Anderson Crossing is at the start of Section 21 of the ODT. This can be accessed by high clearance vehicles (high water years may make the trip impossible as you need to cross the seasonal Antelope Creek which could be too high). There are a few campsites on the east side of West Little Owyhee, although high water levels may prevent a crossing. West Little Owyhee is the most challenging section of the ODT. The narrow slot canyon gets choked with boulders and willow trees, but it’s a great adventure to pick your way north and try out this epic section.
The trail starts out innocently enough at Anderson Crossing where the gravel road crosses the West Little Owyhee and follows a faint, old two-track road on the south side of the creek for about a quarter mile until it fades completely. Just beyond this point the trail enters Louse Canyon’s tall, walled corridor. The trail follows the creek and uses the easiest route possible, which may include walking through sagebrush above the riparian strip, wading through hip-deep water, balancing from rock to rock on the shoreline, and sometimes doubling back briefly to find a different option. After 4.7 miles, you will reach the confluence with Dry Canyon. Continue on and after 12.3 miles, the canyon opens up to the north and there is an exit slope on the west canyon rim.
Notes and Advice:
- Wet conditions could make driving to Anderson Crossing impossible. See our driving tips for suggestions on traveling in this part of the desert.
- Rattlesnakes are abundant along this trail.
- This is a very remote area of Oregon with no cell phone reception. Be prepared when planning a trip to this area or traveling off the highway.