Trout Creek Pass Grand Slam by Livingston Douglas

This climb covers four peaks near Trout Creek Pass in the South Hills. The starting and ending point is the Phantom Falls Trailhead along FSR-533. This multi-peak endeavor covers 12.0 miles with 4,050 feet of elevation gain round trip. USGS Mahogany Butte


Park at the Phantom Falls Trailhead (5,740 feet) along FSR-533/Trapper Creek Road. This trailhead is located 9.6 miles up FSR-533 from the Sawtooth National Forest boundary and 2.3 miles up Fall Creek from where the road crosses to the south side of Trapper Creek and leaves the Trapper Creek drainage. The Phantom Falls Trailhead is signed and has pullouts on both sides of the road.

The Peaks and Routes

The Trout Creek Pass Grand Slam includes the following peaks and routes:

1. Dads Hump (7,620 feet)
South Face (Ascent/Descent), Class 2
2. South Tit (7,518 feet)
Northeast Face (Ascent/Descent), Class 2
3. Swanty Peak (7,583 feet)
North Face/North Ridge (Ascent), Class 2
Northeast Face (Descent), Class 2
4. Trout Creek Mountain (7,860 feet)
South Ridge (Ascent), Class 1
North Ridge/Northeast Spur (Descent), Class 2

Each of the above routes is discussed under each individual peak’s posting.

The Climb and Descent

From the Phantom Falls trailhead, hike three miles up Badger Gulch on FSR-533 to a junction with FSR-536. Go left/south on FSR-536 for about ½ mile to reach Trout Creek Pass and junction with FST-267. Hike east on FST-267 for just over ½ mile to the base of the south face of Dads Hump. Climb the scrub-and-boulder face to the tiny summit of Dads Hump then return to FST-267.

Do a cross-country, diagonally-descending traverse through sagebrush to a saddle at the base of the northeast face of South Tit. Scramble up the easy scrub-and-gravel of this face to reach the small summit of South Tit. Descend the southeast face of South Tit (not a documented route since I descended the northeast face then dropped down a gully to reach Little Willow Creek) to reach Little Willow Creek at the base of the north face of Swanty Peak.

Climb the steep, thick scrub and loose scree of the north face to reach the [much-easier] terrain of the north ridge of Swanty Peak. Scramble over the top of the north summit then descend to a saddle of thick aspen forest. Follow a cattle fence southward to the south summit of Swanty Peak. Descend the northeast face of Swanty Peak to intercept FST-874 (an ATV trail/road) and follow it northeast to a junction with FSR-267. Follow FSR-267 northeast to an unsigned junction. Go left/northwest here to stay on FSR-267 and continue up this jeep road to the summit area of Trout Creek Mountain. Roam around the open scrub terrain to stand on each of the potential high points of this mountain (northwest summit, southeast summit, northeast summit).

Return to FSR-267 and follow it a very short distance to an unmarked junction with an old jeep road just west of the northwest summit of Trout Creek Mountain. Go right/north onto the remains of this old jeep road and follow it for about ¼ mile to an open area on the north ridge of Trout Creek Mountain. Descend the north ridge down to a saddle just below, and south of, Point 7478. Do a cross-country traverse to reach Point 7092. From the top of Point 7092, follow the northeast spur all the way down to its terminus at a small gully that joins the Fall Creek drainage. Pick up the Phantom Falls Trail (FST-245), a hiking trail. Follow the trail a short distance downstream to reach the trailhead.