Elevation: 10,516 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Page 244 of the book. Revised January 2019.
Phi Kappa Mountain has 296 feet of prominence, just 4 feet shy of being a “ranked” peak. Phi Kappa Mountain is located above the southeast fork of Summit Creek, near Trail Creek Summit, in the Pioneer Mountains. This mountain is often climbed with an ascent of Summit Creek Peak, which is to the northwest, as Phi Kappa Mountain is “on the way.”
Phi Kappa Mountain’s accessibility from the main trail makes it a good off-trail peak choice if you just want to take in some views of surrounding Pioneer Mountain peaks, without continuing on to Summit Creek Peak. Phi Kappa Mountain summit is about a 1-hour detour from the trail and back. USGS Phi Kappa Mountain
Take Trail Creek Road either from US-93 to the east or from Sun Valley to the southwest, to the marked Trail Creek Summit. There is a parking area on the southeast side of the pass. This is the parking area for the Summit Creek Trail/FST-053 [(A)(3)(a) on Page 258].
Southeast Ridge, Class 2
From the parking area, follow the Summit Creek Trail/FST-053 heading southeast. Take the trail as it parallels the southeast fork of Summit Creek all the way to the pass between Phi Kappa Mountain and Peak 10860. Leave the trail here and follow the Southeast Ridge, traveling northwest, to the summit of Phi Kappa Mountain. Enjoy the views!
Retrace your ascent route back down to the pass. Find the trail where you left it and hike back down to the parking area.
Margo Mandella provided her GPS track from her 2017 ascent with Steve Mandella and Bruce Dunham. Note the position of North arrow. Additionally, the track is in yellow. The blue line is the boundary between Custer and Blaine counties. Please note that the yellow track includes an ascent of nearby Summit Creek Peak and descends the Southwest Face of Summit Creek Peak to intersect the Summit Creek Trail.