Rocks–both big and small–draw folks to Succor Creek (2010)
Rockhounds know that Succor Creek State Natural Area is a great place to find thundereggs and gem stones. And, anyone interested in geology can’t help but be impressed with the towering rock bluffs and deep canyons. Wildlife watchers may glimpse an elusive chukar (an upland bird) and see pronghorn antelope, mule deer and coyotes (watch out for rattlesnakes, too).
Getting to the 1,900-acre park is part of the adventure. Be prepared to take it slow on Succor Creek Road, 17 miles of gravel and dirt that takes off from Oregon 201 south of Adrian. If you come in from Jordan Valley to the south, consider a detour to Leslie Gulch along the Owyhee River to see unusual rock formations and possibly California bighorn sheep. A long day-trip to Jordan Craters, a 27-square-mile lava flow, is also worth the effort in good weather (50-mile roundtrip on a rough, dirt road).
Camping at Succor Creek is seasonal, primitive and free. Tents and small, contained RVs can fit in six camping sites on the east side of the creek. Walk over a pedestrian bridge to 14 more walk-in tent sites. If you’re lucky, you might snag one of the single camp spots along the creek before reaching the campground. Bring your drinking water. None is available in the park. The campground has a vault toilet.
If you go:
Seasonal, free camping is first-come, first-served.
Summer can be blistering hot. Bring plenty of drinking water and sunscreen.
You can collect limited-souvenir rocks for personal use, away from the campground and developed areas. Use only hand tools, such as picks, shovels or hammers. Power tools are not allowed.
For more information about the park, directions and other attractions, visit the links below.
Thundereggs (Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries)
Chukar (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
Leslie Gulch (Bureau of Land Management )
Jordan Craters (Bureau of Land Management )
Jordan Valley (town)