Duncan Creek: Zeno Canyon

Zeno Canyon is a tributary of Duncan Creek which is a tributary of Big Jacks Creek. Zeno Canyon is well known for being home to one of the few waterfalls in the Owyhee country. It can be accessed from route 51. From Bruneau, go south 25 miles to milepost 45. Continue south another tenth of a mile. Turn right (west) on the unsigned Wickahoney-Battle Creek Road. This good gravel road is reached from Grasmere by going north on highway 51 for 11.9 miles. The road crosses Wickahoney Creek, climbs a hill, and continues on a plateau to Duncan Creek crossing which is 15.1 miles from the highway. Park at Duncan Creek crossing.

There are several route options. The narrow plateau between Zeno Canyon and Duncan Creek is called The Island. It provides easy hiking and access to Duncan Creek upstream of the confluence with Zeno Canyon. A good option is a loop hike down Zeno Canyon to the confluence and up Duncan Creek to the starting point. From Duncan Creek crossing, hike north, moving increasingly west of Duncan Creek. When you reach the creek that eventually becomes Zeno Canyon continue downstream on its west side. In about two miles from the start you will reach a spring in Zeno Canyon. There is a good deal of brush. You can find game trails away from the creek to speed passage. About a half mile downstream just above the confluence is the waterfall. There is a campsite nearby. Head up Duncan Creek to the start. It has much less brush than Zeno Canyon. If you want, you can exit Duncan Creek through a side canyon on the west. This takes you to The Island which can be followed north to the start.

A longer option is to head down Duncan Creek from the confluence. After about 4 miles the canyon flattens out at Buncel Place. You can turn around and head back upstream to the start, or exit Duncan Creek on a dirt road going southeast. In about two and a half miles this road intersects the Whickahoney-Battle Creek Road. This is 6 or 7 miles from Duncan Creek crossing.

Maps: USGS Hill Pasture, Wickahoney Point

The following photos have been provided by Jason Talbot. More fine photos can be seen at his website at www.uplandidaho.com/blastcast/Jason.htm