Peak 8808


A long hike and a ton of scrambling on fun granite leads to Peak 8808 and a great summit.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window


I have been clicking off some of the more obscure peaks in the McCall area (there are a ton of them) but focusing on the ones in the Lopez guide. Today's objective was Peak 8808, which sits above the 20 Mile Lakes Basin opposite Storm Peak. I was here last fall, but ran out of time.

This time was during an extended heat wave in Boise, so I assume that's how I talked John into joining me. Tamara thought the timing was perfect because I had had a long day yesterday. Dad (83) was along because it's part of his training for an attempt on Oregon's South Sister in a month.

So after a 30-minute drive from my house, we were on our feet at about 8:40. The first couple miles gain a paltry 200', then the trail splits and you start cranking up a 400' headwall that then relents but keeps climbing.


Almost this entire area burned in 1994, but the initial part of the hike passes through an area that did not. The outstanding feature today was the bear grass.

Bear grass

But then you leave the shade and enter solid burn. This section was notable because walking both up an down, there was a strong wind moaning through the snags. Considering how many were laying on the ground, the wind was a bit scary.


The face

Ignore it and keep marching up the valley. That's part of Storm Peak on the left, so you know you are getting closer. Somewhere in here you will get a peak at the tippy-top of Peak 8808, but you probably won't recognize it until you are on your way home.

Getting closer

But a little farther on, it becomes obvious. It's the rocky bump dead center in the photo.


Finally the trail brings you to the first of four lakes, North Lake. But if you are climbing, you aren't there yet. At this point, John and I left Dad and Tamara, who were going to do the grand tour of the four lakes.

For the climb, start walking up over the hill toward the outlet of South Lake. Then you'll get the view below, showing much of the route. You are going to climb into the bowl on the right, then traverse the ridge to the little point off in the distance on the left.


John and I flew up the bowl to the ridge top. It's not hard going, but it is quite steep and we were trying to make time. Ooof.

On the left is Long Lake, upper right is North Lake, and lower is South Lake. East Lake, where Tamara and Dad had lunch, is out of view to the right.

From the top of the ridge, you finally see the mountain in full. The summit is the point on the left. Tracks

This is looking down from the top of the ridge.

From this point, you have to drop down. Then up and down as you scramble big blocks of granite and the occasional dirt patch, or duck under a downed tree. Fun, but slow going and a lot of work. And today it was somewhat hot.


But when you get to the summit, it's worth it. Excellent views!

We ate an abbreviated lunch and took a few pictures, feeling pressure to get moving so as not to make Tamara and Dad wait too long for us.


We briefly explored the idea of an alternate route , but it's a big drop off the east side, and the way around it requires a long descending traverse down the east ridge, then climbing back up. Not going to happen.

That's Loon Creek and North Loon in the background.



There was nothing to do but reverse our route.

The picture is fairly typical of the terrain on the ridge. All told, there was about an hour and a half of this. Fun! (If you don't see John here, click for a bigger version).

We had carried radios so were able to tell Dad and Tamara to start back down the trail. We would catch them.

When John and I got back to North Lake, we had been gone for about 2 1/2 hours. Now it was time to light the afterburners and try to catch Dad and Tamara, who had over an hour head start on us. We did catch them right at the lower trail junction. But our feet paid the price for the fast hiking and downhill pounding. The last two miles weren't totally torture, but I'd have told you anything you wanted to know.....

John's Trip Report


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