Peak 7490 by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,490 ft
Prominence: 310

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This peak is not in the book. Published January 2023

Peak 7490 is a minor bump on the lengthy southeast ridge of Caribou Mountain (9,803 feet). It sits on a ridgeline that separates Jackknife Creek from Trail Creek. Peak 7490 is most easily climbed from Jackknife Creek Trail to its south. USGS Tincup Mountain

Peak 7490 as viewed from midway up the east ridge (my ascent route). Livingston Douglas Photo


From the junction of US-89 and US-26 at the north end of Alpine, WY, drive 9.4 miles south on US-89 to a signed junction with Creamery Road. Turn right/west onto Creamery Road (which becomes Jackknife Creek Road/FSR-136) and drive 6.2miles to the end of the road at the [signed] trailhead for Jackknife Creek Trail/FST-448 (5,990 feet).

East Ridge, Class 2

The Climb

From the trailhead, hike about 2-1/2 miles up Jackknife Creek Trail/FST-448 to a signed junction with Trail Creek Trail/FST-457 at a major fork in the canyon. Go left/west to stay on FST-448 and drop slightly to cross [small] Trail Creek. Surprisingly (and contrary to what the USGS map and Caribou NF map show), FST-448 stays on the right/north side of Jackknife Creek and initially climbs up the toe of the east ridge of Peak 7490. Leave the trail after it veers away from the east ridge to meander westward, up and down across shoulders and gullies on the north side of Jackknife Creek.

Bushwhack right/north a short distance in thick-ish scrub to reach the crest of the east ridge. Find a decent game trail to follow the open scrub ridge. The ridge heads west-northwest then turns left/southwest then right/northwest on a flattish cross-ridge. The ridge drops left/southwest to cross a forested area then heads up over a gentle ridge hump with thick brush/willows. Stay on the left/east side on a decent game trail in open scrub through this section.

The ridge continues to head southwest and has a final push up a steep, obvious shoulder of open brush (mostly willows) and some forest to reach the main summit ridge at about 7,250 feet, just southeast of Point 7341. There is a game trail on the ridge crest to assist you in this steep scramble. Once on the summit ridge, follow a good game/use trail on the left/southwest side of the ridge to expedite the climb to the top. There are a few short sections where you may be on the narrow, rock-and-pines ridge crest. The summit of Peak 7490 is a flat, open area. I built a cairn on the high point.

The summit area of Peak 7490 with its newly-built cairn. Livingston Douglas Photo

View of Peak 7962 (dead center in distance) from the summit of Peak 7490 to its southwest. Livingston Douglas Photo

Southeast Ridge/East Shoulder, Class 2

The Descent

From the summit, return southeast down the summit ridge to the entry point. Continue southeast down the ridge a bit farther to reach a flat area near Point 6910. The ridge is a thick mess of brush/veg and is most unpleasant. The forest joins the mix here and makes for a very unappetizing descent route. Leave the ridge in this flat section and descend left/east down a face/shoulder of thick brush and some forested patches. Reach a dry gully and follow a game trail right/southeast to quickly reach Jackknife Creek. Cross the shallow, wide creek on exposed rocks to reach the east side and the foot/horse trail that is the Jackknife Creek Trail.

Hike downstream on the narrow, horse-beaten trail across to the north side of the creek. Follow the trail through a series of ups and downs (across shoulders and gullies) to reach the trail junction with Trail Creek Trail in about 1-1/2 miles. Continue down Jackknife Creek Trail for another 2-1/2 miles to the trailhead. Jackknife Creek Trail is closed to motor vehicles but it is sure open to hunters and horse packers. The mud (both wet and dried) and horse hoof prints make this trail a bit difficult to hike. It would not be a good trail in wet conditions.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Caribou Range

Longitude: -111.2102   Latitude: 43.0445

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