Painted Canyon

Painted Canyon is a normally dry canyon that runs south into Carlton Canyon and lies between the Owyhee Reservoir and Three Fingers.  Painted Canyon is a scenic geological area of the Owyhee Watershed, Malheur County, Oregon.  The canyon was formed by complex volcanic and sedimentary activity followed by erosion. The rocks originated from a volcanic field that was active 14 to 16 million years ago. Volcanic activity produced lava flows (of rhyolitic composition), ash flows, and deposits of falling airborne ash. Both water and wind erosion have cut through various layers of geological deposits showing off the banded deposits on some hillsides. For local vegetation see our local vegetation database.

There is foot access from Carlton Canyon to the south or foot access from the extreme northeast of the Painted Canyon drainage.  Since there are no trails, follow the bottom of the ravines.  Be careful to protect the formations, carry out your trash, and follow personal safety precautions.  There is no drinking water.

The land is administered by the Vale District Bureau of Land Management.  No motorized vehicle traffic is allowed.  There are no convenient campsites. It is possible to camp on US Bureau of Reclamation land on the east side of the reservoir at the mouth of Carlton Canyon, many miles by foot down hill from Painted Canyon.

Painted Canyon photo gallery

Upper Painted Canyon, Malheur County, Oregon
Painted Canyon, Malheur County, Oregon
Painted Canyon, Malheur County, Oregon

Links to other information

Scenic attractions

Owyhee River country

Leslie Gulch, Oregon,   Leslie Gulch photo gallery
Map of locations of some of the scenic attractions in the vicinity of Leslie Gulch and Succor Creek
Succor Creek State Park, Oregon    Succor Creek photo gallery
Owyhee Uplands, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada   Owyhee aerial photo gallery
Owyhee River, Oregon   Lower Owyhee River photo gallery
Snively Hot Springs on the Lower Owyhee River photo gallery
Owyhee Dam, Oregon, photo gallery
Owyhee Reservoir, Oregon, photo gallery
Carlton Canyon, Oregon      Carlton Canyon photo gallery
Honeycombs, Oregon          Honeycombs photo gallery 1, gallery 2
Painted Canyon, Oregon      Painted Canyon photo gallery
Three Fingers Rock, Oregon
Three Fingers Gulch, Oregon photo gallery
Long Gulch photo gallery
Hole in the Ground photo gallery
Birch Creek photo gallery
Jordan Craters, Oregon photo gallery
Pillars of Rome, Oregon photo gallery
Antelope Reservoir photo gallery
Alvord Desert photo gallery
Twin Springs to Dry Creek Oregon, photo gallery
Dry Creek to Crowley photo gallery

Malheur River country

Malheur Butte, Oregon, photo gallery
Beulah Reservoir, Oregon
Juntura Hot Springs, Oregon, photo gallery
Chukar Park, Oregon, photo gallery
Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, Oregon  Strawberry Lake and Falls photo gallery

Other areas nearby

Big Lookout Mountain, Oregon, photo gallery
Steens Mountain photo
Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon
Sagehen Reservoir, Idaho photo gallery
Duck Lake, Idaho photo gallery
Snowslide Lake, Idaho, photo gallery
Celebration Park, Idaho, photo gallery
Givens Hot Springs, Idaho
Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho, photo gallery
Weiser River Trail, Idaho, photo gallery