Petticoat Peak Access 2019 by Livingston Douglas

Petticoat Peak continues to frustrate me. This summer, I drove up there to climb the  north ridge. Here is some up-to-date and detailed information regarding the public access to this mountain. I received considerable help from the BLM office in Pocatello regarding this peak’s current access situation. So here goes.

Driving Directions

From Fish Creek Divide on US-30, drive 2.5 miles east down to the valley floor to reach a signed junction with Lund Road (signed as “Bancroft 5 miles”). Turn left/north onto Lund Road and drive 3.4 miles to Mill Creek Road (signed with a simple street sign). Go left/west onto Mill Creek Road. At 2.0 miles, enter Mill Creek Canyon. There is a private residence on the right/north side of the road here and a dirt road heading right/north just past the residence. I considered that unsigned dirt road to be part of the private property of that residence (though the road is not gated or signed for NO TRESPASSING), so I avoided it. There is no “fork” at the mouth of the canyon, just a minor side road. BLM knows nothing about this road or any kiosk or any of that as the Mandellas refer to. At 2.8 miles, Mill Creek Road is gated with “NO TRESPASSING” signs. There is an unsigned dirt road heading diagonally off to the right/north here. You have not yet reached BLM land at this point.

Update on Public Access

Frustrated by the unending blockage to the BLM land that is higher up on Petticoat Peak, I stopped at the BLM office in Pocatello to resolve this issue. They have a guy there who focuses on real estate (Dan Rainey) who is brilliant and is incredibly well-informed about public/private access issues in the Pocatello BLM District. Dan is training Cindy Jernigan at BLM in Pocatello in these matters, so her name may come up in the future as a resource for this information. He indicated that there are three ways to climb Petticoat Peak on BLM land:

  1. Via Rindlishbaker Canyon Road. Contrary to the Mandella’s comments, Rindlishbaker Canyon IS open to the public and is the only publicly-accessible route on the east/northeast side of Petticoat Peak. There is a B&B located at the end of the private land on this dirt road; soon after, you enter BLM land. Park immediately after reaching BLM land because the road gets pretty rough after this. Hike up the road to the wilderness boundary. There is a trail at the end of the road that leads to the summit of Petticoat Peak. I did not drive this road or hike the trail, so I’m relying on BLM’s information regarding this route.
  2. Via the south side. There is a county road heading northwest from US-30 just east of Lava Hot Springs (the map makes it look like about a mile east) which leads to BLM land. Once on BLM land, bushwhack your way up the slopes to the summit. This is probably a rough endeavor as the south and southwest aspects of this peak look pretty rugged.
  3. Via an underpass from the south side of US-30, about a mile or so east of Lava Hot Springs. This underpass puts you immediately on BLM land. Bushwhack up the slopes to the summit. Once again, this is probably an unpleasant endeavor as the south and southwest aspects of this peak look pretty rugged.