Lead Mountain by Paul Leclerc

Elevation: 6,535 ft
Prominence: 595

Lead Mountain from a point northeast of the summit. Paul Leclerc Photo

This peak is not in the book. Published August 2019

Lead Mountain is located east of the main Silver City Range crest between Gerdie Hill and Red Mountain. USGS Silver City

Lead Mountain from a point northeast of the summit. Paul Leclerc Photo

Lead Mountain from a point northeast of the summit. Paul Leclerc Photo


Do not be tempted to try and use Bates Creek Rd leading out of Oreana to travel in or out of the Lead and Red Mountain area. It crosses private property and had signs indicating that they did not allow or want people using their section.

Take ID-78 south from Murphy for about 7 miles until you see the sign for Joyce Ranch. Continue another mile past the Joyce Ranch Rd sign until you see an unmarked road on your right (it has a stop sign leading back out to Route 78).

The starting point for hiking to Lead Mountain is about 10.5 miles from the beginning of the road.  How far you get on this road will be largely determined by your tires (off-road treads and 10-ply sidewalls), 4WD, high clearance and your nerves.  As with any other dirt road in the Owyhees, do NOT travel on them if it has recently rained.  The mud will cake on your tires and driving will be unsafe.

The first 5 miles of this road are decent until you get to a cattle guard.  Immediately afterwards the road drops down sharply with larger rocks near the crossing of Fossil Creek.  From here on, the road varies significantly with many sections containing larger sharp rocks.  At about 8.5 miles (just after the junction with Bates Creek Rd) you’ll veer right at a fork and head west for about 2 miles.  This short 2-mile section crosses several creeks and could be impassable in spring.

Northeast ridge, Class 1,2 by Paul Leclerc 10/26/2017

I climb the peak on 10/26/2017. Any approach will involve some steeper sections, but none required any scrambling.  I headed north along a dirt road for about 1000 feet and then turned southwest and oriented towards point 5904.  Once I reached the base of 5904, I hiked along the mellower section towards the base of Lead Mt.  From here (about 2.8 miles in) you gain about 700 feet in about 0.8 miles to the summit.  From the summit you can see Red Mt to the southeast, Quicksilver Mt to the south and Hayden and Turntable to the west.

For the return, I descended east towards Fossil Creek and followed it northeast back to my truck.  Be aware that this route crosses private (unsigned) property.  You might want to choose your return path differently.

3.5 miles with 2100 ft gain one way, 7 miles with 2500 feet of gain roundtrip.

My GPS Track.

My GPS Track.


Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Owyhee Mountains

Longitude: -116.62929   Latitude: 43.00929

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