Peak 6140 (McKim Hill) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 6,140 ft
Prominence: 480

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019

Peak 6140 is located on the north side of McKim Creek. The only route entirely on BLM land is via McKim Creek Road and the east face. The east face is easily accessed from McKim Creek Road just below a saddle at the base of the face. The southwest ridge crosses a section of private land. The summit itself is on BLM land. USGS Allison Creek

Southwest Ridge, Class 2


McKim Creek Road/FSR-018 is located on the east side of US-93 exactly 9.8 miles north of Ellis, ID and 29.7 miles south of the Salmon-Challis National Forest Service Office in Salmon, ID. It has a small BLM sign, so keep your eyes open to see the road junction. Note that the USGS topo map incorrectly positions McKim Creek Road on the north side of McKim Creek. The actual road leaves US-93 at a measured point (4,505 feet) about a mile south of McKim Creek. The National Forest map shows the road in its actual position.

McKim Creek Road has a large parking pullout at its base in a beautiful, massive, grassy meadow. Soon after this pullout, the road turns left/north and passes through a 1-mile swath of [posted] private land. The road crosses a shoulder and then descends to McKim Creek and crosses to its left/north side. There is more private land alongside McKim Creek Road farther up so be careful not to wander off (or park) where you shouldn’t. Enter BLM land at a cattle fence at 1.0 mile. At the 1.1-mile point, pull off to the right/south side of the road and park. The elevation here is 4,700 feet. You are now at the base of the south side of the southwest ridge.

The Climb

From the 1.1-mile point on McKim Creek Road, bushwhack north straight up a steep scrub slope to reach the crest of the southwest ridge. Follow a decent game trail near the ridge crest (or on its right/southeast side) to expedite the ascent on the scree/gravel base as well as to skirt some rocky ridge chop. Early on, jump across a narrow but noisy aqueduct that crosses the ridge crest and thunders steeply down the northwest face of the ridge to a beautiful ranch and lush, green pasture below.

There is some mountain mahogany and bush on or near the ridge crest but nothing to worry about. The terrain on the ridge is mostly gravel/scree and short scrub. About a ½-mile section of the southwest ridge is on private land, though I found no fences, gates, or signage to indicate such. The ridge does have private property (e.g., ranches, trailers) on both sides in the valleys below. Before you reach Point 6046, you are back on BLM land.

Point 6046 is a small scrub hump with some embedded talus poking up out of the ground. Descend northeast from this point to a gentle saddle of short scrub then continue northeast up a final hillside of easy scrub. The summit is at the southwest end of the summit ridgeline area. Contrary to what the USGS topo map suggests, there is no other ridge bump to the northeast of this high point. The summit of Peak 6140 has a modest cairn. There isn’t much loose rock up here with which to build a larger cairn.

East Face, Class 2


Same as for the southwest ridge. However, if you wish to climb only the east face (and avoid the southwest ridge), continue driving up McKim Creek Road to an unsigned road junction where McKim Creek Road makes a hard right/east turn. Park here (5,600 feet). Hike up an old jeep road to a saddle at the base of the east face, then scramble up an easy scrub slope to the summit. Follow the ridge south a short distance to reach the high point.

The Descent

From the summit, follow the ridge northeast then north on a scrub/gravel/scree mix then descend directly down the east face to the obvious ridge saddle below. The east face is an easy scrub slope. An old jeep road comes up to this saddle from McKim Creek Road. From the saddle, follow this old road south for a short distance to its junction with McKim Creek Road. Hike down McKim Creek Road to your parking spot. It is about 2-1/4 miles back to the parking pullout for the southwest ridge route.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Lemhi Range

Longitude: -113.97819   Latitude: 44.81469

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