Elevation: 5,908 ft
This peak is found in the book at pages 144 and 145. Access issues have closed two routes listed in the book, Rocky Canyon and Table Rock. Updated July 2019
Shaw Mountain, also known as Lucky Peak, is found in the Boise Mountains within the Boise National Forest. The peak provides the northern back drop for east Boise, Idaho, and it is the southernmost peak of the Boise Mountains. Shaw Mountain has two summits. The eastern summit is the official Lucky Peak summit. The lower western summit is 5,835 feet. The saddle between the two summits is about 240 feet lower than Lucky Peak summit.
Idaho Fish and Game manages the surrounding land, and wildlife management is the number one priority in this area. Thus, the area may be closed at times to all access to protect wildlife.
Lucky Peak is a great spring climb with expansive views of the Treasure Valley and the city of Boise. The peak is one of the four peaks dubbed the Grand Slam Peaks. The other three peaks are Mount Heinen, Cervidae Peak, and Kepros Mountain.
While you are on the summit of Lucky Peak, consider hiking over to Aldape Peak. The entire Lucky Peak ridge from the Aldape summit to ID-21 offers great opportunities for hiking and steep mountain biking on the many dirt roads in the area.
Two roads with public access lead to the summit of Lucky Peak and are the best routes to use. The routes are discussed below.
- The Table Rock Route: The road from Table Rock crosses private property and there is no longer public access across this land. This is a shame because it is the most scenic of the approaches.
- In 2019 Idaho Fish and Game built an archery range two miles from ID-21 on the Highland Valley/Shaw Mountain Road. There is a large parking area and signage. The range does not block the road.
- Boise State University (BSU) Bird Observation Facility: I visited the peak on September 25, 2014, and discovered that BSU has set up a camp on the north side of the summit for studying and viewing raptors. As I was hiking, it seemed that the road from ID-21 was receiving a lot of traffic. Well, when I arrived at the point just east of the summit, where there is a pit toilet and a gate, I found six vehicles parked there. Shortly, I arrived at the camp and saw a dozen or more tents set up.
USGS Topo: Lucky Peak
Golden Dawn/Northwest Ridge Route (Class 1)
This route begins in East Boise at the end of end of South Council Springs Road (formerly Squaw Creek Road). Access this road from East Park Center Blvd. (formerly Warm Springs Ave.). I named this route “Golden Dawn,” because it begins next to the Golden Dawn Trailer Park. This is the longest route (10 miles round-trip) to the summit. The route gains roughly 2,900 feet of elevation from start to finish. The lower part of the route is very busy on sunny spring weekends (see the route orientation map below).
Park at the end of South Council Springs Road and pass through a gate in the drainage. The road will soon climb a hill, turn right, and then move into the next drainage. The road switchbacks up this drainage and arrives at a junction. Continue uphill to the right. The road is easy to follow from this point. At 5,400 feet of elevation you have following two options:
- Stay on the road to the ridge top and then follow the road across the summit ridge east to the summit. This is the longest option.
- Leave the road and climb directly up the ridge to the summit. This option makes your ascent Class 2 but presents no real obstacles, as the sagebrush slope is easy to navigate.
Highland Valley/Shaw Mountain Road Route (Class 1)
This route is accessed from ID-21, approximately 2.4 miles north of Lucky Peak Dam. Keep your eyes peeled for the turn off on the west side of the highway, which is signed as the Highland Valley Road. There is room for five vehicles to park at the intersection. Fish and Game closes this road to vehicles annually during the winter. Most years it reopens April 15th (something to look forward to other than taxes). Pay attention to signs on the gate, as the road may also be closed at times to hikers and mountain bikers. Farther up the road, you will reach a cattle guard and a second parking area (see the route orientation map below).
The Highland Valley/Shaw Mountain Road route covers roughly 10.0 miles, round trip, with a 2,300-foot elevation gain if you start from the highway. When the gate is open, the road is often passable (when dry) for cars for its first two miles. If you drive the first two miles you will have an 8.0 miles, round-trip, with a 2,100-foot elevation gain. The route runs east from the cattle guard to a junction. Go right and follow the road to a second junction. Once again take the option to your right. The road now starts climbing seriously. You will pass a few other junctions along the way; stay on the well worn road. Eventually, the road reaches the summit ridge and passes through a gate. The summit is the high point to the east. The road circles the north side of the peak to one last junction. Go left and the road takes you directly to the summit.