Elevation: 7,470 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Hudson Ridge is one of the ridges on the east side of the South Hills. The ridge high point is at the very south end of the ridge and is an easy scrub scramble from FSR-500, the main access road coming up from Oakley, ID. The terrain around the road here is relatively nondescript so it can be difficult to ascertain exactly where the high point is. Navigation using the USGS map is critical on this climb. USGS Trapper Peak
Northwest Face, Class 2
Park along FSR-500 at the base of the northwest face. This spot is located 1.4 miles northeast of the junction of FSR-500 and FSR-527/Bostetter Road. FSR-500 is wide enough here to park alongside it without having a formal pullout. The elevation here is 7,300 feet.
Scramble due southeast up a gradual incline of sagebrush, aiming for a visible post on the hill above you. You may think that this is the summit but it isn’t. But it is a good navigational tool in this rather amorphous terrain. When you reach the post, you realize that you’re not on the high point yet. Continue southeast to yet another similar post. While this second post isn’t the high point, it’s pretty close. Wander around to satisfy yourself that you’ve found the exact high point. The high point is about five feet higher than the 2nd post and is about 100 feet southeast of the 2nd post.
The summit area here is flat but isn’t an overly expansive area. You won’t be too far from substantial drop-offs on the south face of this ridge high point. There is a point to the east that may appear to be similar in height but, no worries, it’s lower. A minor gully separates the true summit from that lower point. I ran my GPS at the high point and it came in at 7,460 feet. My altimeter showed it at 7,450 feet. And that’s good enough for me, considering that I had visuals to back me up. Unfortunately, there is no summit cairn, USGS benchmark, or summit post to guide you to the exact high point here.
Hudson Benchmark (7,438 feet)
Hudson Ridge DOES have a USGS benchmark but it is located about two miles north-northeast of the true summit. Hudson Benchmark is worthy is bagging, though some may disagree with me about that. Drive 2.1 miles farther northeast on FSR-500 (3.5 miles from the junction of FSR-500 and FSR-527) to a cattle fence and cattle guard. Park in a large pullout area just before reaching the cattle guard. The elevation here is 7,375 feet.
Cross to the northeast side of the fence row (shown on the USGS map) and follow the fence row northwest briefly to reach an open area just past a forested section on a hill. Now that you’ve reached the final section of hill and it is open scrub terrain, scramble northeast to the top. You will find the Hudson benchmark in a ground boulder. It’s okay to jump up and down like you just found a geocache or something valuable. No one will know. This exhausting hike takes all of four minutes from the road. No kidding. But now you’ve truly done Hudson Ridge in its entirety—the south end (high point) and the north end (benchmark). Congratulations!