Peak 9722 (Hells Hole Peak a.k.a. Little Elk Peak)

Elevation: 9,722 ft
Prominence: 382

This peak is not in the book.


Hells Hole Peak is located due north of Mount Baird in the Snake River Range. This peak is unofficially identified as both Hells Hole Peak and Little Elk Peak. However, the Board of Geographic Names frowns on duplication of names. As “elk” is one of the most common names used in Idaho, this website refers to Peak 9722/Little Elk Peak as Hells Hole Peak.


Southwest Face/South Ridge Route, Class 2, by Livingston Douglas 

I climbed Hells Hole Peak on 7/11/17. This peak is located at the top of the Hells Hole drainage in the Snake River Range and 0.75 mile north of Mount Baird. The access for Hells Hole Peak is the same as Mount Baird: Little Elk Creek Trail/Forest Service Trail (FST)-151. The Mount Baird page includes important access updates for this trail.

During July 2017, the first 0.5 mile or so of the Little Elk Creek Trail was severely impacted by a flash flood. This trail section is washed out and difficult to follow. Stay vigilant and look for cairns in this section of the approach.

Leave the Little Elk Creek Trail at a sharp left turn above treeline at a small basin (8,840 feet). Scramble east-northeast over some undulating terrain to reach the base of the southwest face of Hells Hole Peak. Climb the steep tundra to a prominent cliff band that cuts across the entire southwest face. Look for a break in the cliff band to the climber’s right, fairly close to the south ridge. Climb through the chute and, after a little more straight uphill scrambling, you’ll find yourself on the south ridge at 9,450 feet. Follow the south ridge to the summit.

The rocky summit has a 6-foot tall cairn. Outstanding views from the summit include the north and the northwest ridges of Mount Baird, if you choose to climb that peak (which I did). This route is typically free of snow by early summer.

USGS Topo: Mount Baird

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Big Hole and Snake River Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Southwest Face/South Ridge
  • Year: 2017
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -111.09709   Latitude: 43.37319

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