Best Mountaineering in Idaho

Trying to find the best mountaineering in Idaho? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


Idaho, Custer County

12 :32 hrs
5.5 mi
1239.9297 ft

This outing begins at the Redfish Trailhead off Redfish Lake Road just before you get to the lodge. Thompson Peak is the highest summit in the Sawtooth Range and it's clearly visible from the highway. There are quite a few different routes to take to reach the summit; this approach will climb up the Northeast Face. This route will climb up the large couloir that splits the face and reaches the summit on the north ridge. You'll climb the right side of the couloir for several pitches, enter a chimney, then an alcove, and finally a crack system. The rock material in this area of the high Idaho batholith includes high grade metamorphic rocks and gneiss. You'll need a Sawtooth National Forest pass to park in the parking lot, or use a Golden Eagle pass. Also a free self issuing wilderness permit must be filled out at the trailhead. Lat/Lon: 44.141524, -115.009844


Idaho, Elmore County

06 :42 hrs
3.1 mi
698.1128 ft

Steele Mountain is a part of the Boise Mountain Range in Elmore County, and the hike starts off Hot Creek Road. This is a high clearance dirt road that may need to be hiked first if your vehicle can’t access it. You’ll follow the Hot Creek drainage south to the mountain through stream-side vegetation and rocky terrain. The mountain has two granite summits with beautiful cliffs, faces, and towers. There are several technical routes on the northern summit including Quasi-Moat-O (5.5) and North Face (5.9). Otherwise, you can scramble up the northwestern face of the mountain. There is also a lookout tower that remains on the summit ridge, and an old hermit's shack on the saddle to the north.


Idaho, Custer County

14 :26 hrs
5.6 mi
891.6875 ft

The outing starts at the 4th of July Trailhead on 4th of July Creek Road, and there are a variety of routes in the area. Castle Peak is the highest peak in the White Cloud Mountains and the 25th highest in the whole state of Idaho. The route is fairly short but there is a class III scramble up the southern face. At first, the route passes through groves of trees before reaching a huge gully. Once within the gully, the rocky sections become very tight and the going is easy until you reach the crux of the ascent. Expect these talus routes to go through very steep terrain with cliffs and boulders. Usually the hiking/climbing season is from June to September, but it can also be climbed year year. Although, avalanches and access are a major concern. The views are absolutely amazing once you reach the summit, and there are over 25 lakes that can be observed along with the surrounding mountain ranges. You will need to get a Sawtooth Recreation Area permit, and it usually costs about $5.00 for a 3-day pass.


Idaho, Idaho County

13 :40 hrs
5.8 mi
705.0393 ft

He Devil and She Devil are known to be the tallest mountains in Idaho's Seven Devils Wilderness near the west border of Idaho, and the two peaks are pretty much equal in height. Climbing in the Seven Devils rugged nature will mostly be Class 3 however, plenty of Class 4 and technical routes are applicable by nature as well. You'll notice that the slopes between the valley bottoms and the upper rock walls in this area are generally the realm of the talus and scree fields. Exasperation will need to be done as you ascend, descend, and traverse the many such fields. In this regard, climbing along ridge crests may well be the best way to go. Winter ascents are rarely recorded in the Seven Devils Mountains, and snowmobiles are prohibited.


Idaho, Idaho County

31 :31 hrs
17.4 mi
1600.8064 ft

This outing starts off Forest Road 6223 at the Selway River and Indian Creek Campground in. The route passes by 4 different peaks before reaching Watchtower including Indian Ridge, Green Mountain, Burnt Strip Mountain and Cooper Point. You'll definitely enjoy the scenery of pristine Selway Bitterroot Wilderness and Bitterroot National Forest as you travel along the ridge-tops and creek-sides. There are plenty of places to camp along the creeks, but there are also lots of mosquitoes. There are some nice camp sites high along the ridge-crest to Watchtower Peak with no accessible water but fewer mosquitoes.


Idaho, Idaho County

12 :31 hrs
5.8 mi
667.25635 ft

Known for its dark granite parapets, spires, and ominous setting, the Seven Devils range is a popular area for mountaineers in the Hells Canyon wilderness. To get to Tower of Babel, you'll have to start at Seven Devils Campground and hike past Devils Tooth to Sheep Lake. The summit is visible from Windy Gap, with castle-like stone figures. This route will follow the southern ridge and will make a complete spiral to make it to the peak.


Idaho, Custer County

16 :20 hrs
8.2 mi
1079.3495 ft

This is the highest point in the Monte Verita Group of peaks and it looks like a cluster of spires from a distance. The route to the summit starts near Upper Baron Lake and goes up the northeast ridge. This is one of the few not so technical peaks in the region, but the scrambling is quite difficult through pinnacles and gendarmes. This route is the Redfish approach, so expect low angle polished ledges that are severely broken on the ridge's crest. Eventually, you'll follow the ridge to the summit blocks, and then climb a short pitch from the north.


Idaho, Custer County

09 :07 hrs
3.8 mi
992.85425 ft

This is a popular destination located south of Stanley Lake in the Sawtooth Wilderness. The peak is easily accessed and the routes offer several snow climbs and technical ascents. From the Stanley Lake Trailhead at Stanley Lake Inlet Campground, hike about 1 mile south to the Alpine Way junction and go southeast. Follow this trail until it crosses a stream due north of large diagonal couloir. Leave the Alpine Way Trail and follow alongside the stream and climb the moraine just north of the stream. Follow the western most fork of the stream into the couloir through timber and underbrush to the base of the mountain. From there, you’ll reach the ridge and climb south along the western edge until you reach a saddle with a large, smooth cliff to the right. To reach the true summit, cross the base of the cliff on patches of snow and ledges, then climb up to the northeast rim. Go up the pinnacle and make a spiral climb to the summit. There’s a trailhead parking fee of $5 for 3 days, and they can be picked up at the Ranger Station or at REI. Lat/Long: 44.213306, -115.081468


Montana, Flathead County

05 :41 hrs
1.6 mi
825.6821 ft

Pollock Mountain is the most southerly summit along the Garden Wall. The southwestern end of the mountain is often mistaken as the summit. The real summit is the isolated butte high above the Lunch Creek Basin. This route follows along lunch creek, once when you reach the bottom of the falls head east up what looks like a ramp, around the waterfall. The trail then is marked by cairns to the Piegan-Pollock Saddle. From here follow the base to the most dangerous section of the route known as the “Great Cleft”. This is a large break in the cliffs. The entrance to the Great Cleft is marked with prominent yellow lichen rock. Be aware there is a wrong route marked by cairns to the south of the “Great Cleft”. Watch for the yellow lichen rock. There are nice hand and footholds but inexperienced climbers should use a rope. Once you reach the top of the Great Cleft follow the trail to the summit.


Montana, Flathead County

07 :34 hrs
2.4 mi
823.95557 ft

Bishops Cap is named for its formation that is a similar shape of a Roman Catholic bishops cap. This route goes to Pollock Mountain and then follows along the Continental Divide on to Bishops Cap. This is an exciting and exposed summit with only a 300 sq feet area at the top. The views are spectacular because of its location along the Garden Wall. There is some class 3 climbing to get to Pollock Mountain with the most difficult obstacle known as “The Great Cleft”. The climb from Pollock to the base of Bishops Cap is easy. There is some class 3 climbing and a class 4 cliff located on the southwest side to reach the summit. Bring a helmet, and a rope. There is an optional descent that drops down off the Continental Divide to the Highline Trail.

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