Of the hikes described in Leslie Gulch, the one to the top of Yellow Jacket provides the most diverse hiking experience. You begin with a short jaunt up a normally dry stream bed, paralleling a huge overhanging rock face. A little beyond a half mile, you gain an open ridge with superlative views of the multicolored rhyolite and basalt cliffs surrounding the broad basin.
The basin is dotted with hundreds of juniper trees, providing shade on a sunny day. The route drops back to the stream bed and meanders through a diverse assortment of orange and red rock formations. After leaving the last juniper, the trail ascends 800 feet to a wide ridge. Here, you turn left and climb another half mile on an open ridge to the top of Yellow Jacket, a high plateau that separates Timber Gulch from Juniper Gulch.
The extensive views from this point are jaw-dropping! Vistas stretch for as far as the eye can see in all directions. To the east, is a bird’s eye view of the striking basin of Juniper Gulch. In the far distance is the entrance to Dago Gulch and the high plateaus of Grassy Ridge and Steamboat Ridge. To the north, see Lake Owyhee, the high cliffs above Carlton Canyon and Painted Canyon and countless high, rolling ridges. Standing on the western rim of the plateau, the precipitous view is even more remarkable peering 1,000 feet
straight down into Timber Gulch.
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