Trail Creek Loop


Statistics

  • Date - 08/25/2000
  • Elevation - 10,598'
  • Route - Northwest Ridge
  • Miles - 7.0
  • Elevation Gain - 2,800'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Chuck Bauman

Description

I have to thank Chuck for lining this hike up and getting me above 10,000' for the first time.  On our way back from the west coast Rebecca, Taylor, and I decided to swing by Boise, Idaho, and see Chuck and Kathy Bauman again.  This was exceptional hike in the Boulder Mountains of south central Idaho approximately 15 miles north of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Although this hike was mentioned in a few of Chuck's hiking books and we did start out at the trailhead, we actually saw very little of the trail and spent most of the day bushwacking.  After about a mile of minimal elevation gain, I looked up to see Chuck a little perplexed as to where the trail was.  We caught a glimse of it every now and then, but when it came down to it, we discovered that this section of the hike was not maintained and hardly even existed.  We simply scrambled up the creek bed climbing over downed logs and rock debris that had built up in the stream.  This lasted for about two miles before we saw the saddle separating two peaks.  When we reached the pass, Chuck congratulated me on making it over 10,000', but the fun had just begun.

We decided to make the hike a little more adventurous and head up a very narrow ridge to the summit of unnamed Peak 10598.  Along with hiking up the creek bed, this was also a very fun and exciting part of the hike.  Several sections of the ridge to the top were very narrow allowing only a minimal margin for error.  By the time we got over the loose shale, we had to scramble over several rock walls using our limited scrambling skills.  The mountain provided a lot of holds and neither one of us felt we were ever in any real danger.

After taking photos and video of each other climbing through the rock, we made it to the summit after a very fun climb.  We took in the views of the White Cloud Mountains to the northwest, the Lost River Range to the east, and of course the Boulder Mountains that surrounded us.  In an effort to shorten the hike and try to get back to Boise, Idaho, more quickly, we decided to do some more off-trail hiking and head down another creek to the southeast of the peak we were on.  Little did we know that this section was also very steep and difficult to descend, but it really didn't matter because we were having a blast.  On our way down we even ran into an elk which we got some video of.

We picked up the trail about a half a mile from the pickup and drove back down to Sun Valley, Idaho, before returning to Boise, Idaho.  On the way back we observed hundreds of acres of burned high desert land, and we also saw the enormous smoke plume from the forest fire near Atlanta, Idaho.  This was another great hike that will be a highlight of the 2000 hiking season.

Photos

Views

Summit Photo

Chuck