Elevation: 7,549 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2022
Peak 7549 is the high point on a forested ridge on the west side of Valley Creek in the Sawtooth Range. It sits above the headwaters of Dry Creek. Peak 7549 is most easily climbed from the Valley Creek trailhead via its east side. USGS Elk Meadow
From ID-21 west of Stanley, turn right/north onto [signed] Valley Creek Road/FSR-304. At 0.5 miles, reach a signed road junction. Go right/east onto FSR-304A (this is the continuation of Valley Creek Road) and cross Valley Creek on a good bridge. At 2.3 miles, reach the end of the road at a large trailhead parking area (6,770 feet). GPS coordinates: 44⁰20’27”N, 115⁰03’24”W.
The USGS topo map shows a road heading up the west side of Valley Creek from a junction at 6,640 feet. The main road goes hard right/east here and crosses Valley Creek on a good bridge. The northbound road goes a short distance and ends. The USGS topo map fails to show the two ATV trails that emanate from the end of Valley Creek Road/FSR-304: FST-306/Valley Creek Trail and FST-4037/East Fork Valley Trail.
West Shoulder, Class 2
From the large trailhead parking area, follow FST-306 west down to a sturdy footbridge crossing of Valley Creek. Hike about 75-100 yards upstream on FST-306. Leave the trail here and scramble west directly up a steep slope of loose gravel and scrub with scattered pines to reach the southeast shoulder. The southeast shoulder is more of a face initially. Scramble west then right-ish/northwest up through a steep, but reasonable, pine forest to directly reach the semi-open summit. A fallen, uprooted tree is the high point. There were no signs of previous ascent. I built a summit cairn atop the tree trunk/roots, the highest point. This climb is mostly in live forest but there are scattered snags and charred timber to navigate.