The Grand Slam Peaks are 4 peaks near Boise that I have used for Spring Training for many years. These peaks generally melt out early and offer an enjoyable range of hiking experiences for people anxious to get out into the mountains.
I generally climb the peaks starting with [the lowest] Cervidae Peak because it always melts out first. It is often snow-free by mid-February. I then tackle Kepros Mountain. Kepros offers ridge walking with great views. It is a 10-mile up-and-down hike, which really will stretch your legs. As a bonus, you can climb Peak 5380 that lies midway between the trailhead and the summit of Kepros Mountain.
Shaw Mountain/Lucky Peak is #3 on the list. My favorite route for this peak is from ID-21 where the Highland Valley Road leaves the highway. I like to mountain bike this route because it makes the descent pure joy. There is no better place to view Boise than from the top of this peak.
Finally, Mount Heinen is the real test for your conditioning program. If you can climb Heinen and feel strong doing it, you are probably ready to tackle higher peaks. If you take the standard route, you will find that it’s a real challenge and is an extremely enjoyable route. Scroll down the page for links to “Extra Innings Peaks” for additional Spring climbing ideas.
Read my article on the Slam first published in Idaho Magazine: The Grand Slam Peaks
Here are links to 2 other takes on the Grand Slam Peaks. Both are good reads:
—Fasted Times Completely Self-Propelled:
- Erik Pohlmann started the competition of climbing all 4 peaks self propelled when he completed the peaks in just over 20 hours. Read about Erik Pohlmann’s adventure by clicking on this sentence.
- Emily Berriochoa, Tony Huff and John Odle completed the Grand Slam Peaks on May 21, 2016 in 13 hours, 53 minutes. They started from the Black’s Creek Road, climbed Kepros, descended to Arrow Rock Reservoir, crossed Arrowrock in a canoe, climbed Heinen, then Cervidea and finally ascending Shaw Mountain/Lucky Peak. They then descended to the Lucky 13 restaurant in Harris Ranch reaching the end in 14 hours, 58 minutes. Other than the canoe crossing, their journey was 100% foot travel. Emily is the only woman to complete the non vehicle shuttle Slam.
- Benjamin Monaghan currently holds the record at 12 hours, 34 minutes and 48 seconds. He accomplished this time in November 2020 after Anthony Jacobs broke Benjamin’s prior record. See Fastest Know Time.
—Fastest Times Traditional Vehicle Shuttle Between Peaks:
- P.A Campbell brokers his previous personal best completing the Grand Slam on May 22, 2021 in 13 hours, 29 minutes.
- On June 6, 2021, Alexis Bennett completed the single-day challenge with a total time of 13 hours and 31 minutes, becoming the second woman to finish the task and setting a new women’s fastest known time.
- Emily Wooley completed the Grand Slam on May 22, 2021 in 15 hours, 18 minutes and is the only women to have accomplished the task.
- James Petzke completed the Grand Slam in 14 hours, 2 minutes and 40 seconds on June 15, 2020. Read about James’ adventure at this link: 35.7 Miles and 11,493 Vertical Feet: Breaking the Boise Grand Slam Record. James’ also prepared well though out rules for the competition. Read them at this link: Rules
- P.A. Campbell climbed all 4 Grand Slam Peaks on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Campbell started with Mount Heinen at 5:20AM followed by Cervidae, Lucky Peak and finishing with Kepros. Campbell’s total time, including driving, was 16 hours and 25 minutes. He used the following routes: Mount Heinen (Irish Creek Standard Route); Cervidae Peak (Southeast Ridge Standard Route); Lucky Peak (Canyon Springs/Homestead Route staying on the road, no short cuts) and; Kepros Mountain (Standard Route using Bypasses #2 and #3).
—Lifetime Grand Slams:
- 17 Tom Lopez
The Grand Slam Peaks
(Click on the Peak Name to Read About Each Peak)
Extra Inning Peaks
If you want additional Spring Training peaks close to Boise, check out the following summits.