Peak 8616 (Hidden Rock Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,616 ft
Prominence: 316

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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, Class 3


From the Utah side, turn off US-89 onto paved CR-243 (signed for the Beaver Mountain ski area). Drive 0.7 miles north on CR-243 to an unsigned junction. Bear right onto a dirt road. This is Beaver Creek Road. Drive north 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 left/west side of FSR-411 in an unofficial parking area there (7,800 feet). Numerous dispersed campsites are readily available along FSR-011 (Utah) and FSR-411 (Idaho).

The Climb

Hike (or ride an ATV) up the south ridge via FST-316 to a flat area just west of Peak 8616. Bushwhack east through open forest/brush to reach the base of the rugged summit outcrop. Climb the west side of the Class 3 summit block to reach the top. All other sides of this rugged summit are Class 4-5. Watch your footing on the small summit, as a fall down the sheer east 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 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 south of this bridge.

The Climb

Bushwhack west then southwest 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 west off Point 8436 (you can also simply skirt this point on its north side to save some time) and continue bushwhacking west 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 south side of the summit block to reach the west 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 west and you need to return east to reach the summit block. The summit block is only about 100 yards east of FST-316, but there is no climber’s trail to help you get to and from FST-316.

North Face/North Shoulder, Class 3


Same approach as for the east ridge

The Descent

If you ascend the east ridge, 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 west face of the peak. Skirt the south side of the summit block and scramble east down a short section of Class 3 boulders to reach flatter terrain in the forest just below the summit block area. Bushwhack northeast then north to find a forested shoulder. Descend the shoulder down to the south 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 south 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 right-hand side of Beaver Creek (just south 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.

Additional Resources

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

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