Elevation: 7,734 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published January 2023
Peak 7734 is the northernmost ranked summit in the Black Pine Mountains and is on the main Black Pine Ridge Crest that runs from north to south. It is most easily reached from Mill Fork Road on its east side. This is the first leg of a 2-peak journey that includes Peak 7734 and Bird Benchmark (7,580 feet). This adventure covers 9.0 miles with 3,375 feet of elevation gain round trip. USGS Sandrock Canyon
From Exit 254 (Sweetzer Road) on I-84, drive south on [signed] Sweetzer Road for 1.3 miles to an unsigned 3-way junction. Go straight here onto a narrow 2-track road. This is Sweetzer Canyon Road/FSR-584. Reset your odometer here. At 2.2 miles, go right onto [unsigned] Mill Fork Road. At 2.6 miles, reach the [signed] Sawtooth National Forest boundary. At 3.6 miles, reach a “T” junction and the end of Mill Fork Road. Park here (6,010 feet).
East Ridge, Class 2
From the junction, hike briefly northwest up a 2-track road that leads up to the crest of the east ridge and a nearby, rust-colored water tanker. This tanker sits on a knoll at the base of the east ridge of Peak 7734. It is a useful navigational tool on the descent of the weaving, up-and-down east ridge from the Black Pine ridge crest. Make a note of it. Leave the road and follow the ridge crest southwest up to Point 6980. There is a short section of thick, tall veg early on but there are old cattle/game trails to help navigate through this mess.
Once above this thick patch, the ridge terrain is easy, short scrub and it is just a steady grind along the weaving, undulating ridge southwest then west then southwest up to the main Black Pine ridge crest. You reach the ridge crest at a ridge corner (7,560+). A short ridge scramble west on an old 2-track road leads up to the gentle, cairned summit of Peak 7734. There is a small cairn on top. The summit offers a magnificent view of the highest Black Pine peaks to the south and of Bird Benchmark to the northwest.
Northwest Ridge, Class 2
From the summit, descend northwest on steep 2-track jeep road of very loose scree to reach a minor saddle. Continue northwest over a minor ridge hump then drop northwest to the 7,300-foot connecting saddle with Bird Benchmark. The ridge terrain is easy, short scrub on a broken rock base. It goes quickly. This concludes the first leg of today’s 2-peak adventure. Bird Benchmark is up next.