I’ve only been to the Jump Creek Falls once. My daughter got married on July 7 so a lot of out-of-state relatives were flying in. We had a great time. I have awesome relatives on both sides of the fence. That’s one thing that I regret — we never get to see them all enough. Of course, a lot of families all live semi close to each other and tell me that they get busy and don’t get together enough. That’s not good. You can always count on your family when you encounter trouble. I remember one time I got hung on a cliff. A thing that brought me great hope was that I knew, even if Search & Rescue gave up, I knew that my brother and brothers-in-law wouldn’t.
So with that said, it was great to have everyone here. But when everyone is around you don’t just want to go out to eat in some restaurant where they’re playing some loud obnoxious song and no one can even talk, do you? No! On July 4, we grilled ribeyes on the grill and then popped fireworks. My neighborhood was a war zone. I love it. Everyone grilling and popping fireworks celebrating the birth of America. It drives me nuts all of the naysayers that want to outlaw all fireworks. Get a life! Or at least let the rest of us live ours.
And if you have relatives from out of state visiting, why sit around the house with everyone bored stiff? Come on, we live in Idaho. Even though we were in the middle of organizing the wedding, etc., and all of the hectic activities surrounding that, I wanted to take them out and showcase Idaho!
The next night we had a big fish fry with some of the crappie we’ve been catching and had enough left over to make fish tacos the next day.
Enough on the eating. There are a million zillion things you can do and cool places you can take relatives to when they visit. I’m going to write articles on a couple of deals we did. To begin, Colter and Christy Bowers flew in Monday. Colter is a nephew on Katy’s side of the family and Christy is almost five months pregnant, so I was hesitant to take her on any death-defying activities.
One morning the girls were all doodling so Colter and I ran out to check out the Jump Creek Falls. Since they’re from Nebraska I thought he’d enjoy the hike and the falls. I was thinking it took 30 to 40 minutes to hike up to the falls but it’s only about a five-minute hike. If you’re not in shape, don’t worry, it’s pretty much a flat hike up.
We hit the trailhead and threw on our packs with our water bottles. I always take an Aquamira filtered water bottle in case I need more water. An empty filtered bottle is a lot lighter than packing extra water!
It was a hot day but, on the hike up, half the time you’ll be shaded by the shrubs along the creek. It is an easy trail to hike but like while doing all Idaho hikes, I’d recommend wearing hiking boots with good ankle support so you don’t slip. I just got a pair of Danner Recurve Mo Toe boots. I love them. They’re super lightweight and comfortable.
I’d also suggest that you wear good hiking socks while hiking/hunting/backpacking. Granted, forever I’ve just worn cheapo white socks but as I get older, er, I mean more mature, I’m becoming a whiner and like a few luxuries. They’ll make your feet feel 100 times better at the end of the day.
Like I said above, I was remembering it being a longer hike but I don’t think it took us much over five minutes to get up to the falls. As is the norm, there were a lot of kids and a few dogs swimming and having a ball.
There are a few rock formations you’ll want to climb up on. We observed the beauty of the waterfall for a few minutes and took some pictures. To me the Jump Creek Falls is a unique Idaho gem. It seems totally out of place being in the Owyhees. You’d more expect it to be in Bolivia or somewhere.
After taking some pictures we climbed up a trail or two and then went back to the trailhead to catch the trail that heads up above the waterfall. That trail is a little more strenuous than the trail to the falls but nothing drastic by any means.
We took more pictures and then figured we’d better head home and torment the girls. You can’t leave them unattended for too long or they might become complacent and happy. Katy’s sister Shayla and her husband Tim had also flown in and were coming over for crappie and homemade cherry ice cream. Fun trip.
TO GET TO THE JUMP CREEK FALLS TRAIL
Take Interstate 84 and get off on Highway 55 at exit 33A in Nampa. Head towards Marsing.
Go through Marsing. A couple of miles out, 95 South will run south (left) at the gas station. Keep going straight on 95 North.
In about a mile at the spot where 95 takes a pretty hard right, take a left (straight) on Cemetery Road.
Go a bit and then take a left on South Jump Creek Road.
Follow the signs.
Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana. He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.