Elevation: 8,909 ft
This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018
Peak 8909 is located on lengthy Dry Ridge, but it is not the high point of Dry Ridge. That honor goes to Dry Ridge BM (8,975 feet) which is located about 2 miles to the north. Consequently, I call this peak Dry Ridge South to differentiate it from its higher neighbor. USGS Stewart Flat
North Ridge, Class 1 —STANDARD ROUTE
Date of Climb: August 29, 2018
From the signed turnoff on US-30 in the center of the bustling metropolis of Georgetown, ID, turn E onto Georgetown Canyon Road (which is called Stringtown Road within the city limits). Drive up the road to a junction at 2.3 miles (LEFT is CR-1095/Left Hand Fork Road; STRAIGHT is Georgetown Canyon Road/FSR-102). Go straight; the road changes from paved to gravel here. At 3.5 miles, you enter the Caribou National Forest. At 11.7 miles, the road crests at Georgetown Saddle and enters Caribou County. At 12.9 miles, the road forks (STRAIGHT is CR-1102/Diamond Creek Road; RIGHT is FSR-146); go straight here onto Diamond Creek Road. At 21.2 miles, FSR-134/Stewart Canyon Road is on the LHS of the road. Park at this road junction (elevation is 6,925 feet). There are numerous dispersed campsites in Stewart Flat. I camped at a nicely shaded campsite 0.2 miles south of this road junction.
Hike, drive, or ride (ATV or MC) up FSR-134/Stewart Canyon Road all the way to its unmarked junction with FSR-193/Dry Ridge Road. This junction is 0.3 miles before FSR-134 reaches the top of the canyon at an 8,590-foot pass. FSR-193 is a hard LEFT turn off FSR-134.
FSR-193/Dry Ridge Road is closed to motorized vehicles. But it is an excellent hiking trail. Follow it S then SSE all the way to the open, rocky summit of Peak 8909. The summit has a mini-BM (survey marker?) and post in a poured concrete base near the high point. There was a dismantled cairn atop the summit boulder, so I rebuilt it. There was no summit register.
Northeast Ridge, Class 2
Same as for the North Ridge Route. The easiest way to access the 7,750-foot saddle NE of Peak 8909 is via FST-138, which is located on the L/S side of Stewart Canyon Road/FSR-134 about 2 miles up from Diamond Creek Road/CR-1102.
This route is part of a ridge traverse from Peak 8140 to the ENE. The route begins at the 7,750-foot saddle between Peak 8140 and Peak 8909. From the saddle, bushwhack W then SW up the Northeast Ridge of Peak 8909. This bushwhack is full-on Class 2 and is no picnic. It is a mix of forest on the R/N side of the ridge and steep, thick desert scrub on the L/S side of the ridge. Generally, it is best to stay in the forest when you can, where you will find well-beaten elk trails to help you out. The desert scrub on the L/S side of the ridge is tall and thick; side-hilling up this stuff is painful and time-consuming. There are sections where there is no forest, so you must bash your way up through the thick scrub.
Higher up, the terrain steepens but it also opens up. The veg shortens and thins out as well. After skirting the L/S side of a short section of aspens, scramble up the final stretch of open terrain to reach the gentle, rocky summit. There is even an old jeep road to greet you there. The summit has a mini-BM (survey marker?) and post in a poured concrete base near the high point. There was a dismantled cairn atop the summit boulder, so I rebuilt it. There was no summit register.
Interestingly, during the ascent of the Northeast Ridge, you will cross two jeep roads. Neither of these roads is shown on the USGS topo map. But one of them does show up on the Caribou National Forest/Soda Springs Ranger District Map. It is located about 300 vertical feet up from the saddle and is FST-138 and can be accessed from Stewart Canyon Road/FSR-134.The second jeep road is an old, abandoned road and is another 200 vertical feet higher. I have no idea where that road comes from or goes to. It’s probably an old mining road.