Alpine Peak is a pyramid-shaped mountain that acts as the backdrop for Alpine Lake in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho. It is not climbed by very many people. The easiest route is a class 2 or 3 scramble up the southwest side of the peak.
The southwest route is about 12 miles roundtrip with a gain of 3500 feet. See the "Route" section for details.
Views from the top include dozens of other Sawtooth Peaks, several mountain lakes (including Sawtooth Lake at your feet), and the Sawtooth Valley (including the town of Stanley).
The peak is located in the Sawtooth Wilderness area and after leaving Sawtooth Lake, you can expect solitude.
From Stanley, drive 4 miles north/northwest on Idaho 21 and turn left (west) onto the signed Iron Creek road. After 4 miles, the road reaches the developed Iron Creek transfer camp, where parking and information is available.
You will need to purchase a Sawtooth Recreation Area permit. It will cost $15 for an annual pass, or $5 for a 3-day pass.
At the trailhead, you need to fill out a wilderness use tag (no charge, just a hassle).
When To Climb
Getting to the peak is more difficult until the snow melts off the trail (usually around July 4th). In some low snow years, it can be climbed during June, but expect snow between Alpine and Sawtooth Lakes.
There is a campground with water and outhouses near the trailhead. I think the fee is around $12 a night. Many people backpack to Sawtooth Lake and use it as a basecamp to hike out of for the weekend.
The Idaho Outdoors Forum is a good source for conditions information.
The weather forecast for the area can be found here.
You can call the Stanley Ranger Station for information, here is the number:
Take the trail past Alpine Lake and continue on to Sawtooth Lake (5 miles one-way). The trail is maintained and signed the entire distance. Once a Sawtooth Lake, head south on the trail that runs on the eastern side of the lake. At the south end of Sawtooth Lake, look for a creek coming down Alpine's west slopes. Hike up the hillside to a bench at the base of Alpine. From here, hike up the steep talus slopes to the top of Alpine.
- Idaho A Climbing Guide
Climbing and hiking guide to all of Idaho's mountains.
- Idahosummits.com Alpine Peak Page
Idahosummits.com Alpine Peak Page
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