Elevation: 7,665 ft
Archie Mountain is not in the book.
Archie Mountain is located east/southeast of Lowman, Idaho. The mountain has three broad, rounded summits, covered by a mix of forest and meadow. The middle summit is the high point. The peak rises abruptly for over 3,500 feet out of the South Fork Payette River Canyon. Although there are trees on the summit, openings in forest afford incredible views from the summit. The infamous Rakers in the Sawtooths, Steele Mountain, the Trinity Mountains, Sunset Mountain, Pilot Peak in the Boise Mountains and dozens of Salmon River Mountains summits are all visible. Furthermore, Archie’s summit mix of trees and meadow is a beautiful parklike spot for a picnic. Two routes are set out below.
West/South Ridge, Class 2
This route is accessed from ID-21 24.0 miles west of Idaho City. Turn east onto FS-385 across from the Banner Ridge Park Area and Ski Area parking lot. Follow 385 up and north to the top of Banner Ridge and then east along the ridge until you reach FS-385G2. When dry you can follow this road all the way to the base of the peak’s West Ridge with a high clearance vehicle. Note that there are many roads in this area. Road locations are not all correctly shown on the Boise National Forest Map as some of the roads are closed and others have been relocated. The peak can also be approached from Little Beaver Creek but this road was closed for logging operations in 2018.
We parked a mile short of the end of FS-385G2 to add a little distance to our climb. At the base of the west ridge an unofficial trail swirchbacks up the ridge. Follow this trail until you reach a scarred area on your left running up the ridge. This scar is a fire break built during the great Lowman Fire of 1989. This scar climbs all the way up the west ridge to Archie’s lower southern summit. While there are numerous water bar trenches and down trees, the old fire break is clear of brush and is a good ascent line. From the south summit turn north and cross the grass covered saddle to the summit. There is a small cairn and a register on top. One way mileage from the start of the trail is 1.1 miles with 900 of elevation gain.
East Ridge, Class 2
Access this peak via FS-312. [(B)(2.1) page 153] FS-312, the Graham Road, is a long, winding road, which eventually leads to the upper reaches of the North Fork Boise River. The road provides a good access route to the southeast side of the mountain. Take ID-21 from Boise for 55 miles to the turn for FS-384 at the signed Edna Creek CG turn. Turn onto the excellent FS-384 gravel road and follow it to FS-312 in 4.0 miles. FS-312 is a good road, but not recommended for passenger vehicles. The main intersections are signed for Graham. Park where the road crosses the pass between Archie Mountain and Peak 7561.
While I have not yet climbed the peak from FS-312 I have scouted the route and viewed it from Jackson Peak and Peak 7561. Since the pass is just over 7,000 feet this will be a higher starting point than the West/South Ridge Route. The peak’s long winding east ridge looks passable. This route will be roughly 4 miles round trip with a 500 foot gain.
USGS Topo: Jackson Peak