Elevation: 4,966 ft
This peak is not in the book. Two routes are listed below. Additional Danskin Mountains access information can be found in the book at (D)(1) at pages 154-5 and (G)(1) at page 156. Also see the following website page: Danskin Mountains OHV Trails. Updated May 2019
Peak 4966/Bender Peak is an unofficially named summit that is located in the north-central portion of the Danskin Mountains. Like many Danskin peaks, Bender Peak is usually accessible early in the spring.
Access both routes for Bender Peak from Blacks Creek Road, (G)(1) on page 156, at the Willow Creek trailhead. From I-84, use Exit 64 east of Boise. From the exit, take the well-paved road north through rolling hill country. Keep left at the only paved fork (which has signs for stores in Prairie, Idaho). Continue for 8 miles for the Bender Creek Trailhead or 11 miles for the Willow Creek Trailhead on this good graded road as it climbs over a pass and then descend to the Woods Creek to the trailheads. Here, you will find a vault toilet and a large parking area.
Be aware that a sign at the beginning of the graded road states that it is not maintained during the winter. But based on years of experience, in low snow years the road is often passable most of the winter. Still, it is a narrow, steep road that can be dangerous and impassable in winter conditions.
Northeast Ridge, Class 2
From the Willow Creek trailhead parking lot, cross the road to the base of the peak’s circuitous northeast ridge. A granite rock outcrop marks the base of the ridge on the south side of Willow Creek. Contour around the outcrop and follow a deer trail up the east side of the ridge for approximately 100 feet. Then, climb straight up to the ridge top. From this point, stay on the ridge top to the summit. The ridge forms a series of steps and varies in steepness from step to step.
When you reach roughly 4,800 feet, you will cross a motorcycle trail that is part of the Danskin Mountains OHV trail system. This system provides an alternative, but much longer, way to ascend Bender Peak. Follow the trail the final distance to the bald summit.
Southeast Ridge, Class 1
Park at the Bender Creek Trailhead on the Blacks Creek Road. The trail follows FST-300 southeast to FST-311 in 4.3 up and down miles. FST-300 is a heavily used, well made trail complete with bridges.
From the TH the trail climbs out of Woods Creek, crosses a ridge and drops into Bender Creek. It then climbs out of Bender Creek, crosses another ridge, drops briefly into an unnamed drainage, climbs once again over another ridge and then drops into Jack Creek. The trail then drops down Jack Creek to Flat Creek. The trail turns up Flat Creek. Follow the trail up Flat Creek to the signed junction for FST-311.
FST-311 is a steep, repeat steep, trail which climbs up to within 150 feet of the summit of Bender Peak where it meets FST-310. Turn left and follow the trail to the summit which is a short distance above.
USGS Topo: Grape Mountain