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.

What’s New?

January 18, 2023. According to the definitive list found on the Lists of John website, Idaho has 8,190 peaks and associated formations like county high points and rock formations found in places like the City of Rocks National Reserve. Of this total, 5,860 peaks have at least 300 feet of prominence. The majority of Idaho’s peaks are unnamed. Of course, … 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

Dawn Of The LiDAR Era: How A Tiny Laser Beam Can Move Mountains By Derek Percoski

While a climber can choose to climb any mountain for any reason, we all tend to be interested in their stats to some degree. Idaho’s budding peakbaggers are generally only after the handful of summits over 12,000 feet in elevation with 300 feet of prominence (the widely used cutoff for what constitutes a separate mountain). Those who get hooked might … Continue reading

New Grand Slam Peaks Speed Record

There are two types of competitions at play for those attempting to climb the Grand Slam Peaks in one day: Completely Self-Propelled and Traditional Vehicle Shuttle Between Peaks. Anne Hamby and Matt Stallings are both local runners and professors at the College of Business and Economics at Boise State University. On Thursday, October 13, 2022 they set a new record … Continue reading

Ship Island Climbing 2020 by Jim Pace

Sixty-five years after Lincoln Hales’ and Pete Schoening pioneered climbing routes on the Bighorn Crags’ granite walls (aka the Litner Group) at the west end of Ship Island Lake, Jim Pace led a crew of climbers to the granite climbers’ paradise. Read about their climbs in Jim’s article: Ship Island Climbing 2020. Ship Island Climbing 2020 by Jim Pace … Continue reading

Derek Percoski Completes the Blaine County Peaks

Derek Percoski finished the Idaho 11ers on July 15, 2021 but even more impressive was his second mountaineering accomplishment. On July 15, 2022 Derek completed his quest to climb all 329 ranked summits in Blaine County, Idaho. His quest covered a wide variety of summits and terrain including volcanic buttes in Craters of the Moon National Monument, the high Pioneer … Continue reading

Access to Lost River Mountain Closed

Idaho 12er

June 26, 2022. Access to Lost River Mountain was recently closed. The access route crosses BLM and private land but serves as access to Forest Service land. Contact the Forest Supervisor and request that he Forest Service grade one of the alternative access roads shown on the map below or buy an easement from the land owner.   Salmon-Challis National … Continue reading

Mount Regan—After the Earthquake by Derek Percoski

Derek Percoski Post Earthquake Report More bad news about the Sawtooths. I don’t believe a reasonable Class 4 route up the summit block of Mount Regan remains. Perhaps I missed something, but I looked around quite a bit and it took some questionable decisions to reach the top. Regardless of a climber’s ability, the cruxes all involve loose dirt and … Continue reading

John Platt Completes the Fitsum Peak Quad

On August 7th, John Platt climbed Mount Heinous. The ascent completed his quest to climb all 12 peaks on the Fitsum Peak Quad. In my opinion, the effort required to reach the summit of these 12 peaks (9 ranked) far exceeds the effort needed to climb Idaho’s nine 12ers. Very few Lick Creek Range peaks are easy to climb. Most … Continue reading

Multiple Ascents Register – ‘Poly-bagging’

Mark Trengove just published on the Europeaklist website the first international register of people who make multiple ascents of the same hill or mountain, an activity he has named ‘poly-bagging’. Check out the following links: Introduction to Poly-Bagging Poly-Bagging Register Mark points out that the “Register, and the Hall of Fame which will follow for 2020, brings out a niche … Continue reading

A New Super Gully!

This snow/ice route on Italian Peak East was first climbed by Neil Gleichman. He named the route up the South Gully 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 it on May 4th, 2020. By May … 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