Welcome to Idaho: A Climbing Guide–The Website

This website supplements Idaho: A Climbing Guide. The site includes updated access and route information, new peaks, new routes, photos, maps and information provided by myself and many Contributors.

Please read the Using the Website page for tips on getting the most out of the Peak pages.

Please read the Route Ratings page to understand how routes are rated.

Please read Trespassing and the Idaho Code, A Primer, to help keep your climbs legal.

Please read our Be Careful and Disclaimer pages to help you stay mindful that climbing is a dangerous activity.

Climbed a new route? Know about access issues? Leave an update and help support Idaho’s climbing community.

Climbing and Hiking in the Time of Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is going to be an invisible but dangerous obstacle to enjoying the outdoors for a long time. Don’t tempt fate. Do everything you can to avoid catching and spreading the virus. Idaho has a Stay-at-Home Order in place. Is it legal to hike and climb in the mountains? Yes, but be knowledgeable about what you can and cannot … Continue reading

What’s New?

Peak 7940 viewed from the north. Livingston Douglas Photo

March 18, 2020. The pandemic sweeping the world is undoubtedly going to impact all of our explorations of Idaho’s mountains this year and possibly next year. Please recognize the danger posed by the COVID-19 virus to you and others and take appropriate steps to keep yourself healthy. Remember that “Life as Usual” is no more for the foreseeable future. Take … Continue reading

Introduction to Idaho: A Climbing Guide

The opportunities for those who enjoy climbing mountains are unlimited in Idaho. This guidebook is an idea book and a starting point for mountaineers, hikers and explorers. In the 10 years since Exploring Idaho’s Mountains was published, Idaho’s population has skyrocketed, Boise has become a city and Coeur d’Alene is now a major resort destination. Surprisingly, this growth has had … Continue reading

A New Super Gully!

This snow/ice route on Italian Peak East is was first climbed by Neil Gleichman. He named the route the South Gulley Direttissima, Neil describes the route as follows: “This route is exceedingly obvious in spring conditions. The route climbs from the valley bottom in north branch of Scott Creek to the summit. Climbed May 4th, 2020. By May 10th the top … Continue reading

Saving Our Trails: The Idaho Trails Association In Action

The Idaho Trails Association is an outstanding organization that not only maintains Idaho’s mountain trails but is also literally saving many of Idaho’s trails from extinction. The ITA is looking for volunteers for its 2020 projects. As you will see from perusing the ITA’s website, volunteers find the experience rewarding. You can learn more at this link: Idaho Trails Association. … Continue reading

Best Maps Ever’s Newest Release—Idaho Fire Lookouts

Best Maps Ever (an Idaho company) has just published its newest map in the company’s Idaho Series. This one covers Idaho fire lookouts. These poster maps are a great resource for Idaho peakbaggers and mountain enthusiasts. In addition to the newest product, you can buy the following titles: Idaho 2000+ Prominence Peaks, Idaho Eleveners, Idaho County High Points and Idaho … Continue reading

Access Issues Will Intensify . . .

No Trespassing Generic

I recently discovered that the access road to 3 popular peaks in the Owyhee Mountains has been blocked by a private landowner. The 3 peaks are Buck Mountain, Peak 4620 and Peak 4540. The landowner has evidently used a narrow strip of private land between the US-95 right-of-way and BLM land to prevent access to the public land (see map … Continue reading

Pins and Needles Climbing Guide

The Pins and Needles Climbing Guide is now available on this website. This climbing area is located at the South End of the Lick Creek subrange of the Salmon River Mountains northeast of Cascade, Idaho. It is an area of solid granite spires, pinnacles and walls centered around Needles Peak. The guide covers many of the bolted technical routes and is … Continue reading

Trespassing: A New Statute is in Effect as of July 1, 2018

No Trespassing Generic

Margo Mandella has updated her article on Idaho Trespassing law. Understanding the new law is essential if you are venturing into Idaho’s outdoors. Read her informative article at this link: Trespassing and the Idaho Code, A Primer by Margo Mandella Stay legal and understand your rights and, more importantly, tell your elected representatives to Keep Their Hands off Our Public … Continue reading

Boise National Forest Fire Lookouts

The Thorn Creek Butte lookout has seen better days but the view is still spectacular.

Fire Lookouts are a great way to experience Idaho’s mountains. I just discovered a Boise National Forest brochure (linked below) that covers most of the existing fire lookouts in the forest and provides brief access information for each. All of these mountains have pages on this website. Fire lookout sites were chosen because of their commanding views. You will find … Continue reading

Idaho County High Points

41 of Idaho’s mountain peaks serve as the highest points in 42 of Idaho’s 44 counties. The highest elevations in Jerome and Gooding Counties are not mountain peaks. Out-of-staters Ken Jones and Bob Packard were the first to reach all the Idaho County High Points. Dan Robbins was the first Idaho resident to reach the summit of all of Idaho’s … Continue reading

Kelly Lance’s Self-Propelled 12er Traverse

At journeys end—better spiritually for the wear and tear.

Kelly Lance’s impressive self-propelled 2017 Labor Day weekend traverse of the Idaho 12ers, covering 119 miles in 87 hours, is recounted in the following article “From Diamond Peak to Hyndman Peak: Kelly Lance’s 12er Traverse.” It is a story combining the best of what we all seek in the mountains with unbelievable endurance and grit set in Idaho’s highest mountains. … Continue reading

Pat McGrane’s Wildhorse Classics Climbing Guide

Pat McGrane‘s Wildhorse Classics guide to the fantastic peaks surrounding the Wildhorse Creek drainage in the Pioneer Mountains demonstrates that the range deserves equal billing with the Sawtooths when discussing Idaho’s best technical alpine climbing. Pat’s guide is a big file, 46 pages with lots of photos, so give it a bit of time to load. Please thank Pat for this … Continue reading

Brandon Prince is our Newest Contributor

Brandon Prince is the newest contributor to the website. Brandon is a top-level technical climber with many difficult Sawtooth climbs on his resume. His first contribution is an essay on climbing Warbonnet Peak entitled: Warbonnet Peak and the Fine Art of “Not Giving Up.” I think you will enjoy Brandon’s perspective on climbing one of Idaho’s most challenging summits. Warbonnet Peak … Continue reading

The Breath of God by Joe Leonard

Joe Leonard has provided us with another riveting chapter from his book Son of the Madam Mustang Ranch. This story, The Breath of God, involves a Winter climb on Mount Shasta. Like all of Joe’s writings, you will find yourself caught up in the struggle with the mountain and life. Read The Breath of God. … Continue reading

Larry Prescott R.I.P

Sadly, my friend and fellow climber Larry Prescott passed away during a climb in the Lemhi Range yesterday. Larry was an exceptional human being and I will miss his company in the mountains, miss his good nature and positive attitude, and miss his trip reports. Condolences to his family and friends. Larry Prescott (1960 to 2016) The Heart of the … Continue reading

John Platt Completes the Box Lake USGS Quad Peaks

Last week, John Platt completed all of the ranked peaks on the Box Lake USGS quadrangle. While many Southern Idaho climbers think the world begins and ends in Eastern Idaho’s Lost River Mountain, John has methodically demonstrated that the Lick Creek subrange of the Salmon River Mountains is a granitic wonderland for climbers. The Box Lake quad is arguably the … Continue reading

Lyman Dye’s Memoir

Lyman Dye has provided a memoir for our reading enjoyment: Heeding The Call of the Mountains. Lyman is one of the giants of Idaho climbing and his many first ascents are documented in the book. He operated the first climbing guide service in the Sawtooths and also guided climbers, including the Iowa Mountaineers and the Mazamas, on many first ascents. … Continue reading

Mount Borah Warning

There is no shortcut that bypasses Chicken-Out Ridge on Mount Borah’s Standard Route. Wes Collins of the Butte County Sheriff’s Department reports that he has responded to 3 Search and Rescue events on Mount Borah involving climbers who got lost or stranded after attempting a bypass of Chicken-Out Ridge (COR). All of these climbers reported that they heard about a … Continue reading