Peak 8621 (Middle Elk Peak) by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 8,621 ft
Prominence: 361

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This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018

Peak 8621 is on the Elkhorn Divide and is about midway between Elkhorn Peak to the south and Wakley Peak to the north. It is an easy scramble from the Wright Creek Trail at the 8,260-foot saddle which lies at the base of the north ridge. USGS Elkhorn Peak

North Ridge, Class 2


Same as for the south ridge of Wakley Peak

The Climb

Follow the same route for the south ridge of Wakley Peak as far as the 8,260-foot saddle at the base of the north ridge of Peak 8621. This route is part of a ridge traverse from Wakley Peak to Peak 8621 along the Elkhorn Divide.

From the saddle, quickly find a use trail heading south up the ridge crest. If you initially go left/east and almost immediately turn back to the right/west, you will find the trail. This trail turns into an old gravel 2-track road when you reach Point 8359. This road continues up the ridge to the [lower] north summit of Peak 8621. The north summit (Point 8560+) has a decent cairn atop it.

From the north summit, you get no help from trails or roads. Follow the ridge southward, dropping 20-25 vertical feet to a minor saddle. Continue up an easy rock/veg mix to the small, rocky perch that is the true summit of Peak 8621. The summit has a cairn and nothing else. This summit probably sees more hunters than hikers.

East Shoulder, Class 2


Same as for the north ridge

The Descent

From the summit, descend the [obvious] east shoulder. To the right/south of the shoulder, you will see an equally-obvious, aspen-clogged gully. Early in the descent, skirt the left/north side of a rocky outcrop on the shoulder. From there, bash your way down through thick sagebrush and other nasty desert scrub. There are no game trails or cattle trails to help you navigate through this awful terrain. However, there are substantial sections of scrub that have enough gaps in them to allow you to make headway. There are also some scattered pines to help guide you down the shoulder. It won’t be long before you reach a final section of thick trees and scrub between you and FST-330/Wright Creek Trail. You won’t see the trail until you pop (or flop) onto it. It’s quite a relief to find it. Thankfully, it crosses the east shoulder and you can’t miss it. From that point, cruise down the dusty ATV trail back to the Wright Creek trailhead and your parked vehicle.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Bannock Range

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: East Shoulder -Descent
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -112.30929   Latitude: 42.36689

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