Elevation: 5,434 ft
This peak is not in the book. Also see the Owyhee Mountains Peaks List for all of the peaks in this range.
This a good peak to climb in the Spring along with its neighbor Wilson Peak. This area burned hot in 2016 and burned off most of the brush, leaving wide-open country. The ridge between Wilson Peak and Soldier Cap is studded with attractive granite outcroppings that offer a lot of untapped bouldering opportunities. The views from the ridge are rewarding. USGS Soldier Cap
You can climb to Soldier Cap’s summit block from almost any direction but, based on access considerations, climbing the peak from the Wilson Creek Road is recommended. A 4WD road leaves the Wilson Creek Road 10.2 miles from ID-78 and climbs to the summit of Wilson Peak. Follow this road to near the broad saddle between the two peaks and follow the ridge to the base of the summit block.
The summit block is Class 2+ on its East Side. I suspect there are more difficult lines that one could follow to the top but why bother? From the last saddle at the base of the block, climb up to the east at a moderate angle aiming for a point where the solid rock formation begins. There is a 3-foot step to climb and you should spot a fairly steep ramp cutting up to your left. Climb up the ramp to a ledge which then levels off and traverses just below the base of the summit ridge. Follow the ledge until you see a large cairn. Climb another easy 3-foot step just before the cairn, turn right and walk to the summit.
The Wilson Creek Road provides good access to this peak. The road makes approaching the peak possible almost year-round with a few caveats. The length of the approach will vary in the winter depending on snow depth and, as Dan Krueger reported following his January 2016 climb, road conditions can complicate the ascent:
I’ve had my eye on these peaks on the horizon for a while, found them on your website and followed the link to Dan Robbins’ site. I followed his very good directions and climbed them this past weekend. There was only a few inches of snow on these peaks and it was a very enjoyable hike (no snowshoes required). I was a little disappointed after reading on Dan’s site that Soldier Cap was Class 3. I was looking forward to that, but I’d say its more like Class 2 with one Class 3 move – simple, even in the snow. These peaks are definitely climbable year-round.
The main reason I’m writing this is to point out the condition of Wilson Creek Road. I drove out in the morning and it seemed like a simple drive on a dirt road. Well, that’s because it was FROZEN. When I arrived back at my truck at 2:00PM, the road had thawed into a muddy mess that was nearly impassable and almost got me into a lot of trouble. My truck is a 4WD with traction/stability control and even driving very slowly I nearly slid off twice. I eventually made it back, but I felt more scared driving that road than free climbing Class 4 Castle Rock. Lesson learned. I don’t know if you will be doing any updates to your site, but if you do, a word of caution about Wilson Creek Road would help potential climbers avoid possibly serious trouble.
See Dan Robbins’ trip report for directions to this peak.