Elevation: 8,616 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published October 2018
Peak 8616/Hidden Rock Peak is located in the Bear River Range west of Bear Lake and east of Gibson Basin. Given the fact that Peak 8616 is hidden in a thick forest and is quite a rocky summit, that’s a good name for it. USGS Egan Basin
South Ridge/West Face Route via FST-316 (Class 3)
Date of Climb: August 18, 2018
From the Utah side, turn off US-89 onto paved CR-243 (signed for the Beaver Mountain ski area). Drive 0.7 miles N on CR-243 to an unsigned junction. Bear right onto a dirt road. This is Beaver Creek Road. Drive N on Beaver Creek Road/FSR-011 (which becomes FSR-411 when it crosses into Idaho) for 4.0 miles to reach the entrance to Beaver Creek Campground. Park at the [signed] base of FST-316 (the Highline ATV trail) on the L/W side of FSR-411 in an unofficial parking area there (7,800’ elevation). Numerous dispersed campsites are readily available along FSR-011 (Utah) and FSR-411 (Idaho).
South Ridge/West Face, Class 3
Hike (or ride an ATV) up the South Ridge via FST-316 to a flat area just W of Peak 8616. Bushwhack E through open forest/brush to reach the base of the rugged summit outcrop. Climb the W side of the Class 3 summit block to reach the top. All other sides of this rugged summit are Class 4 or Class 5. Watch your footing on the small summit, as a fall down the sheer E face would have serious consequences. Please note that the start of this route requires fording the willow-clogged Beaver Creek on FST-316.
While the creek is not overly deep, it does require wading across a long stretch. For hikers, it is an unpleasant requirement at both the beginning and end of this hike. I could not find an easier crossing nearby as the Beaver Creek drainage is clogged with tall, thick willows for a long distance. For ATV riders, the creek ford is probably no big deal as the road base looks relatively smooth. Please note that the USGS quad does not show FST-316 on it, but the NFS Map and the Logan/Bear River Range Trails Illustrated Map do include it. The South Ridge/West Face Route is the Standard Route for climbing Peak 8616.
East Ridge, Class 3
From the Beaver Creek Campground, drive (or hike) N on FSR-411 (a very smooth dirt road) for about 1.4 miles to a bridge crossing of Beaver Creek, just prior to the road’s junction with FSR-415 in an open meadow. This is the base of the East Ridge (7,975 feet). There are some excellent, large dispersed camping areas along FSR-411 just S of this bridge.
Bushwhack W then SW up through thick forest and brush to reach Point 8436 at the head of a drainage to the south. Point 8436 is a rugged, rocky outcrop. Drop W off Point 8436 (you can also simply skirt this point on its N side if you wish to save some time) and continue bushwhacking W through thick forest to finally reach the base of the impressive summit block area of Peak 8616. It is impressive because you just don’t expect to find such a rugged, rocky outcrop amidst such a thick forest. Skirt the S side of the summit block to reach the W face of the peak. Scramble up a short, Class 3 gully/chute on the West Face to reach the small, exposed, rocky summit.
This climb is mostly Class 2, but it is a rather tedious, punishing bushwhack. Since the East Ridge is rather ill-defined, this route is also navigationally challenging. Just trust the USGS map and use your compass to continue westward in the right direction. Thick brush, lots of blowdown to work around, and several hidden rocky outcrops await you should you choose to climb this route. Due to the thickness of the forest, you won’t be able to see the summit block until you’re right at the base of it. You won’t even be sure that it’s the summit block until you stand on top and realize that you’re on the high point. If you reach the ATV Trail (FST-316), you’ve gone too far W and you need to return E to reach the summit block. The summit block is only about 100 yards E of FST-316, but there is no climber’s trail to help you get to and from FST-316.
North Face/North Shoulder (Descent), Class 3
Same approach as for the East Ridge Route.
This route is the descent route, so I describe it from the summit back down to FSR-411. If you ascend the East Ridge Route (as I did), you will LOVE this [much easier] descent route back down to the road. From the top of the summit block, get a good look at the wonderful open valley/meadow that awaits you to the north, because that is where you are headed. As with the East Ridge, you will have some thick forest to contend with, but it won’t last for long. Descend the Class 3 gully/chute on the W face of the peak. Skirt the S side of the summit block and scramble E down a short section of Class 3 boulders to reach flatter terrain in the forest just below the summit block area. Bushwhack NE then N to find a forested shoulder. Descend the shoulder down to the S side of Beaver Creek along the edge of a large meadow.
Rather than bushwhacking through the thick willows surrounding Beaver Creek to reach FSR-415, follow a cattle trail on the edge of the forest eastward along the S side of the creek. This cattle trail eventually flames out, so just continue on easy open terrain between the forest edge and the creek to quickly reach FSR-411 at the point where the road is about to cross to the RHS of Beaver Creek (just S of its junction with FSR-415). If you parked at Beaver Creek Campground, hike 1.4 miles down the road to return to your vehicle.
Mountain Range: Bear River Range
First Ascent Information:
- Other First Ascent: East Ridge
- Year: 2018
- Season: Summer
- Party: Livingston Douglas
- Other First Ascent: North Face/North Shoulder. First Descent.
- Year: 2018
- Season: Summer
- Party: Livingston Douglas
Longitude: -111.55369 Latitude: 42.03859