Elevation: 6,519 ft
This peak is not in the book. This peak is located on private property. Please obtain permission before visiting the summit. Published November 2020
Big Horse Butte is one of the few ranked summits in the “Windmill District” east of Idaho Falls. These are the foothills of the Caribou Range and are dotted with numerous windmills visible from I-15. On a windy day, standing underneath one of these behemoths and hearing the “swoosh, swoosh” sound of the blades is a unique experience. Just pray that the blades don’t fall off and kill you. USGS Lone Pine Ridge
From Idaho Falls, make your way east (via either Lincoln Road or Sunnyside Road) to Bone Road and drive to either Kepps Crossing Road (signed with a simple street sign as “Kepps”) or Eagle Pass Road (signed with a larger sign). Kepps Crossing Road is the northernmost of the two options and is 6.7 miles south of Lincoln Road on Bone Road. Eagle Pass Road is 8.4 miles south of Lincoln Road on Bone Road. Eagle Pass Road is just south of the junction of Sunnyside Road and Bone Road (about 0.1-0.2 miles). Kepps Crossing Road is about 1.6 miles north of the junction of Sunnyside Road and Bone Road. I prefer the Sunnyside Road/Eagle Pass Road combination to the Lincoln Road/Kepps Crossing Road combination.
Eagle Pass Road and Kepps Crossing Road merge at 2.2 miles east of the junction of Eagle Pass Road and Bone Road (and 2.7 miles southeast of the junction of Kepps Crossing Road and Bone Road). From this merge point, drive another 6.2 miles to reach the south side of Big Horse Butte. This is entirely private land but I encountered no fencing, signage, or orange paint to prohibit entry except for a “No Trespassing” sign at the start of an access road that follows a gully that separates Big Horse Butte from Little Horse Butte. Don’t try to drive to the top or either peak. As a hiker, you should be okay as I was. I suspect that the only entity that cares about this peak is the company that operates the windmills.
Southwest Face, Class 2
From Kepps Crossing Road (6,280 feet), scramble northeast through sagebrush and other veg to reach the summit. You will cross an unmaintained, dilapidated cattle fence about halfway up. The terrain just beneath the summit includes thicker sagebrush and some rock. The top of the peak is adorned with a fully-operational windmill.
Northeast Ridge, Class 1
Follow a service road northeast then east to a saddle connecting Big Horse Butte to Little Horse Butte.
Regions: Caribou Range->SOUTHERN IDAHO
Mountain Range: Caribou Range
Longitude: -111.71001 Latitude: 43.39059