Elevation: 8,858 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018
Peak 8858 is located at the head of Almo Park. It is also directly on the west ridge of Cache Peak, which lies a hefty 3 miles to the east. It barely qualifies as a ranked summit as it has only 318 feet of prominence. Peak 8858 could also be called “West Cache Peak.” USGS Cache Peak. This page describes my September 24, 2018 climb of the South Spur/Northwest Ridge.
From the junction of ID-77 and Elba Road/1950 South in Elba, drive 12.7 miles south on ID-77 (passing through Almo) to a signed right (west) turn for the City of Rocks National Reserve at 3075 South. This paved road is unofficially called the “City of Rocks Road.” Set your odometer to 0.0 here.
At 2.0 miles, you reach the City of Rocks east entrance Sign. Then at 4.1 miles, turn right to stay on the City of Rocks Road (“Bath Rock Campsites” sign here). At 6.6 miles, cross a 6,530-foot pass and the road name changes to Emery Canyon Road. From the saddle, continue west on the paved road and descend to a meadow. At 7.3 miles, you reach a junction with Logger Springs Road (which, after entering the Sawtooth National Forest, becomes Forest Service Road [FSR]-562). This road is signed for “Logger Springs.”
Turn right (north) onto Logger Springs Road and reset your odometer to 0.0 here. Drive up the steep, but smooth, road for 2.8 miles to reach the Sawtooth National Forest boundary (signed). At about 4.3 miles, you reach a signed road junction at 8,387 feet. Continue straight on Logger Springs Road/FSR-562 (right is Stines Pass Road/FSR-607). At 6.3 miles, reach an unsigned road junction on a high, open ridge. Park just before this junction in a pullout on the left (west) side of the road. The elevation here is 8,207 feet.
South Spur/Northwest Ridge Route, Class 2
This is mostly a road hike with about a half-mile of Class 2 off-trail scrambling to reach the summit. From the road junction at 8,207 feet on the South Spur, follow FSR-606A left at the junction. Then quickly cross to the left (west) side of a cattle fence at a cattle gate. Hike northward on the left (west) side of the cattle fence on an old, overgrown, two-track road (FSR-606A) for about ¾ mile to an unmarked road junction and another cattle gate. This is where FSR-606A merges with the Right Fork road (FSR-562).
Here, cross the cattle fence and follow FSR-562 northward. The road makes a sharp right (east) turn after crossing a cattle guard. Then, FSR-562 follows the left (north) side of a cattle fence as it heads eastward. Years ago, FSR-562 went all the way to the summit of Cache Peak. It has been closed to vehicular traffic on its upper reaches for quite some time.
Leave the road where it crosses the Northwest Ridge of Peak 8858, at about 8,760 feet. You have less than 100 vertical feet of uphill to the summit. Unfortunately, you must do a rather tedious bit of cross-country scrambling here, crossing over a false summit and dealing with thick scrub and large boulders en route. Immediately after leaving the road, ross a cattle fence on the right (south) side of the road. Scramble southeast on a mix of ridge boulders and thick desert scrub to reach the large cairn on the [false] west summit.
From the false summit, bushwhack east to a scrub-filled saddle, giving up 30 vertical feet in the process. Find gaps and cattle trails here to help you. Continue east and a bit left (north) to reach the true summit point of Peak 8858, a rocky outcrop with nothing on top but a triangulation post (+ wires) laying on the ground nearby. I built a small cairn on the massive ground boulder that is the highest point. There aren’t many loose rocks up here to work with. A small herd of cattle was grazing on the upper slopes south of the summit, wondering what the heck I was doing up here.