Tucked away in Owyhee County, dozens of miles of dirt, gravel, and sagebrush away from civilization, the Bruneau River runs clear and turquoise through an austere gorge in the Southwest Idaho desert. Widely overlooked because of its remote location, this wild and scenic river is actually a spectacular desert paradise, originally named after Pierre Bruneau, an explorer with the Northwest Trading Co., who stumbled upon the region in the early 1800s.
And “stumbled upon” is an accurate assessment in this case! This vibrant red canyon is almost invisible until standing right on its rim, at which point it plunges over 800 feet to one of the country’s most isolated wild and scenic rivers. But far more unexpected than the river and canyon itself? The absolutely breathtaking hike you can take to the base of the gorge…and the mesmerizing landscape you’ll find once you reach the riverbed.