Elevation: 6,216 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Peak 6216 is a hill that towers over the townsite of Ellis, ID. It is overshadowed by higher Lemhis to its east. Peak 6216 is, essentially, a ridge hump (albeit a ranked one) on the twisting, turning West Ridge of Peak 8420. This West Ridge mimics the twists and turns of the nearby Salmon River! The easiest ascent route for Peak 6216 is the South Ridge/Face from Ennis Gulch Road. Private land along US-93 and the Pahsimeroi Highway blocks most access points to the BLM land that comprises about 98% of this peak. USGS Ellis
North Spur/West Ridge, Class 2
Date of Climb: July 24, 2019
Deer Gulch Bridge (and informal campground) is located 0.9 miles north of Ellis, ID on US-93. Drive west across the bridge and park in the campground parking area. The elevation at the camping area is 4,645 feet.
From the informal campground, walk E across the bridge to reach US-93. Walk S on US-93 for about 100 feet. Cross to the E side of the highway and climb SE up a very steep scree/gravel/scrub slope, crossing a cattle fence early on. According to the Salmon-Challis NF Map, this is all BLM land but be careful because there are private ranches both to the N and S of this point. There is no signage prohibiting entry onto this steep slope.
After 250 vertical feet of steep scrambling, reach the narrow North Spur of the West Ridge of Ellis Hill. Follow this steep, rocky spur S on a very narrow ridge crest. Find a use/game trail on the spur and follow it S to a flat area at the head of a gully. Head SE here, passing the S end of the gully and skirting the S side of a scrub hump. Once past the hump, descend to a gentle saddle with 2 empty cattle cisterns in it. These cisterns are a useful landmark on your return trip because this area has multiple ridges, shoulders, and gullies to confuse you. If you descend the wrong one, you will undoubtedly end up on private ranch land.
From the saddle, scramble SE then E up the [initially] ill-defined ridge, finding a decent use/game trail just L/N of the ridge crest. Go up through a minor ridge shelf early on. A gully splits the headwall, making this easy. Grind up the somewhat steep ridge of sagebrush to reach the NW end of the summit area, skirting the R/S side of the first ridge bump. Follow the ridge crest up over the middle hump, a false summit with a cairn atop it. Continue SE to the true summit, dropping 100 vertical feet to a minor saddle on the way.
The summit of Peak 6216 has a nice cairn with large talus rock. It’s not an impressive summit. It’s just the highest scrub hump in this immediate vicinity. There is a nice view down to the Pahsimeroi Highway north of May, ID. Return the way you came. The Deer Gulch [informal] campground is a nice place to stay, with lots of shade trees and, best of all, it’s FREE.