Elevation: 7,595 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2019
Peak 7595 sits at the north end of the Sheep Creek Hills. The summit is on private land and is fenced, posted, and gated (orange paint included). Having climbed all the way up from the floor of Montpelier Canyon to bag this peak, my frustration was high when I was only ¼ mile and 100 vertical feet from the summit and was blocked by the signage, locked cattle gate, and fence. An easy road hike to the top was all that was left.
But prudence prevailed and I walked away. Frankly, I was surprised to see such signage this high up. Oftentimes you don’t. There is an old shack and an antenna on the summit. If you obtain permission from the landowner, then the north ridge—EAST and north ridge—WEST are great ways to reach the summit from Montpelier Canyon. USGS Montpelier Canyon
North Ridge EAST, Class 1
From Montpelier, ID, drive east up Montpelier Canyon on US-89 for 7.0 miles to a large, paved pullout on the right/east side of the highway at a small pond. This pullout is 0.1 mile past the turnoff for Crow Creek Road. Park here (6,440 elevation).
There are two parallel ridges that emanate from Peak 7595. South Elbow Hollow separates these beautiful ridges. Both ridges terminate at or near the small pond alongside US-89. From the parking area, hike southwest on FST-1026 (signed), an old jeep track that crosses the outlet stream from the stinky, rather disgusting, pond. Continue walking on this deteriorating jeep track as it passes a corral and goes through a cattle gate. The far side of the cattle gate is the starting point for both the North Ridge—EAST and North Ridge—WEST. Bear left/east here and follow a weak 2-track jeep road that heads southeast up the steepest section of the North Ridge—EAST.
Sometimes this old, unused 2-track road is weak and overgrown. At other times, the road is still in decent shape. Once you reach flatter terrain, the 2-track either goes over or around several ridge humps. You can either follow the road as it contours around a particular ridge point or bushwhack through reasonable sagebrush (with gaps) to shorten the ridge climb and re-join the road higher up. Continue up the ridge crest on the road until you reach an unsigned junction at 7,320 feet. Go right/west here and follow a better road for about ½ mile to reach another unsigned junction on a ridge shoulder. Go left/southwest here and follow the road to the summit.
North Ridge WEST, Class 2
Same as for the North Ridge EAST
From the summit, descend the jeep road northeast back to the cattle gate at the Caribou National Forest boundary. Continue about 1/8 mile farther down the road to an unsigned junction. Go left/west here to descend the North Ridge—WEST. Follow this jeep road down to a ridge saddle, where you will find yet another road/trail junction. Go right/north onto [signed] FST-1025. Note that FST-1025 is NOT shown on the USGS topo map but it IS shown on the Caribou National Forest map.
Hike north down FST-1025 as it follows the crest of the North Ridge—WEST. The old 2-track eventually turns into a cattle trail. Even the cattle trail eventually flames out and you must bushwhack along the ridge to reach a steep ridge section that begins at just over 7,000 feet. A rocky, steep, 2-track jeep track appears here and is quite loose and treacherous to descend. But it is FAST. This rocky 2-track road (not shown on maps) leads down to South Elbow Hollow where you pick up a much better 2-track jeep road (also not shown on maps) that leads back to the cattle gate/fence and FST-1026. Follow FST-1026 across the outlet stream from the stinky pond to reach your parked vehicle.