a guidebook trying to find a short hike for Aspen to stretch her legs and discovered Leslie Gulch. The detour off the highway was a bit farther than I hoped for, but so worth it!!


Driving into Leslie Gulch.

There are various gulches to explore, each rewarding in its own way. On a whim, we chose Juniper Gulch. Most of the trailheads are equipped with a trash can and restroom, nothing fancy but more than I expected an hour off the highway.

We accidentally visited Leslie Gulch during the perfect season, the green on the mountains fantastically contrasted the vivid orange hues. The only thing that could add to it was a dusting of snow, but I doubt I would have braved the dirt road with just Aspen, me, and a signal-less cell phone. During the summer, I’m not sure how well the blazing sun would complement the gulch…early morning or evening, I think. 


Low-hanging clouds adding extra drama to the landscape.

There were so many jaw-dropping rock formations above me and cool rocks below, it’s a miracle I didn’t face plant in the middle of the trail or should I say dry-creek bed. The main trail became more apparent when we gained a bit of elevation and a view! 


Spring at Leslie Gulch.

With eight hours left on the road, we decided to head back for the car. Or should I say, I decided we were headed back to the car.


Mere moments before she found out we were turning around.

We hiked .87 miles in with a honeycomb amphitheater reward. This out-and-back is a chose your own adventure, from a short stroll to cresting the saddle and joining the Oregon Desert Trail.


Honeycomb amphitheater.


No time for rock hounding today…

Driving from Boise, there are hints of captivating geology drawing you from the tedious stretch of US-95; take the suggestion – go explore.



One response to “Geology Rocks: Leslie Gulch

  1. Nice hike and break with Aspen. I’ve been through that part of the country, but it seems it’s always a rush from Idaho to either Reno or Carson City for the night. Next time , I’ll take some time to get off 95/93 and 80 to enjoy the scenery a bit. It’s beautiful for sure. Thanks for the ‘wake-up’ call! ;-}

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