Cervidae Peak

Elevation: 4,987 ft
Prominence: 367

Climbing information for this peak is found at page 146 in the book.

Cervidae Peak is located in the Boise Mountains just north of Lucky Peak Lake. The peak’s name originated with Dan Robbins, and thanks to Dan’s efforts the name was adopted by the U.S. Board of Geographic Names in 2015. In scientific taxonomy, the family Cervidae is commonly referred to as “the deer family” and consists of at least 47 different species. Many mule deer are found in the area and on this peak year round.

Cervidae Peak is one of the four Grand Slam Peaks; the other three peaks are Mount Heinen, Kepros Mountain, and Shaw Mountain. Of the four, Cervidae is the most popular and sees hundreds of ascents each year.

Four climbing routes have been documented by Sean Duffy via SummitPost: the East Ridge Route, the Southwest Ridge, the Direct West Ridge (all class 2), and the West Ridge (Class 3). Both the east-side and west-side routes are surprisingly challenging for such a small mountain. I believe this peak has been climbed every month of the year.

I first hiked to its summit in 1990 and have climbed many times since and from many different directions. The summit register records climbs in most months. It is a hot climb in the summer, and there is no available water. The west side route from ID-21 in the book is no longer accessible because of a recently installed a deer-proof fence.

This page focuses on a fifth approach, and the most popular route, the Southeast Ridge. Also see John Platt’s trip report.

Getting There

Cervidea Peak is north of Lucky Peak Dam. ID-21 runs along the west side of the peak, and FS-269, the Middle Fork Boise River road, runs along the east side of the peak. Follow ID-21 for 6.1 miles past the dam. Turn right after crossing the high bridge over Mores Creek onto FS-269. Follow FS-269 past the Spring Shores Marina for 2.0 miles. There is are large, unsigned parking area on the right (south) side of the road. The trail starts across the road. There is a large bar gate. Go past the gate and turn right and walk into a bulldozed area. The trail leaves this area on your left.

Southeast Ridge Ascent (Class 2)

The Southeast Ridge route climbs to the summit in 2.1 miles with a 1,700 foot elevation difference between the road and the summit. The rolling terrain along the way adds around 300 feet of gain on a round-trip climb. I have rated the climb as Class 2, because the trail is a use trail rather than a maintained trail. There is a good tread the entire distance. According to my GPS on a recent ascent, my total elevation gain, round-trip, was 2,054 feet.

The route leaves the trail head and contours up and over to the southeast ridge. Then, the route climbs up the ridge and alternates from steep to less steep “steps” to the main ridge. Then, the route follows the main ridge north and descends to a saddle. From the saddle, the route steadily ascends the remaining distance to the summit.

Idaho Fish and Game manages the land around the peak. Fish and Game recently installed these two signs part way up the trail. In March 2017, there was nothing posted on the large sign board.

This photo was taken near the main crest. The summit is left of center.

John Platt's map showing the most popular and recommended route on the peak. This route is not in the book.

John Platt’s map showing the popular Southeast Ridge route. This route is not in the book. It’s a bit longer than the Spring Shores route set out in the book coming in at just under 4.0 miles round-trip.


My GPS track for the Southeast Ridge route superimposed on a Google Earth.

My GPS track for the Southeast Ridge route superimposed on a Google Earth.


Cervidea topo

This map shows the steepest route, the Spring Shores route, on the south side.

On the main crest approaching the summit.

On the main crest approaching the summit.

On the main crest approaching the summit.

Further along the main crest, approaching the summit.

On the main crest approaching the summit.

The summit facing south.

Looking north to Heinen Peak from the summit.

Looking north from the summit toward Mount Heinen.

Cervidae (foreground) from Kepros Mountain with Shafer Butte on the horizon.

Shaw Mountain from the summit.

Shaw Mountain from the summit.

USGS Topo: Arrowrock Dam

Mountain Range: Boise Mountains

Year Climbed: 1990, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006(X2), 2007, 2008(X2), 2009(X8), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Longitude: -115.97429   Latitude: 43.61411


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