Ryan Peak 8860 by Margo Mandella

Elevation: 8,860 ft
Prominence: 720

Summit of Ryan Peak. Steve Mandella Photo

This peak is not in the book. Published October 2017.


Ryan Peak sits nearly due west of Driggs, Idaho, in the Big Hole Mountains of the Targhee National Forest. Access Ryan Peak from the northwest via Relay Ridge. The summit of Ryan Peak exists as a high point along Relay Ridge. This ridge is named for several communication towers located both on the summit and along the ridge. While you are there, climb nearby Peak 8692. USGS Garns Mountain


Access

Sign for Relay Ridge. Margo Mandella photo.

Sign for Relay Ridge Road. Margo Mandella Photo

From ID-33, turn south on Canyon Creek Road and continue on the paved road as it parallels the canyon to Green Canyon Hot Springs (which is fed by nearby Pincock Springs).

Farther past these springs, find the signed intersection and the gravel road to Relay Ridge (FSR-219) which heads east. Take this road, as it winds, climbs, switchbacks, and passes through Packsaddle Basin before it ends at a turnaround just southwest of the true summit of Ryan Peak. Park at the turnaround.

If you cannot make it to the turnaround, there are a few small areas along Relay Ridge Road to pull over and park. However, stopping short of Relay Ridge itself will result in a substantially longer climb.

A high-clearance vehicle provides the best travel as the road is steep and may be rutted in places. We have 4WD but did not use it. That said, we saw a rented Toyota Corolla at the top. However, its driver was apprehensive about the descent, so consider a more substantial vehicle than a sedan.


Northwest Ridge, Class 1

A cow and its calf crossing Relay Ridge on Ryan Peak. Steve Mandella photo.

A cow and its calf crossing Relay Ridge on Ryan Peak. Steve Mandella photo.

If you don’t make it to the turnaround, you can hike along the road. We didn’t see any hikers on the road and we passed several vehicles. Use caution if hiking along the road. While it is hike-able, it is steep and obscured with vegetation in places. Motorists may not see you and are not accustomed to encountering hikers.

From the turnaround, hike the few yards to the true summit, which is an obvious high point behind the communications towers and maintenance building.

From the summit and along the entire ridge, the view of the Teton Mountains to the east is superb. Also enjoy views of nearby Peak 8692Idaho Ridge, Mount Manning, Temple PeakGarns Mountain, and other Big Hole peaks in the distance. Exceptional moose habitat lies in the surrounding valleys. We were lucky and saw a cow moose and calf crossing over Relay Ridge right in front of us!

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Big Hole and Snake River Mountains

Longitude: -111.3447   Latitude: 43.7069

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