Wild Cat Canyon
Wild Cat Canyon is a challenging hiking and scrambling route
in southeast Idaho near Marsing. The lowest section of the
gorge has some impressive pinnacles and rock formations. In
winter and spring there is a small stream. By summer the stream
is reduced to an occasional pool or small trickle. There is
very little brush. There are actually two canyons which are
next to each other. This description is for the eastern canyon,
which appears to be larger and is the one labeled on the map.
From Marsing drive west on Route 55 for two miles to Route
95. Turn left, and head south. In 5.6 miles you will reach
Summercamp Road and a weigh station. Go a half mile past the
road and turn right onto a 4 wheel drive road. Go through
a cattle gate. In 0.2 mile you will bear left at an intersection.
Go another 0.2 mile through a second cattle gate. (Be sure
to close it behind you.) Drive another 0.9 mile to the end
of the road which is very close to the canyon mouth.
Hike up through the impressive gorge. The canyon walls widen
and fall back after a half mile. Keep going. The canyon alternates
between narrow and broad sections. It narrows up, and you
will enter a short narrow slot. There are thigh deep pools
to wade and some challenging scrambling. Above the slot the
canyon opens up and then narrows again. Eventually you come
to a fork. The left branch (facing up canyon) goes through
a narrows and then peters out. The main canyon is the right
branch. It narrows and then opens up. You might be tempted
to turn back at this point, but it is worth while to continue.
Follow the open easy slopes of the water course. The canyon
walls close in. There are narrows, some hard scrambles, a
short brushy spot, and a steep section to climb. Good route
finding skills are helpful. Push all the way through until
the canyon peters out. You will know that you are near the
end when you see a fence on the right canyon rim (facing up
canyon). Return the same way. While a rope is not necessary
on this route, it is a good idea to bring a short rope to
belay the inexperienced. Allow five to six hours.
Map: USGS Jump Creek Canyon Quadrangle