OverviewLocated near Stanley Idaho, this one is a great hike and has relatively easy access. This is not to be confused with the famous Cape Horn at the southern part of South America but then I didn't really think anyone would be confused by that anyway. Where the name came from is information that would be nice to know so if you are aware of the origin of the mountain's name, please let me know.
Cape Horn Mountain ranks #43 on the list for Idaho's peaks with 2000 feet of prominence or more with 2566' of prominence. That is the reason why I was
interested in it and it was also close to another prominence peak I wanted to get the next called Blue Bunch, which is a bit to the north of Cape Horn Mtn.
Getting ThereFrom Boise:
Head up Idaho highway 21 through Lowman and on to Banner Summit. A few miles past Banner Summit, turn left onto the signed Boundary Creek/Landmark/Deadwood Reservoir road. Follow this good gravel road for about 3 miles to Capehorn Summit at 7,200 feet. The trailhead is at the pass on the north side of the road and there is adequate parking on the other side.
From Stanley, take highway out of town and go about 21 miles west, watch for the turnoff mentioned above and turn right on the signed gravel road to the pass that is located 3 miles from that turnoff. If you pass the Banner Creek Rest area, you have gone just a bit too far.
Red TapeNone that I am aware of. It is located on Forest Service land.
For more information:
Lowman Ranger District
7359 Highway 21
Lowman, ID 83637
Office hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday-Friday
CampingYou could camp at nearby Fir Creek campground, a bare bones forest service campground that had about 8 spaces. A vault type restroom was available as
were tables. A nearby stream might be a good source for water (if filtered).
Fir Creek is also very close to the trailhead for Blue Bunch mountain.
You could also car camp at the trailhead area or at many other campgrounds in the Stanley area.
RouteA trail leads up from the pass and is signed as the Lola Lake trail. The trail had a considerable number of downed trees across it and we were constantly working around them although we never had to worry about losing sight of the trail. Once the trail drops down the Lola Lake, continue northward toward Cape Horn Mountain, which soon becomes a climber's path and is no longer the main trail. In clear weather, the way will be obvious and a few GPS waypoints might be helpful as you head for the summit.
Round trip: About ten miles and close to 2900' of elevation gain when you add the ups and downs along the ridge.
See Dennis Poulin's trip report and map here.
The summit?We found two registers atop the mountain, one at the cairn with the benchmark and survey stake at the northern end of the ridge and another in a small cairn placed atop what I will refer to here as the false summit. The register atop the false summit was placed in the year 2000 and the one atop the benchmarked summit was placed in 2005.
We were surprised to find that the majority of people who visited Cape Horn Mountain believed that the false summit was the high point as this single sheet of paper, found in a gatorade bottle seemed to indicate. What is even more amazing is that this paper, placed in 2000 had safely weathered 11 years in such a flimsy register container. I wish I had taken a picture of the container but this sheet had 28 entries with some entries representing more than one person. One was for a party of 8. So, it is possible that many had reached the false summit and felt that they had summitted the high point and didn't bother to go to the other summit, a bit to the north. My suggestion is that you hit both summits in order to safely claim this one.
Winter Hiking?This mountain looked like it would have nice potential as a winter snowshoe hike but conditions would have to be prime to accomplish such a feat. Dan Robbins came close as he relates in his trip report posted HERE.
Here's another nice trip report for a snowshoe hike done under winter conditions.