Gallagher Peak by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 9,825 ft
Prominence: 125

Gallagher Peak as viewed from the summit of Peak 9877. Livingston Douglas Photo

This peak is not in the book. Published December 2019


Gallagher Peak is the [lower] East Summit of Peak 9877. It sits at the head of Gallagher Canyon in the South Beaverheads. Gallagher Canyon is pretty remote and seems to be only visited by hunters on ATVs these days. The roads in this area are not well maintained. Cattle and elk rule here. Buy a horse. Gallagher Peak is the 1st of 5 summits in a single-day adventure called the Tour de Gallagher. USGS Copper Mountain

Gallagher Peak as viewed from the summit of Peak 9877. Livingston Douglas Photo

Gallagher Peak as viewed from the summit of Peak 9877. Livingston Douglas Photo

East Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: June 22, 2019

Access

From the junction of ID-22/ID-28, drive E on ID-22 for 10.4 miles to [unsigned] Chandler Canyon Road/FSR-202. There is a State gravel pit located across the highway here (signed “State Property/Keep Off”). Turn L/N onto Chandler Canyon Road. At 3.5 miles, go through a cattle gate. At 6.3 miles, reach an unsigned road junction (Left is Rocky Canyon Road). Go straight here.

At 6.7 miles, cross a cattle gate and enter BLM land. About 100 feet past the cattle gate, there is another unsigned road junction. Go L/W here onto Gallagher Canyon Road/FSR-201. The road is signed about 100 feet up from Chandler Canyon Road. Drive 1.1 miles and park at the mouth of Gallagher Canyon. The elevation here is 6,140 feet. If road conditions (and your vehicle) allow, you can drive another 1.5 miles to a road closure fence in a meadow and shorten this climb considerably.

Chandler Canyon Road is a narrow, rutted, dirt road that is not maintained too well. I do not recommend driving on it if conditions are muddy or wet. Gallagher Canyon Road is a 2-track road that is overgrown/grassy and receives minimal maintenance, if any. This is the kind of drive you’ll do once and vow to never return to this area, unless on an ATV or MC. Most of the drive passes through private property so access may become an issue in the future.

The Climb

From the parking pullout at the mouth of Gallagher Canyon, scramble N up a slope of easy sagebrush/grass to reach the rounded, somewhat ill-defined crest of the East Ridge of Gallagher Peak. Follow the meandering ridge W then NW then W on easy scrub/grass, broken scree, and a few areas of slab rock. The ridge bends L-ish/SW and drops a bit to a saddle just below 7,500 feet (near Point 7504). Sometimes the ridge is narrow and obvious; at other times, the ridge is wide and rounded. But it is, nevertheless, an obvious ridge in the bigger picture.

From the narrow saddle, the ridge steepens considerably, bends R/NE and, soon, you enter forested terrain. Stay in the open, easy forest on the R/NE side of the ridge for the easiest going. This upward grind never seems to end. The ridge is somewhat charred from a forest fire. Higher up, the ridge bends L/W and does a final R/NE turn to reach the rocky, open summit of Gallagher Peak. This peak has a decent cairn on its high point. Disappointingly, the connecting ridge to the next peak (Peak 9877) won’t be a cruise as the USGS topo map suggests. This traverse will take some work.

The summit cairn atop Gallagher Peak, looking west. Peak 9877 is the bare hump just left of center. Copper Mountain (10,303 feet) is behind it in the distance. Livingston Douglas Photo

The summit cairn atop Gallagher Peak, looking west. Peak 9877 is the bare hump just left of center. Copper Mountain (10,303 feet) is behind it in the distance. Livingston Douglas Photo

West Ridge (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the East Ridge Route. This is the first leg of a ridge traverse from Gallagher Peak to Peak 9877.

The Descent

From the summit of Gallagher Peak, Peak 9877 is a good 0.7 miles away and the ridge is rocky with its ups and downs. This traverse will be tedious. The low saddle between Gallagher Peak and Peak 9877 is fairly close and easy to reach. Follow the ridge WNW on a rocky base with some scrub mixed in. Descend about 140 vertical feet to a minor saddle. This is the terminus of the West Ridge of Gallagher Peak.

Gallagher Peak (right) and Peak 9877 (left) and the tedious connecting ridge between them. Livingston Douglas Photo

Gallagher Peak (right) and Peak 9877 (left) and the tedious connecting ridge between them. Livingston Douglas Photo

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Beaverhead Range

Longitude: -112.78939   Latitude: 44.16719

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