Leslie Gulch is a beautiful landscape of towering, colorful cliffs and honeycombed rock formations and the trail up Upper Leslie Gulch puts many of these formations on display. The towers of cliffs in Leslie Gulch are made up of a consolidated volcanic ash called Tuff which was deposited over 15 million years ago with eruptions emanating from the Mahogany Mountain and Three Fingers Caldera. These violent explosions buried the area in a layer over 1,000 feet thick. As water and time have eroded away the area, the cliffs and towers of tuff have remained.
The hike begins from a signed trailhead on the left side of the canyon, the first trail you will come to on your trip down Leslie Gulch. Right off the bat, 400-foot-tall walls will line the canyon as you make your way through juniper and sagebrush that is as tall as you. Soon, the canyon will open up and Mahogany Mountain will come into view ahead of you. An amazing two-towered rock formation will also peak out its head in this area.
At about a mile, the gulch will split, with Leslie Gulch itself heading to the right. The trail will continue up the left fork, so that is the way you should go. Much of the trail at this point is along the stream bottom, so if the stream happens to be flowing, stay to the left. The hike continus up this side canyon for a little more than a mile. Many colorful cliff walls and towers will amaze you along the way.
At just under a mile from the canyon junctions, your side canyon will veer to the left and begin to narrow considerably. In a little more than a quarter mile, you will find yourself at the mouth of a slot canyon. This is the official end of the trial, but doesn’t have to be for you. While it does appear that the trail ends into a wall of red osier dogwood, a little bushwhacking will find you back in the open inside the slot canyon. You can continue rock hopping and climbing through areas of brush for about a quarter mile. The canyon will continue to narrow and soar above you. At this point though, the canyon becomes too narrow and clogged with crap to proceed. But enjoy your little piece of Utah right here in Oregon.
From the south, head west on Succor Creek Road 18 miles north of Jordan Valley, Oregon on Highway 95. Stay on Succor Creek road for 8.5 miles. Here, you will encounter an intersection with Succor Creek Road continuing to your left and McBride Road heading straight ahead. Make the left and continue another 1.8 miles on Succor Creek Road. Then make a left onto Leslie Gulch Road and travel 13.7 miles until you reach the trailhead, the first trail you come to upon entering the Leslie Gulch area.
From the north, head south on Highway 95, 21 miles from Marsing, Idaho and make a right onto McBride Road. Follow McBride Road for 8.5 miles until you reach Succor Creek Road. Head right and travel 1.8 miles and then make a left onto Leslie Gulch Road. The trailhead will on your left, 13.7 miles ahead, the first trail you come to upon entering the Leslie Gulch area.
Passes: No passes are required.
Dogs: Allowed and must be on leash or under voice command at all times.
Open Season: Open year round, but if it has rained or is wet, the roads in this area can become impassable. Also be aware of thunderstorms if you are venturing into the slot canyon where flash floods are aways a risk.