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About Owyhee Mountains

The Owyhee Mountains stand in the southwest corner of Idaho, rising above the deserts and the lowlands of the Snake River Basin, reaching elevations above 8,000 feet. To travelers along Interstate 86, as well as residents of the Boise area, the Owyhee Mountains are visible on clear days in the distance to the south. To get a closer look at them, travelers can follow Idaho Highway 78, which skirts between the Snake River and their northern slopes. U.S. Highway 95 also passes along their western foothills.

The Owyhee Mountains are surrounded by a wide ring of hills which are as barren as the surrounding desert. A long drive along winding mountain roads is necessary to reach the greenery of the alpine peaks, but once there, the beauty is worth the drive. The range extends southward some distance from the Snake River, but its highest peaks are at the northern end.

The Owyhee Mountains saw a big boom in mining in the late 1800s, Silver City, perched high in the mountains, was originally the county seat. The boom has long since ended now, and Silver City is a ghost town, and recreation is the main activity in these mountains.

The Owyhee Mountains are named after Hawaiian fur trappers who worked here in the early 1800s. The name is said ‘O-Y-he’, being a mispronunciation of ‘Hawaii’.

The highest peak in the Owyhees is Turntable Mountain at 8,122 feet in elevation. Other peaks around it include War Eagle Mountain, 8051 feet; Sugar Loaf, 6345 feet; Lead Mountain, 6464 feet; Hayden Peak, 8403 feet; Sawpit Peak, 7810; Florida Mountain, 7784 feet. South Mountain is the only major peak in the southern end of the range, at 7,801 feet. By contrast, the Snake River flows past at 2,300 feet.

Street Index

a dirt road
Scotch Bob Creek Road
Silver City Road
Silver Falcon Road
Sinker Creek
Stage Road

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