Elevation: 6,472 ft
This peak is not in the book. Click on the photos to see a larger image.
Peak 6472 is located south of the city of Pocatello and approximately a mile (at most) from Slate Mountain. The peak lies in the Bannock Range. USGS Clifton Creek
Like a number of Bannock Range peaks, there are several routes that can be taken to the top. Our route approached the summit from the north and was 4.8 miles round trip. If that is not enough climbing/hiking for you, connect this peak with its neighbor Slate Mountain or pair Peak 6472 with Peak 7060 which is just a little farther south off the Bannock Highway.
North Approach, Class 2
From Pocatello, take the Bannock Highway south to the West Fork Mink Creek parking lot/West Fork Mink Creek trailhead. Begin your hike on this well-marked, well-used and very popular trail.
Continue heading along this trail as it travels to the northwest until you reach a junction with FST-045 and take this trail. Ascend FST-045 until you reach a saddle or go off-trail early, as we did, and aim for the summit ridge.
If you are lucky, you may see a moose or two on your way to the summit. The West Fork Mink Creek and Gibson Jack areas are excellent habitat for moose, deer and elk. We saw moose and a large group of mule deer does and a buck on the flank of Slate Mountain.
Hike along the gentle ridge until you reach the summit cairn and enjoy views of peaks in the Bannock and Portneuf Ranges.
As the GPS track shows, we took the South Ridge all the way back down. This required us to pass through a thick riparian area on a steep, loose-ish slope and then find a way to cross West Fork Mink Creek. A better option might have been to hike off the ridge to the east, before reaching the riparian area, and descending to the highway. Either way, it is a short hike back to the parking lot from either location.