Miners Peak


We visit the historic lookout on Miners Peak.

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

We really wanted to go skiing, but the conditions didn't look right. In addition, we're all trying to get in shape for Saddle Mountain in two weeks, so this seemed like a great training outing. And I had seen this lookout from several other Lick Creek peaks, so was eager to see the views available from the lookout.

So we met in Cascade and all piled into John's truck for the drive down to Reed Ranch. There is a parking space right across the road from the bridge. 9:30 am, about 55 degrees, and sunny.



From the parking spot, you could see our peak.

Miners Peak

And if you used your zoom, you could even see the lookout.

Miners Peak close-up
The South Fork of the Salmon River is slow here, which usually means there is a big rapid down stream. But our trail goes upstream for about a mile before starting up the ridge to Miners. South Fork of the Salmon River

Initially, the trail goes up through an overgrown hillside. But it soon opens up into this classic Ponderosa forest. Gorgeous.

Ponderosa forest
We hit solid snow at about 6000', and went to snowshoes about 500' higher. Snowshoes
Another 200' of climbing and we got a look at the final part of the ascent. Dan and I were both saying the altimeters were off- that can't be more than 600'. (Note to self: If you're going to carry gadgets, you probably should believe them: it was indeed another 1100' to the summit). Upper ridge and lookout

The top part of the ridge got a little interesting. The trail traverses around the face, but we went directly up the ridge. The snow was melty and a little slippery, and the steep hillside got a lot steeper really quickly: don't fall.

Approaching the cornice

We got safely over the cornice, then worked through some sastrugi onto the summit ridge.


After 4000' of climbing on early-season legs, it was with some relief to get this view of the lookout.

But the challenge wasn't quite over. I didn't get a picture of Dan when he fell into the tree well ;-)

Summit ridge

The stairs up onto the catwalk seemed pretty tough. But the views were worth it. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing on all but the shady, wet side of the lookout.

View from lookout

So we layered up and had lunch in the sun on the "ground" floor.


Lots of views. This country might not be as spectacular as the Sawtooths or Lost Rivers, but it still has lots of topography. This is looking south to Blackmare Peak. Blackmare Peak
Here we are looking northwest towards Nick Peak and others. Ridge
And now looking east-southeast with views of Log Mountain and Thunderbolt. Nick Peak
It had taken us 5 hours to climb and we spent about an hour on top. With a 9:30am start, we were looking at a late return home. Time to head down. Summit ridge
By 4pm on a warm, sunny day, the climb up the ridge has turned into a slush fest. We were very careful on the steep, exposed sections, so we all got down without incident. Descent

When we finally hit the flats, Tamara and Julie had each hit their limit. But there was still another mile to go. That mile was sort of a death march for us all, but we had stashed hoppy beverages at the truck to give us motivation. And there were still things to look at.

It has been a great day, and we hung out on the tailgate savoring it before finally heading home.



John's trip report

Big Dan's trip report



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