Elevation: 8,796 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018
Black Mountain is located in the Big Hole Mountains, north of ID-31 as you head toward Victor, Idaho. We climbed Black Mountain on an overnight trip where we also climbed Peak 7978, Chicken Peak, Liars Peak, Piney Peak and Peak 8619. All these peaks are accessible off a well-traveled trail out of Fleming Canyon that is also popular for guided hunting and dirt bikes. There are no water sources along or near the trail except one small spring that was not flowing when we were there in late September. USGS Stouts Mountain
To get to the Southeast Ridge approach for Black Mountain, first get to Fleming Canyon. As you travel toward Victor, Idaho on ID-31, the canyon is located on the north side of the highway. Specifically, the canyon is between Stouts Mountain and the West Piney Girls Recreation Camp. The canyon turnoff is not signed and is easily missed. Putting Fleming Canyon into Google Maps will get you close to the canyon’s jeep road (shown in Google [erroneously] as FST-270, this trail is actually FST-079).
If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can travel a good distance into the canyon, but you may need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle depending on conditions/time of year. There is no formal parking anywhere. To climb Black Mountain, follow this jeep road until it turns into a single track trail. Park wherever it is convenient. We parked near Gopher Canyon, but you can possibly get farther in, near Snowslide Gulch.
Southeast Ridge Route, Class 2
From where you park, hike on FST-079 farther into Fleming Canyon until you encounter a junction with the Dry Canyon Trail. Stay to the right to stay on FST-079. As you continue upward on the trail, you will encounter signage. At this point, follow the sign to continue to Black Mountain.
As you reach the summit area of Peak 7978, you will get a good view of Black Mountain’s Southeast Ridge. You will also see the main trail as it continues to traverse the east side of Black Mountain. You will have to bushwhack off of the main trail to reach the peak’s Southeast Ridge. You will want to move off the trail to the Southeast Ridge not long after your descent of Peak 7978, because the east side of Black Mountain only gets steeper as you continue on the main trail. Once you are on the ridge, continue on it to reach the nondescript summit. Enjoy big views of numerous Big Hole peaks and the Teton Mountain Range from this summit!