Bob Bolton and i had climbed Cache Peak in the morning and had gotten off of that peak just prior to thunderheads building up to threatening proportions. Since it only took us three hours to do Cache, we wanted to get another peak in before dark and we started exploring the possibities from the list we had. Originally we had wanted to do Diamond Peak but the thunderstorms were intense in that area of Idaho so we headed to the southern part of Idaho in the hopes of finding something we could get in. Less altitude was a necessity and on our first day we did the county highpoint of Twin Falls county, getting off of it just before a thunderstorm engulfed the low lying summit.
Then we headed to Cassia county to do Cache peak and found a camping spot up near the trailhead with the intent of climbing Cache early the next morning before the thunderheads built up. In that we succeeded and had an enjoyable hike. However, as we studied our
possibilities, we realized that we might not get another peak in on the same day. As we drove north towards I-84 / I-86, we could see openings in the cloud cover to the east and Bob quickly came up with the idea of doing Deep Creek Peak of Power County. To the north of I-86, the thunderclouds dominated the sky but to the south, the cloud covering had many openings and we began to think we might be able to get in another peak. We grabbed lunch at a Pizza Hut in American Falls and then headed back to the west a few miles and headed south on Idaho SR 37.
The clouds began to boil up again but we figured that we could camp out if the weather got uglier and get Deep Creek Peak in the morning.
Just after the small town of Rockland (wide spot in road), we could see the landmark of Molly's Nipple jutting up and so we knew the turnoff to Big Canyon wasn't much further. The road was a nice wide well graded gravel road that soon was heading up into the nearby mountains. It was necessary to slow down as we had to share the road with cattle that was roaming freely all over the place. Believe me when I say, you don't want to hit one of those big things. Following directions provided by other county highpointers, we soon found the saddle and the area where others had parked but we thought we'd explore down Knox Canyon a ways to see if one of the roads we saw on the map could provide closer in access from the north. What we found were roads posted with no trespassing so we ended up retracing our route and headed back up to the saddle.
Finding a spot to park off of the main road, we proceeded to bushwhack our way to near the top of the small hillock that most people use to access the use trail which we had a difficult time finding since we had picked a little different approach. Dropping down but trying to stay near the top of the ridge led us onto a roller coaster of ups and downs until we finally found our way out of the trees and the brush and onto the open ridge which nicely could be followed all the way to the summit, a mile and a half away. We were
concerned about the possibiity of a thunder cell coming our way but we seemed blessed in that the clouds were everywhere but where we were. Since we left the 4runner at about 3 pm we wanted to get up and down before dark so we didn't stop and take many pictures and kept right at the job at hand, getting to the highest point. After about an hour and a half, we were on top of the peak, which we found to be very rounded but with nice views in all directions. A plastic baggie register was located in a leather fabric like wrapper and we took time to look through it and sign it ourselves. Yes, the famous Bob Packard's entry was there as well many other names we were familiar with such as Dan Robbins and Bob Martin along with many locals who had ridden up on horseback or even on a motorcyle.
Since time was of the essense, we headed back down after taking pics and signing the register and found the worst part to be the uphill section to get back to the vehicle. A great hike and one I wouldn't mind repeating someday.
Time up 1 hr 40 minutes 20 minutes on top and one hour back down. 5 miles roundtrip with about 2000 feet of elevation gain (including ups and downs)