Cotterel Mountains HP

Elevation: 7,140 ft
Prominence: 1,390

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This peak is not in the book Cotterell Mountain is the highest point in the Cotterel Mountains (i.e., the Malta Range). This area is identified on Page 349 of the book but the peak was not discussed. Rick Buagher provided the ascent report found below. Updated November 2018

Cotterell Mountain has a communication site near its summit. An access road leads to the site. The peak has over 1,000 feet of prominence and provides expansive views of a large swath of South Central Idaho. The peak offers early-season hiking and is of primary interest to those seeking the highest point in each Idaho mountain range. USGS Nibbs Creek

Columnar basalt. Lots of problems await solution in the Cotterel Mountains,3/15/07. R. Baugher photo.

Columnar basalt. Lots of problems await solution in the Cotterel
Mountains (3/15/07). Rick Baugher Photo

Rick Baugher (March 2007 Update)

For the peakbagger, southern Idaho’s Cotterel Mountain is a gimme, and if you collect range high points and prominences greater than 1,000 feet, you are in luck. From ID-77 at Connor Creek Summit (5,750 feet), a 4-mile road of the 2WD/4WD variety is passable much of the year due to the telecommunications facilities on top. But why drive when you can walk? This is BLM land. Enjoy the sagebrush-juniper biome under a big blue sky. In Spring, the sweet music of desert songbirds fills the air. A short half-mile south of the communication towers is Cotterel Knob (7,085 feet).

This seemingly pristine basalt column is a much more interesting objective. From its volcanic perch, you might wonder how the nearby Albion Mountains grew so tall. In fact, why is it that so many of the big mountain ranges in the Rocky/Great Basin complex have signs of volcanism lurking around their perimeters? Could these big mountains have resulted from molten plumes of magma pushed upward by the long gone subducted Farallon Plate?

Perhaps we are now standing on the smoking gun that gave the Albion Mountains their lift. But enough geology. On the northern horizon is an unbroken wall of white, stretching from Smoky Dome on the west to King Mountain in the east. For now, this is our “Sierra Nevada of Idaho.” With binoculars, you can spot a distinct high point. It can be understood from here how the early mapmakers thought that Hyndman Peak was the highest mountain in Idaho.

Looking south to Cotterel Knob.On the left horizon is historic Kelton Pass, to the right are the Raft River Mountains of Utah, R. Baugher photo. 3/15/07

Looking south to Cotterel Knob (3/15/07). On the left horizon is historic Kelton
Pass. To the right are the Raft River Mountains of Utah. Rick Baugher Photo.


Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Albion Range

Longitude: -113.45609   Latitude: 42.36109

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