Peak 8376 (Juniper Valley Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,376 ft
Prominence: 396

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018

Peak 8376 sits at the head of Pole Canyon and oversees the expansive Juniper Valley to the east. Its north ridge offers splendid views of the valley to the east of the Black Pine Mountains. A climb of Peak 8376 can be made in combination with ascents of War Eagle Peak, Black Pine Peak, and Black Peak/Benchmark in a truly magnificent ridge traverse. This is one of my favorite Idaho ridge traverses. USGS Black Pine Peak

Use this link to read about the Classic Black Pine Mountains Traverse.

North Ridge, Class 2


From the south side of I-84 at Exit 263 (Juniper), drive west briefly then south on a rocky dirt road. At 0.7 miles, turn right/west at an unmarked junction. At 3.7 miles, enter the Sawtooth National Forest. The road now becomes FSR-761/Pole Canyon Road. At 5.2 miles, go STRAIGHT at an unmarked road junction. At 6.3 miles, reach an open meadow in the center of Pole Canyon. Park here (6,210 feet).

The Climb

The north ridge is a LONG ridge (about three miles) but it is very scenic and offers beautiful views of the valley east of the Black Pine Mountains. On a cold morning (such as the 19-degree start that I had), it also offers the early morning sun to warm you up.

From the open meadow, walk west then southwest up Pole Canyon Road for about 0.4 miles. Leave the road here and bushwhack southeast up a steep, forested slope to reach the north ridge of Peak 8376. The first 600 vertical feet of this bushwhack is difficult due to steep terrain, lots of blowdown, thick veg/scrub, and no game trails. This push will get your heart rate up. At 6,900 feet, you reach open terrain and much easier going. You will find sheep trails on the ridge crest and on its right/west side. There are some areas of scree slopes on the ridge early on but they give way to easy, short scrub and broken rock.

There are a series of ups and downs as you cross over several ridge humps (Point 7441, Point 7801, Point 8100+, Point 8180, Point 8162) on your way to the summit. This is a LONG ridge and the ups and downs only make it longer. You can only hope that the hump you’re ascending is the final one and isn’t just a tease like all of the earlier ones. The summit of Peak 8376 is a gentle hump and had no signs of previous ascent. I took the time to build a nice cairn atop this peak.

Southwest Ridge, Class 2


Same as for the north ridge. The easiest access to the southwest ridge is via Pole Canyon Road/FSR-761 and the East/West Divide Trail/FST-018 to Pole Canyon Pass (7,980 feet). An easy, Class 2 scramble up the ridge gets you to the top.

The Descent

This route is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 8376 to War Eagle Peak (8,716 feet). From the summit of Peak 8376, descend the southwest ridge on easy, open terrain (mostly on a sheep trail) to Pole Canyon Pass (7,980 feet).

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Black Pine Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: North Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas
  • Other First Ascent: Southwest Ridge -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -113.08849   Latitude: 42.11389

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