Garden Creek Peak is nestled deep in the Sawtooths near the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Payette River. The summit ridge offers tremendous views of Cony Peak, The Rakers, and the Monte Verita ridge including Warbonnet Peak. This peak is a tough day hike from the trailhead and will take most all of a day given how far it is from GrandJean. However, for those willing to pack into the spectacular lakes basin east of the peak, a scenic base camp can be made. Long known by fisherman for it's fishing, this area holds Cony, Meadow, Three, Oreamnos, McWillards, Limber, and Packrat Lakes all in the upper reaches of the Goat Creek drainage. Reaching the upper Goat Creek drainage would be the crux of an outing to this area with it's downfall and relatively heavy vegetation. Since the slopes just west of Garden Creek Peak are nearly vertical, access from the main trail along the South Fork of the Payette is limited.
South Ridge (Class 3): Take the trail out of Grandjean south past the Baron Creek turnoff and leave the trail to hike east up Goat Creek. This drainage has a real reputation for it's downfall and dense vegetation and rightfully so. As you ascend the drainage, the travel gradually gets easier. By the time Meadow Lake is reached about 9 miles into the hike, the travel is easier. Continue southwest of the lake and climb west up gentle open slopes until the the grade steepens just before the south summit ridge. Once the ridge is obtained, hike due north over boulders and around a few towers to reach the summit. Enjoy the steep drop off to the north and the great views.
10.3 miles and 5510 feet gain (one way)
Round Trip Time Estimate: 8-12 hours