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Brownlee Creek Trail

Brownlee Creek Trail

Brownlee Creek Trail

Page Type: Route

Object Title: Brownlee Creek Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Summer

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Hike

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Dennis Poulin

Created/Edited: Aug 13, 2006 / Aug 13, 2006

Object ID: 215161

Hits: 2975 

Page Score: 72.08%  - 2 Votes 

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See Cuddy Mountain Main Page.

Getting There

There are several ways to approach Cuddy Mountain. The following directions are to get to the trailhead that is closest to the summit. There is a road on the east side of Cuddy Mountain that was described to me “HORRID”. These directions are for any 2WD vehicle and a nice hike in a pretty area.

Take US Hwy 95 north from Payette and Weiser to the small town of Cambridge. Turn west on Hwy 71 towards Hells Canyon . Follow Hwy 71 about 16 miles to the signed turn-off for Brownlee Creek Campground on your right. The road here is gravel but in good shape. In 1.1 miles you enter Brownlee Creek Campground. Slow down and continue straight through the campground. On the far side the road continues.

At 1.8 miles from Hwy 71 there is a well marked trailhead where the road makes a sharp switchback to the left. Stop here and park on the large parking area on the left side of the road. This is the trailhead for Cuddy Mountain. None of the signs say anything about Cuddy Mountain, but trust me on this, you are at the right spot. The trail is named East Fork Brownlee Trail. Elevation here is 4,830 ft.

Route Description

The route follows an old roadbed northerly for a ways up East Brownlee Creek. The trail is easy to follow, but somewhat steep. After climbing 800-1,000 ft you will start to get glimpses of the summit of Cuddy Mountain off to your right across a valley with East Brownlee Creek running in the bottom.

There are no forks in the trail as it ascends to a saddle at 7,291ft. However, this is Open Range and there are cows making their own trails. Don’t follow them down into the valley otherwise you will have to climb back up to the trail. The saddle at 7,291 feet is open and visible for a ways back down the trail. The saddle is a little over 3 miles from the trailhead and it took me nearly 2 hours to gain the 2,400 ft from my truck.

Ignore the sign at the saddle because it gives distances and directions to places you don’t want to go. From the saddle, the trail turns east and then south towards the summit. The trail is not as steep as it was coming up the other side of the valley and you can make good time here. This side of the valley is not as brushy and doesn’t have as many trees as the west side either.

Follow the trail up to the ridge line where there is another sign for you to ignore. There is a jeep track on this broad summit ridge that you will follow south for the next half mile. It looks like OHV’s (quads) use the jeep track to scout for game. Follow the jeep track until you get to a band of small trees on the north side of the summit area. Leave the jeep track and walk through the tree band and then cross the last couple of hundred yards of open area to the summit area. There is a benchmark and cairn on the summit, and you may have to look around a bit to locate it.

Total round trip distance for this hike is about 8.6 miles with about 3,100ft of elevation gain. Allow 4 hours for the total hike.

Essential Gear

The 10 essentials are always necessary. A GPS may come in handy. Take all the water you need because there are cows grazing and they may have spoiled the water quality of anything you may come across. Orange Vest and Body Armor in hunting season may be a good idea.


Cuddy Mountain