Rattler Butte by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 6,265 ft
Prominence: 365

This peak is not in the book. Published December 2019


Date of Climb: June 10, 2019

Rattler Butte is a scrub hill located SW of Bellevue, ID. The easiest ascent route is the West Ridge from Townsend Gulch Road. This area is a patchwork of BLM land, State of Idaho land, and private land. Consult the BLM Fairfield map to stay out of trouble. USGS Bellevue

North Shoulder, Class 2

Access

From ID-75 in Bellevue, turn L/W onto [signed] Broadford Road (1 block N of Cedar Street). Drive 0.3 miles, cross a bridge, and reach a road junction. Turn L/S onto Lower Bradford Road and drive 0.9 miles to a [signed] junction with Townsend Gulch Road. Set your odometer to 0.0 here. At 0.3 miles, go L at a “T” junction. At 0.4 miles, pass Lees Gulch Road on the right. At 1.4 miles, the pavement ends and you reach BLM land. At 2.2 miles, park in a roadside pullout on the L/S side of the road. The elevation here is 5,530 feet.

View of the North Side of Rattler Butte from Townsend Gulch Road. The North Shoulder heads upward and diagonally right before it curls leftward to the sagebrush-covered summit. The skyline is the Northeast Ridge. Livingston Douglas Photo

View of the North Side of Rattler Butte from Townsend Gulch Road. The North Shoulder heads upward and diagonally right before it curls leftward to the sagebrush-covered summit. The skyline is the Northeast Ridge. Livingston Douglas Photo

The Climb

From the parking pullout, bushwhack SW down to a small creek (25 vertical feet) and bash through the thick aspens that surround the drainage. Cross the creek and climb SW up through thick sagebrush to quickly reach the crest of the North Shoulder. Work your way up through sagebrush on the shoulder to reach the summit ridge. Once on the summit ridge, turn L/E to reach the high point of Rattler Butte and its massive summit cairn amongst the thick sagebrush.

The massive cairn atop Rattler Butte with the ever-present sagebrush close by. Livingston Douglas Photo

The massive cairn atop Rattler Butte with the ever-present sagebrush close by. Livingston Douglas Photo

Northeast Ridge, Class 2

Access

Same as for the North Shoulder Route. This is the final leg of a loop route that begins and ends on Townsend Gulch Road.

The Descent

From the summit, descend ENE along the sagebrush-covered ridge to a ridge point at the head of a gully that leads NE down to Townsend Gulch Road.  You will find on-and-off sheep trails to help in this ridge descent. Descend the final section of the Northeast Ridge with a large gully to the R/E and a minor gully to the L/W to reach the thick aspens at creek side. Bash through the aspens, cross the creek, and cruise across a grassy field to reach Townsend Gulch Road. Hike W up the road to return to the parking pullout.

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Smoky Mountains

Longitude: -114.30159   Latitude: 43.44049

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