Peak 7796 (Wooley Range HP) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,796 ft
Prominence: 1,096

Find Nearby Peaks

This peak is not in the book. Rick Baugher’s notes on his climb are set out below Livingston’s entry. This part of Southeast Idaho has been and is subject to phosphate mining. Rick’s entry serves as a good time piece demonstrating the transient nature of phosphate mining in these mountains. Livingston pointed out that there is currently [2022] an active mining operation going on near the base of Rick’s route. Updated January 2023

The highest point in the Wooley Range is located above the Blackfoot River and southwest of Rasmussen Valley. The phosphate mining operations ended years ago on the ridge that has the high point of the Wooley Range. This is the first leg of a 2-peak adventure that includes Wooley Range HP and Peak 7730. The journey covers 7.5 miles with 1,850 feet of elevation gain round trip. USGS Lower Valley

Wooley Range HP (just left of center) as viewed from the southeast ridge of Peak 7730 to its north. Livingston Douglas Photo


From ID-34 at the south end of Blackfoot Reservoir (11.8 miles north of US-30 in Soda Springs), turn right/east onto [signed] Blackfoot River Road. Reset your odometer here. At 10.1 miles, reach a signed junction with Slug Creek Road. Continue straight on Blackfoot River Road. At 11.3 miles, reach the Caribou National Forest boundary. At 13.2 miles, reach the Mill Canyon Campground. Turn west/left into the campground and drive up to Campsite #10 and park in a pullout there at the top of the campground loop (6,663 feet). GPS coordinates: 42⁰48’40”N, 111⁰21’55”W.

Northeast Face, Class 2

The Climb

From Campsite #10, the first objective is to reach Point 7558 with the easiest possible bushwhack. Point 7558 is clearly visible from Campsite #10. Aim to reach an open scrub slope on the right/north side of the Mill Canyon Creek drainage. From Campsite #10, head northwest through a meadow on the left/south side of Mill Canyon Creek to a gated road closure. Jump the gate and continue up the left/south side of Mill Canyon Creek for a short distance to get past a thick, clogged side gully on the right/north side of the stream. Once past it, the veg now gets thicker.

Cross to the right/north side of the stream and climb north then northwest up the steep ridge on gapped veg to reach a high, easy, diagonal-left crossing of a short patch of pine/aspen forest. Once through the forest, scramble northwest up the open scrub to the open top of Point 7558. You can see Wooley Range HP from here. Descend 45 vertical feet west down easy veg to a wide saddle/meadow. Head southwest across the easy veg of the meadow to reach a cattle fence and an old 2-track road. Go through the stiff fence then follow it left/southwest briefly to reach a critical gully between the lateral moraines of mining rubble. Find an old road and follow this gully left/southeast to skirt the base of the steep, sheer northeast face of Wooley Range HP.

Once past the steep, northeast face, you reach a pine forest. Leave the old road here and climb diagonally right/west up a game trail to cross a minor ridge of crumbly mining rock. This short climb is steep and loose and is the crux of the route up Wooley Range HP. Once atop this minor ridge, drop 10 feet south into another lateral mining gully. Go left/southeast briefly in this gully then leave it to climb right/northwest to reach the summit area. There is an overgrown old road here that goes diagonally left up the face and ends just below the summit ridge. Scramble briefly left/southwest up onto the summit ridge crest. Follow the narrow ridge crest right/northwest to reach the high point of the Wooley Range. The summit has a cairn, a triangulation post, and a USGS benchmark. Unlike Baugher’s route, the bushwhack on this climb is relatively easy. No aspens, easy scrub/veg of short-to-medium height, and easy navigation in mostly open terrain.

Wooley Range HP as viewed from Point 7558 to its northeast. The summit is up and behind the prominent gravelly northeast face. The wall must be skirted to reach the summit. Livingston Douglas Photo

The summit of Wooley Range HP, looking northwest along the summit ridge. Livingston Douglas Photo

The Descent

From the summit, return back to the cattle fence crossing (and old 2-track) in the meadow. Follow the 2-track road northwest then north to skirt the top of a large gully. Leave this 2-track road and descend diagonally on another 2-track to reach a lower road and the cattle fence along it. You will soon reach the edge of the pine forest. The cattle fence heads uphill and left here. Cross the fence and descend north through a short section of easy pine forest to reach the hidden, forested, small connecting saddle with Peak 7730 at 7,410 feet. This concludes the first leg of today’s 2-peak journey. Peak 7730 is up next.

Rick Baugher 2014 Trip Report

Wooley Range HP. View N from Dry Valley on 9/25/14. Note the mining scars now in restoration on the peak's south slopes. Ascent went up forested draw, far left, to reach the open brush face. Rick Baugher Photo

Wooley Range HP. View north from Dry Valley (9/25/14).
Note the mining scars now in restoration on the peak’s South Slopes. Ascent went up forested draw (far left) to reach the open brush face. Rick Baugher Photo

Here is Rick Baugher’s report on reaching the Wooley Range High Point:

On 6/23/13, I drove thru Soda Springs, ID and (Upper) Blackfoot River Road to its paved end just before The Narrows in Idaho’s Southeast Highlands. The oft-repeated phrase “The hardest part about climbing a mountain is sometimes getting to the trailhead” rung true today. Strike one: Trying to approach from Agrium’s active phosphate mining haul road. Strike two: Going through The Narrows and finding “bushwhack hell” beyond Mill Canyon Campground.

The third try was the charm. Just before The Narrows, found a well-hidden decommissioned two-track heading up canyon to the NW. Rode then hiked almost to the 7,300-foot saddle. Broke through the Douglas fir forest with brushy understory into a former phosphate mining area, now in restoration. Continued up open brush mat to summit Wooley Range HP. On top, a USGS benchmark tablet stamped 1948, but with no station name. Re-erected the signal post.

Summit Wooley Range HP, 7796'. View NW past Blackfoot Reservoir to South & North Putnam peaks on horizon.

The summit of Wooley Range HP. View northwest past Blackfoot Reservoir to South Putnam and North Putnam Peaks on the horizon.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Peale Mountains

Longitude: -111.38039   Latitude: 42.81319

Comments are closed.