Elevation: 10,052 ft
Climbing and access information for this peak is on Pages 322-323 of the book. Published November 2023
Skytop Peak is located on the Continental Divide. It sits above both Skytop Lake (MT) and Timberline Lake (MT). Skytop Peak is most easily climbed via the West Fork Wimpey Creek Road and its southwest ridge/southwest face. USGS Goldstone Pass
From the Mormon Church at the south end of Salmon, Idaho, drive south on ID-28 for 5.3 miles to a signed junction with North Barracks Lane. Go east on [paved] North Barracks Lane (which becomes Lemhi Road) and drive 1.2 miles to a signed junction with Bohannon Creek Road (gravel). Turn left/east onto Bohannon Creek Road and drive 2.7 miles to a well-signed junction with West Fork Wimpey Creek Road. Turn right onto West Fork Wimpey Creek Road (a good, 2-track gravel/dirt road) and drive 4.3 miles to an unsigned road junction (6,388 feet on map).
Go left at this junction onto a rougher road that continues up the bench/ridge above (and left/west of) the West Fork Wimpey Creek drainage. Drive 0.2 miles up this side road to reach a pullout/campsite in a flattish area. Park here (6,430 feet). The road gets much steeper and rougher from here. This road climbs the southwest ridge of Skytop Peak. This is the first leg of a 2-peak adventure that includes Skytop Peak and Center Mountain (10,362 feet). It covers 14.5 miles with 6,075 feet of elevation gain round trip.
Southwest Ridge/Southwest Face, Class 2
From the campsite/pullout, hike north then northeast for 1.1 miles up the 2-track road to reach an unsigned junction near Point 7255. This junction is at 7,180 feet. Go left at this junction to continue north then northeast up the ridge for another 2.0 miles to reach an old mine at about 7,950 feet. Leave the road here and scramble right/southeast up a steep forested slope to regain the crest of the southwest ridge at about 8,600 feet.
Bushwhack northeast up through an easy pine forest to reach tree line at about 9,400 feet. This is the top of the southwest ridge. Scramble north diagonally up the face to reach a minor ridge saddle on the Continental Divide just southeast of Point 10000+. The southwest face is a mix of tundra, scree, and talus. Scramble northwest up to Point 10000+. This ridge point has two cairns and a MT/ID boundary pipe.
From Point 10000+, descend northwest on the ridge crest for 85 vertical feet to reach a ridge saddle. Continue northwest up the ridge crest for a short distance to reach the summit of Skytop Peak. The first hump is the high point. The northwest summit measures five feet lower in elevation. Skytop Peak has 6-8 medium-sized cairns on it.
Northwest Ridge, Class 2
The Descent (then Ascent)
From the summit of Skytop Peak, follow the Continental Divide northwest as it drops 35 vertical feet then climbs 30 feet to cross the northwest summit of Skytop Peak. Continue northwest on the ridge crest as it descends to a saddle at 9,820 feet. Head northwest up over Point 10049 which has a large cairn with a steel rod in it. I added a nice wooden post to the cairn. Follow the ridge line northwest and skirt the west side of Point 9914 on a climber’s trail.
Reach a final ridge saddle at 9,500 feet. This is the connecting saddle between Skytop Peak and Center Mountain. It concludes the first leg of today’s 2-peak adventure. Center Mountain (10,362 feet) is up next. The ridge traverse from Skytop Peak to Center Mountain is mostly Class 2 talus hopping with some help from an on-and-off climber’s trail and some areas of easy tundra hiking. Enjoy the views of Timberline Lake and Berry Lake to the right/east in Montana. Berry Lake is particularly beautiful.