OverviewIdaho's 22nd highest peak is a tough nut to crack!
Brocky Peak is not much more than a high point on a vicious mile long ridge. The summit is guarded by a steep tottering north - south ridge system and two steep faces. According to the register, five people have been to the top. In 1994, brothers, Chuck and Dave Ferguson picked their way up the class 5 South ridge. The same Day Rick Baugher climbed a class 3-4 route on the south face. They left a plastic racquetball container as a summit register. The pencil they used to log their ascent was mysteriously missing and the only other name in the container was the word LANDIS spelled out in pieces of bloody athletic tape pasted to a shred of topographic map.
A buddy and I set out to climb the peak on 6-27-07 from the East fork of Wood River. The route follows a long approach to a class 3 ridge on Peak 11,281. It all looked good on the map but the ridge turned out to be class 4-5 and we decided to give up on the summit. A solo return trip the following week was short and easier from the Left fork of Wildhorse canyon.
The Lopez Guide
designates two approaches. The first is via Box canyon, as I mentioned above, this requires a five and a half mile hike and several hundred feet of elevation gain and loss. Approach this route Via East fork Canyon above Hailey. The Lopez guide gives this route a class three difficulty rating, but I doubt it was properly explored and that evaluation may have been an estimate. The class 4-5 ridge from peak 11,281 drops off steeply for two hundred plus feet to the saddle and the only alternative is a class 3-4 down climb on the East face over very steep rotten granite. Descend the face almost 1,200’ to a tarn in the right fork of Brocky Canyon and then continue up the South face to the summit.
The Wildhorse approach requires a tedious four + mile drive from Wildhorse campground to the end of the road in the left fork. This is a very rough road that requires a high clearance vehicle. (no place for your mother’s Subaru). From the Trailhead, hike about one and a quarter mile to the 8,700’ level, turn East and aim for the low spot on the ridge. From there, take your pick, Climb the class 5 ridge or descend to the Brocky tarn and climb the south face.
Perhaps the easiest way to the top is on the North side of the mountain. This route isn’t listed in the Lopez guide and requires some route finding to get to the start of the climb. I used the route when I descended and found a rappel sling half way down indicating a previous descent. Follow the Wildhorse route described above but instead of climbing to the low point on the ridge, angle left as you approach the face and climb into the couloir that starts at the 10,800’ level. It starts out in a very narrow steep slot on the headwall. Once your in it, you’d have a tough time accidentally getting off route. The couloir has locks you in with high sidewalls and several choke points that would be very tough to climb over or descend in snow/ice conditions. If those conditions exist, you’ll need a rope, Slings, axe and crampons. Follow the Gully all the way to the top. Make sure you get the right couloir to begin with, the more obvious couloir to the right looks like it sports class 5 terrain. (see enlarged photo for the start of this route)
Any other approach to the peak would cover several miles of elevation gain and loss.
The approach to Wildhorse campground.
From Mackay: Take US Highway 93 16 miles north of Mackay to the Trail Creek Road. Turn left on the Trail Creek Road. Follow this road 18 miles to the Copper Basin Road. Turn left on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 10.5 to the Campground. From there, follow the jeep trail another 4.6 miles to the trailhead.
From Challis: Take US Highway 93 south of Challis to the Trail Creek Road. Turn right on the Trail Creek Road. Follow this road 18 miles to the Copper Basin Road. Turn left on the Copper Basin Road. Follow this road 2 miles to the Wildhorse Creek Road. Stay to the right on the Wildhorse Creek Road. Follow the Wildhorse Creek Road 10.5 miles to the campground.
From Sun Valley/Ketchum: Take Highway 75 (main street) to Sun Valley Road. Turn northeast onto the Sun Valley Road. This road turns into Trail Creek Road (closed in winter). Follow this road to the Copper Basin Road
Dispersed camping at the trail head with a Handicap accessible toilet and several free sites in Wildhorse canyon.
There is a developed camp ground: Wildhorse campground, located 2.4 miles above the Fal Creek trailhead with the following;
Water: Creek Water
Number of Units: 12
Water: 2 hand pumps (water is only available during the summer months)
Other Facilities: one group site
Elevation: 7,400 feet
General Season of Use: early June through mid October
Elevation: 7,200 feet
General Season of Use: mid June through mid October
Nearby Areas of Interest: Waterfall Trail and Fall Creek Falls, mountain lakes in Fall Creek, Boulder Creek, and the head of Wildhorse Canyon, historic Wildhorse fire lookout and Wildhorse mines.
LinksIdaho A climbing Guide
A good way to see what others are doing in the Idaho outdoors. Idaho Outdoors Forum
>Lost River Ranger District