You are hereRide to Wickahoney with side visit to Higby Cave

Ride to Wickahoney with side visit to Higby Cave

By coolsen - Posted on 12 April 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015, a group of eight riders, nost of whom are IAMC members, met at the Trolley House Restaurant on Warm Springs Avenue next to the M&W.  We have a good breakfast and then set out on our ride to Wickahoney in Owyhee County.

Participating on this ride were Sam Stone, Christian Morch, Bo MacDowell, Norris Riggs and Craig Olsen from the club.  Former members and fellow riders who also went included Steve Joyce, Jim Carney and Dave Roylance.


We headed out Broadway and Production Way to Gowen Road and then Pleasant Valley Road to the National Guard Testing Range.  We crossed the south end of the range on a primitive two-track road that brought us onto Highway 167 (Mountain Home to Grandview) just above the Simplot stockyards just before you cross the Snake River to the Shell station and convenience store in Grandview.  There we topped off our tanks, and then headed down Mud Flat Road to Shoofly Cutoff to Highway 51, and we took that to the Battle Creek, which is a good gravel road.  We followed this about 6-7 miles to the west until we encountered another two-track road turning off south.  This two-track is easy to miss.  After a short distance, this two-track splits.  Take the right fork and about 5 miles later, you will arrive at Wickahoney.

This photo was provided by Sam Stone and shos what Wickahoney looked like around 1900 when it served as a stage stop, post office and refuge for travelers on the stage route between the towns of Mountain City, Nevada and Mountain Home, Idaho. As with most desert encampments it was built near a dependable water supply, the lush Wickahoney Springs.

According to Sam Stone, our resident historian, this structure was lived in up to the mid 1930s when it became abandoned, but remained very well preserved.  Sometime in the 1970s or 80s teenagers partying there burned it down when the bone fire they built got out of control.  It was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1982.

(View from the west looking east.)


(View from the east looking west.)


About 100 years behind the building (to the west) is this metal sign denoting the burial places of Josiah and Margaret Dunning, their infant, and an unknown miner - all buried there between 1894 and 1913.

During our lunch we had an impromtu air show put of my a group of A-10s (either out of Gowen Field or Mountain Home Air Force Base), who spotted us and "buzzed" us.  (Click on the link to see a short video of the air show filmed by Steve Joyce.)


We departed Wickahoney heading south on continuation of the two-track we came in on.  We traveled on it about 5 miles until it intersected the Duncan Butte Road near a mysterious government installation.

 The government installation is seen in the bupper left background as five of us wait on the Duncan Butte Road for the rest of our group to join us.

There was a little mishap in the sage brush.  No names will be mentioned.

Sam Riding out.  (He was not involved in the sage brush mishap.)

Our return route retraced our tracks to the National Guard Training Range where we made a side trip to visit Higby Cave.  When I last visited the cave some 22-23 years ago, there was no evidence of vandalism, and you could go back in quite far to a large room.  We did not explore deeper at that time do to standing water in the cave.  

This sign greeted us as we entered the alley leading off one of the range roads to the cave.  The fine print is in the notice from the BLM indicating that the cave was officially closed April 12, 2010.

This is the entrance, but shortly after going in, you will encounter this.

Note the graffiti on the walls and ceiling.

Craig Olsen and Norris Riggs standing in front of the iron wall blocking further entrance into the cave.  (Photo was taken by Sam Stone.)

We had a good ride, and I believe everyone had an enjoyable time.  The impromtu air show was an added bonus!








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