Sublett Benchmark by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 6,821 ft
Prominence: 321

This peak is not in the book. Published November 2018


Sublett Benchmark is the high peak that overlooks the Sublett Reservoir from the northeast. The peak anchors the south end of a long North-to-South Ridge that separates South Heglar Canyon from North Heglar Canyon. This ridge has two other ranked summits on it: Heglar Benchmark (7,400 feet) and Cedar Creek Peak (7,463 feet). Cedar Creek Peak anchors the north end of the ridge. The easiest access to Sublett Benchmark is from its East Side via FSR-565 and FSR-753. USGS Sublett Reservoir 

Date of Climb: September 28, 2018

East Slopes, Class 2 —STANDARD ROUTE

Access

From Exit 245 (Malta/Sublett) on I-15, drive E on Sublett Road (signed). Set your odometer to 0.0 on the bridge crossing over I-15 here. At 10.1 miles, you enter the Sawtooth National Forest after passing the west side of the Sublett Reservoir. At 10.2 miles, you reach a road junction (and the site of the old Sublett Campground). STRAIGHT is FSR-564/Lake Fork Road; RIGHT is FSR-578/Sublett Creek Road. Go RIGHT here. I do not have precise mileage figures from here on Sublett Creek Road since I climbed the Southwest Ridge Route. My figures are estimated.

Drive along Sublett Creek Road as it winds its way around the southern base of Sublett Benchmark and bends northward to follow the North Fork Sublett Creek. At about 4.0 miles, you reach a road junction. LEFT is FSR-753; STRAIGHT is FSR-578/Sublett Creek Road. Park here (5,503 feet).

Route

From its junction with Sublett Creek Road, hike up FSR-753 for just over a mile to its end at about 6,050 feet. Bushwhack up a ridge just south of FSR-753 to quickly reach the summit. Based on what I saw on the summit, I believe that there is an old two-track jeep road on this ridge that leads all the way to the summit.The bushwhack only entails just over ½ mile of hiking distance and just under 800 vertical feet of uphill.

Southwest Ridge, Class 2

Access

Same as for the East Slopes Route, except that at the junction of FSR-564/Lake Fork Road and FSR-578/Sublett Creek Road, go RIGHT onto Sublett Creek Road and drive for only 0.3 miles. Park alongside the road here (5,390 feet).

Route

Your first objective is to reach the Southwest Ridge at Point 5736. Leave Sublett Creek Road and bushwhack due E through thick desert scrub. There are some gaps and cattle trails to help you. You will soon see rocky Point 5736 ahead of you. It is an excellent landmark for navigational purposes. Either climb up to the top of Point 5736 (a Class 3 scramble through mountain mahogany, thick scrub, and mossy boulders) or skirt its N side in thick desert scrub. You will find cattle/game trails on the N side of Point 5736, but the terrain still requires quite a bit of weaving around to make headway toward the Southwest Ridge. No matter how you slice it, the ½-mile bushwhack at the start of this route is the crux. You may see cattle and deer on the north side of Point 5736, as I did.

Find a cattle fence on the Southwest Ridge at a minor saddle just NE of Point 5736. This cattle fence follows the crest of the Southwest Ridge (or close to it) all the way to a minor hump just W of the summit. It is even shown on the USGS topo map! The fence is quite helpful, navigationally-speaking, because you are unable to see the summit until you are well up the ridge. In addition, the Southwest Ridge weaves around a bit and has some undulations. The cattle fence keeps you on the right track.

You will find a cattle trail near the fence row the whole way up. However, the trail is sometimes pretty faint and, at other times, the fence row is not quite on the ridge crest and it is easier to leave the fence and follow the easier terrain on the ridge crest in those few instances, only to rejoin the fence higher up. The terrain is desert scrub the whole way, sometimes quite thick, other times relatively tame. No trees here. You must move from one side of the fence to the other to make progress. This is generally easy, particularly higher up, because the fence is in disrepair and the barbed wire is often laying on the ground.

You reach the summit area just W of the high point. Leave the dilapidated cattle fence here and scramble E on easy, open scrub to the summit of Sublett Benchmark. The summit has a USGS BM in a ground boulder and a small cairn. I built up the cairn with some nearby talus and stuck a small triangulation post in it.

Climber Trip Reports

Mountain Range: Sublett Mountains

First Ascent Information:

  • Other First Ascent: Southwest Ridge
  • Year: 2018
  • Season: Summer
  • Party: Livingston Douglas

Longitude: -113.01289   Latitude: 42.34919

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