Swensen Butte by Livingston Douglas

Elevation: 7,185 ft
Prominence: 515

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Swensen Butte as viewed from the 2-track jeep road. The summit is just right of center. The Southeast Gully/South Ridge Route climbs the gully leading up to the saddle and then follows the ridge to the top. Livingston Douglas Photo

This peak is not in the book. I added my route for the upper North Ridge below Livingston’s route. Published November 2019


Date of Climb: May 23, 2019

Swensen Butte is one of a number of buttes near Trail Creek Road. The Southeast Gully/South Ridge Route is a fun scramble from a jeep road that gets you to the base of the butte. Swensen Butte has impressive rock strata on its Southeast Face, which is clearly visible from Trail Creek Road. USGS Chilly Buttes

Swensen Butte as viewed from the 2-track jeep road. The summit is just right of center. The Southeast Gully/South Ridge Route climbs the gully leading up to the saddle and then follows the ridge to the top. Livingston Douglas Photo

Swensen Butte as viewed from the 2-track jeep road. The summit is just right of center. The Southeast Gully/South Ridge Route climbs the gully leading up to the saddle and then follows the ridge to the top. Livingston Douglas Photo

Access

From US-93, drive W on Trail Creek Road for 7.3 miles to a fence row and a 2-track jeep road on the R/N side of Trail Creek Road. Pull off and park here (6,525 feet). For some vehicles, the 2-track road is drivable and would shorten the hike considerably.

Southeast Gully/South Ridge, Class 2

From the parking spot, hike N on the 2-track jeep road which follows the R/E side of a fence row. The road (and fence) turn sharply L/W. Hike a short distance W on the road. Leave the road here to scramble cross-country through sagebrush to reach the base of a wide, prominent gully that leads up to a ridge saddle L/SW of the summit.

Climb up easy grass/scrub/scree to the saddle. From the saddle, follow the ridge R/NE to the top on a mix of grass/scrub, scree, and some rock ribs. The summit of Swensen Butte is rocky and has a nice cairn with a stick in it.

The summit cairn atop Swensen Butte, looking northwest. Livingston Douglas Photo

The summit cairn atop Swensen Butte, looking northwest. Livingston Douglas Photo


Upper North Ridge, Class 2+

Access

From US-93, drive west on Trail Creek Road for 7.3 miles to a fence row due north of the butte. Turn onto a 2-track jeep road on the R/N side of Trail Creek Road and drive south (as shown on the map below) until you reach the 4WD road shown in black below. Turn L/E. If you do not have a 4WD vehicle, park here. If you have a 4WD vehicle, you can continue to the spot where I parked (the black line).

Route

The route climbs below a series of rocky towers and outcrops to a saddle on a rib. From this point, climb SSW to the ridge top north of the summit. Once on the ridge head due south to the summit, bypassing a couple of short cliffs on the west side of the summit ridge.

My GPS Track. This route covered 0.85 miles with 444 feet of gain round trip.

My GPS Track. Round trip stats: 0.85 miles with 444 feet of elevation gain.

 

Additional Resources

Mountain Range: Boulder Mountains

Year Climbed: 2019

Longitude: -113.98129   Latitude: 44.04801

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