Moose Creek Buttes by Dan Saxton

Elevation: 6,937 ft

This peak is found on pages 63 and 64. The Moose Creek Butte area has been a mythical area from me ever since I learned about the area from Sheldon Bluestein 30 years ago. Mythical because of its Shangrala type remoteness and reported beauty. A big thanks to Dan Saxton for providing the following report and photos which significantly update the information in the book.


Moose Creek Buttes. Dan Paxton Photo

The Buttes from Moose Creek valley. Dan Saxton Photo

The Moose Creek Buttes main peak from Point 6,415. Dan Saxton Photo

I climbed the Moose Creek Buttes from the Moose Creek drainage to the north – it’s pure bushwhacking up the ridge of Point 6,415, some sections brushier, some more open. The ridge of Point 6,415 is sharp and needs to be sidehilled on the E side, then it’s a straight shot up to the summit ridge of the Butte. A simple Class 3 move is required to reach the summit. No signs whatsoever of human impact, it’s a very remote summit. Excellent views.

The summit. Dan Paxton Photo

The Class 3 summit block. Dan Saxton Photo

I climbed the Moose Creek Buttes from the Moose Creek drainage to the north where Road #5440 ends. It is pure bushwhacking up the northern ridge of Point 6,415 with some sections brushier and some more open. The ridge of Point 6,415 is sharp and needs to be sidehilled on the east side, then it’s a straight shot up to the summit ridge of the Butte. A simple Class 3 move is required to reach the summit. There are no signs whatsoever of human impact, it’s a very remote summit. Excellent views! You really get a feel for the deep canyons and rugged country of northern Idaho on this peak.

I continued the day by traversing over to the other main peak (6,924′) and then went on the crest (relatively open walking, a small Class 3 section off the north side of Point 6,745′) all the way to Moose Mountain, where I took Trail 690 down. It’s OK high up, but becomes lost in brush on the way down – it’s definitely abandoned. I had to bushwhack down Moose Creek for a mile in heavy brush and grasses.

Please note that due to new mining interests at the end of the Moose Creek Road #5440, starting there is not recommended anymore. Either begin from Deadwood Ridge if you want to do the full traverse of all the peaks (very scenic) or just brave the brushy open southern slopes from Kelly Creek, though that way is probably more humdrum.

The Moose Creek Buttes highpoint from Peak 6,924. Dan Saxton Photo

The Moose Creek Buttes highpoint from Peak 6,924. Dan Saxton Photo

The ridge line of the Moose Creek Buttes - a pleasant walking stretch. Dan Saxton Photo

The ridge line of the Moose Creek Buttes – a pleasant walking stretch. Dan Saxton Photo

Point 6,745 from the ridge line to Moose Mountain.

Point 6,745 from the ridge line to Moose Mountain.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Central Salmon River Mountains

Longitude: -115.16349   Latitude: 46.74101

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