Peak 8620 by Margo Mandella

Elevation: 8,620 ft
Prominence: 320

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This Peak is not in the book. Published June 2021

Peak 8620 lies southeast of Smiley Mountain.  The summit provides excellent views of nearby Smiley Mountain, the White Knobs, and other interesting peaks off of Bear Creek Road. Peak 8620 makes a good climb when combined with nearby Peak 8566. USGS Smiley Mountain


Turn off US-93 10.5 miles north of Arco and follow Antelope Creek Road west into the mountains. At the Antelope Guard Station, continue on FS-137 to Iron Bog Campground.

Continue to a fork in the road, marked FS-221, and stay to the right. Then, if you take the next unmarked fork to the right, you will bypass a short section of rugged, high clearance 4wd terrain. You can pull over and park before this fork rejoins FS-221, as a high clearance 4wd is best from this point on.

Continue through a narrow road section that passes through willows and reach the creek crossing. The creek bottom is rocky and travel through it is good, the question is whether you will be comfortable driving up the bank on the other side where good 4WD skills and high clearance are best. You can easily hike along the creek to evaluate the creek exit.

When you cross the creek, either by vehicle or foot, you are at another fork. Here, stay right and park at/hike from the no vehicle use marker.

South Ridge, Class 2

From the marker, follow a fairly well-travelled pack trail that runs north and parallels Smiley Creek to a flat, thinly willowed creek bottom around 7600 ft where you can easily cross. We were also climbing Peak 8566 and decided to head toward point 8083 so we could look around at all the ridge options and features.

Follow the south ridge north to the summit. Our track shows where we meandered and scrambled on interesting rock outcroppings. There was a medicine bottle register in the summit cairn where Rich Baugher dubbed the peak “Smiley Mountain Meadows Peak.”

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Pioneer Mountains

Longitude: -113.75769   Latitude: 43.68739

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