OverviewThe pride of Idaho! At 12,662 ft Borah Peak is the monarch of the Lost River Range and the highest mountain in Idaho. The "easiest" route is a third class scramble in late summer, but early in the season it can be an all-out mountaineering adventure. Below the mountain lies a rolling grayish green valley with steep, snow-covered peaks to the east and the west. This spectacular part of Idaho is quintessential "Marlboro Country."
The standard route involves ascending 5,262 vertical feet from the trailhead to the summit in just over 3.5 miles. Most people do the climb in a day.
Getting ThereFrom Mackay:
Take U.S. Highway 93 21 miles north of Mackay to the Borah Peak Access Road (Birch Springs Road). This is between mileposts 129 and 130. Follow this road east for 3.0 miles to the trailhead.
Take U.S. Highway 93 south of Challis 33 miles to the Borah Peak Access Road. This is between mileposts 129 and 130. Follow this road east for 3.0 miles to the trailhead.
In good weather, the road is fine for most passenger cars. Reach a flat parking area and a climber's trailhead. The trailhead is unmarked, but is obvious from the parking area. The trail leaves from the uphill side (east) of the parking lot.
Red TapeThe mountain is located in the Challis National Forest. No permits or fees are required.
When To ClimbThe most popular time to climb Borah Peak is late summer. Early season and winter ascents are possible but are much more technically demanding. Ice axe, crampons and snowshoes or skiis may be required.
CampingThere are some nice spots to camp near the trailhead. A toilet is available, but unfortunately there is no water. The elevation here is 7,200 feet. No reservations are necessary and no fee is required.
Mountain ConditionsA frequently updated photo of Borah Peak can be found here.
Lost River Ranger District
P.O. Box 507
716 W Custer
Mackay, Idaho 83251
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
GeologyThere was a 7.3 magnitude earthquake here in 1983. The line across the base of the mountain that appears to be a road or a trail is really an earthquake fault line. Click on the thumbnail for the larger version.
An excellent page for a large selection of Idaho peaks including Borah with beautiful photography.
The site contains a detailed guide to Borah's standard route as well as information on climbing throughout Idaho.
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