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Jump Creek - Sands Basin

A popular hiking, horse backing, and ATV/Offroading area with waterfalls, creeks, deep rocky canyons, and wild mustangs
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 52 miles
Duration: Multiple days
Family Friendly

Overview :  Jump Creek has a spectacular 60' waterfall. It originates in Sands Basin from year around springs. An awesome canyon with colorful... more »

Tips:  From Marsing, Idaho take Idaho 55 west to the junction with US-95. Continue 1½ miles west past the junction and turn left (west) onto... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Upper Parking Area

This parking area is a recent addition to the Jump Creek area. It is graveled and roomy. Several hiking/horseback trails start here.


2. Jump Creek Trailhead & Picnic Area

There is a roomy graveled parking area. It has a restroom, several fire rings, and rustic seating (rocks) for picnics. Bring your firewood as there is none available.

The last part of the road may be closed due to wet/snow conditions. It is fairly steep, but suitable for automobiles in good weather.

This is a DAY USE ONLY area!

We visited the... More

3. Jump Creek Falls

The falls are about 60' in height and there is a small pool suitable for wading and swimming at its base. There are also crevices and caves along the trail to the falls.

It is only about a 10 minute easy walk from the trail head on a good trail. You have to cross the creek once, but shouldn't have to get your feet wet unless it is during spring... More

4. Road to ATV Trail

The road from this point to POI #6 should be considered an ATV/jeep trail. There are several very steep, rocky, washed out spots that will present a challenge.

This trail is not for beginner/novice ATV riders.

An alternate route for high clearance vehicles is to take the Poison Creek Road at POI #21 to POI #9. At POI #9 you can turn east and... More

5. Overlook #1, Elevation 3280'

Great views from the canyon rim.

6. Overlook #2, Elevation 3600'

Great views of the canyon.

7. Overlook #3, Elevation 3965'

Great Views of the canyon.

8. Overlook #4, Elevation 4015'

Great views of the canyon.

9. Junction Sands Creek Road at the drift fence road

Start looking for mustangs and antelope from this point on. The fence marks the beginning of the wild horse area and Sands Basin.

10. Mustangs #1

To the west of the road is where we usually see mustangs, especially in the spring.

11. Mustangs #2

We usually see mustangs north and also west of here.

12. Jump Creek Ford

The road crosses Jump Creek here. You definitely need a high clearance vehicle, 4X4 is better.

Be cautious, especially during spring run-off.


13. Road Junction

The road that goes east from here is for ATVs and 4X4 vehicles. It is very steep, rocky, and has sections with steep side to side inclines.

It is not for beginner/novice ATV riders.

The road to the south to POI #14 is an alternate route and is OK for high clearance vehicles.

14. Charles Brown Memorial

A marker is here in memory of Charles Brown who was shot and killed in 1885 by a posse from Jordan Valley, Oregon. He was suspected of horse rustling. The horse was recovered.

One suspect escaped and left the country.

15. Charles Brown Grave Site

He was buried where he was killed. The grave site is about 1/4 mile down the draw from the memorial marker.

16. Junction of east side of Jump Creek roads & South Jump Creek Road

The roads from here to POI #s 17, 18, 19, to POI#13 are only for ATVs and 4X4 vehicles. They are very steep, rocky, and have several sections with steep side to side inclines.

They are not recommended for beginner/novice ATV riders.

The road to the south is OK for high clearance vehicles.

17. Vista #1, East Side, Elevation 3680'

Great views from here.

18. Vista #2 East Side, Elevation 3520'

Great views. Bad road.

19. Vista #3 East Side, Elevation 3200'

Great views. You can see South Jump Creek Road to the east.

20. South Jump Creek Road

The pavement ends here. The road to the west (Jump Creek) crosses a cattle guard and goes to the Jump Creek recreation area. The road is public, but is bordered by private land for about a mile.

The road to the south crosses a canal and goes south on the east side of Jump Creek Canyon. If you cross a canal, you are on the wrong road to the falls.

21. Jump Creek Rd and Poison Creek Rd

This is an alternate route to Sands Basin. Turn west on Poison Creek Road and follow the main road.

22. Poison Creek Stage Station

You know you are on the right road when you see the old stage station.

This was a stage stop on the Nampa, Idaho to Jordan Valley, Oregon stage line.

The road is public but the building is on private land.

23. Poison Creek Waterfall

The road to the waterfall from the Poison Creek Grade is rough and is on a steep side hill. It is nearly a mile to the falls. You will probably need a 4X4 vehicle to drive to it. There are no road signs or markers.

The waterfall had a very low flow and we did not see it while we were at the falls. We could hear it running behind rocks. After... More

24. Poison & Little Poison Creek Overlook

Views from the junction of Poison Creek and Little Poison Creek.

There is a geocache here.

25. View from Above Poison Creek Waterfall

Views from above the Poison Creek Waterfall.

The video in POI #23 has more views.

26. West Side Hiking/Horseback Trails

These trails start at the upper parking areas and climb to the west side rim of Jump Creek. They are not marked or maintained after about the first 1/4 mile.

They eventually intersect POI #5.

I traced several tracks on the map, but hikers/horse backers are not restricted to trails in this area and are free to explore.

There are some great views... More