Peak 6684 (Grace Hill) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 6,648 ft
Prominence: 424

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019


Peak 6684 is a brushy hill with an elongated north-to-south summit crest. The peak towers over the small hamlet of Grace, Idaho. Peak 6684 is the northernmost ranked summit in the Bear River Range. It is positioned below, and to the west of, the primary north-to-south ridge crest of that mountain range. The easiest ascent route is the South Ridge, via an old jeep road that climbs to the summit from another jeep road that comes up from 2-Mile Road south of Grace. Peak 6684 is almost entirely on State of Idaho land, but be careful because the surrounding lowlands are mostly private property. USGS Grace

Northeast Ridge/North Ridge, Class 2

Date of Climb: September 4, 2019

Access

From ID-34 at Center Street in Grace, ID, drive east on Center Street for 1.5 miles to a “T” junction. Go R/S on Harwood Road for 1.1 miles to McPherson Canyon Road. Go L/W on McPherson Canyon Road and drive 1.5 miles to an unsigned road junction. Go R/S here and drive 100 feet to a large parking area on the W side of Camp Sorenson (a BSA camp). Camp Sorenson is gated but looks like it hasn’t been used in years. It is boarded up and there are no “NO TRESPASSING” signs. The elevation here is 5,840 feet.

The Climb

I must caution you that this route is an arduous, miserable bushwhack and I do not advise it. From the parking area, walk through the S end of Camp Sorenson to quickly reach the base of the Northeast Ridge of Peak 6684. Bushwhack W up a steep hill of thick forest and brush to reach the equally-miserable Northeast Ridge. Now you must engage in a BATTLE ROYALE of bushwhacking up the Northeast Ridge, through a combination of mountain mahogany, young oak trees, and thick brush. There are times when you can skirt the worst of the ridge crest misery by side-hilling just below the ridge crest, but this only works temporarily as the sides of the ridge are almost as bad.

Higher up, the slope eases considerably as the Northeast Ridge merges into the North Ridge. The trees are now gone and the terrain is open scrub and isn’t too awful. But you still have ½ mile to go to reach the elusive summit to the south. The rocky summit of Peak 6684 has a decent cairn atop it. To reduce your agony, descend either the East Face or the South Ridge. Be aware that the South Ridge may lead you onto private land and issues associated therewith. The Northeast Ridge and North Ridge showed no signs of previous ascent and had no signs of animal activity (e.g., game trails, scat). Not even wild animals are stupid enough to mess around on the thickly-clogged Northeast Ridge.

East Face (Descent), Class 2

Access

Same as for the Northeast Ridge/North Ridge Route.

The Descent

From the summit of Peak 6684, descend straight down the face (ENE), aiming for an open meadow at the terminus of the drivable section of jeep road coming up from McPherson Canyon. There is an obvious turnaround area here. This is not a fun descent, though not as wicked as the Northeast Ridge ascent. The terrain on the East Face is thick sagebrush high up then a miserably thick forest of young oaks and thick brush lower down. The young oaks were as bad as bashing through a thick aspen forest. Just work your way through it. The good news is that your pain won’t last for long—13 minutes and 600 feet of elevation drop. You might just kneel down and kiss the dusty road when you reach it. Follow the unsigned jeep road N for ½ mile to return to the parking area on the E side of Camp Sorenson.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bear River Range

Longitude: -111.67601   Latitude: 42.54949

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