In October, 2003, several members of I-OCTA met with a BLM representative to
explore and mark the Oregon Trail over the Sheep Creek Hills. Blessed with
excellent late fall weather, the group spent two days on this outing.
The first day was spent marking the trail from the Thomas Fork valley over the
eastern range of the Sheep Creek hills. Starting at the eastern edge of the
hills along old Highway 30, the group marked each of the approaches as they
started to ascend the hills. The multiple routes converged on the summit into
a single trail for the descent.
On the second day, the group crossed the western range of the Sheep Creek
Hills. The descent of these hills was commonly referred to as "Big Hill" and
was often noted in diary accounts as one of the steepest and most difficult
descents on the entire Oregon Trail. Even today, the descent is too steep to try
with vehicles. Exciting parts of this day's outing included a long, steep ascent
to the top of the hills, finding a grave site near the top, and locating a "lost"
and unmarked portion of the Trail.
This area is located in the far southeastern portion of Idaho, just inside the
border with Wyoming. The routes are accessible with 4-wheel drive vehicles.
Lodging and other services are available a few miles away in Montpelier, Idaho.