Elevation: 8,692 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published October 2017.
Peak 8692 sits west of Driggs, Idaho, and southeast of Ryan Peak in the Big Hole Mountains of the Targhee National Forest. Access Peak 8692 from the northwest via Relay Ridge. Consider climbing this peak in conjunction with Ryan Peak, which sits on Relay Ridge. This ridge is named for several communication towers located both on the summit and along the ridge. Peak 8692 also can be climbed from pack trails out of Flat Hollow and Kirkham Hollow. However, this update focuses on the Relay Ridge approach. USGS Garns Mountain
From ID-33, turn south on Canyon Creek Road and continue on the paved road as it parallels the canyon to Green Canyon Hot Springs (which is fed by nearby Pincock Springs).
Farther past these springs, find the signed intersection and the gravel road (FSR-219) which heads east to Relay Ridge. Take this road, as it winds, climbs, switchbacks, and passes through Packsaddle Basin before it ends at a turnaround just southwest of the true summit of Ryan Peak. Park at the turnaround.
There are a few small areas along Relay Ridge road to pull over and park if you can not drive to the turnaround. However, stopping short of Relay Ridge itself will result in a substantially longer approach.
A high-clearance vehicle provides the best travel, as the road is steep and may be rutted in places. We have 4WD but did not use it. That said, we saw a rented Toyota Corolla at the turnaround. However, the driver was apprehensive about the descent, so consider a more substantial vehicle than a sedan.
Northwest Ridge Route from Relay Ridge, Class 2
The turnaround, which is right next to the summit of Ryan Peak, is the start of the climb to Peak 8692. You will find the marker for FST-225 here. Hike along this trail as it descends Ryan Peak’s Southeast Ridge and heads toward the saddle between it and Peak 8692. At the saddle, climb off-trail up the steep, short, north slope to the summit of Peak 8692.
If you can’t drive all the way to the turnaround, you could hike along the road to Packsaddle Basin, Relay Ridge, and FST-225. We didn’t see any hikers on the road and we also passed several vehicles. Use caution if hiking along the road. While it is hike-able, it is steep and obscured with vegetation in places. Motorists may not see you and are not accustomed to encountering hikers.
However, if you face this problem, consider backtracking to the pack trail originating at Graham Springs. This trail travels southeast, paralleling Relay Ridge and Calamity Creek, and accesses Peak 8692 from the south.
However you reach the summit, enjoy views of the Teton Mountains to the east and surrounding Big Hole peaks such as Idaho Ridge, Mount Manning, Temple Peak, Garns Mountain and Ryan Peak. Exceptional moose habitat lies in the surrounding valleys. We were lucky and saw a cow moose and calf crossing over Relay Ridge right in front of us!