OverviewSawtooth Peak is the northernmost major peak on the east side of Lake Fork Creek Road before Lick Creek summit. It is a big mountain with characteristic features of the Lick Creek range: a broad southern aspect and precipitous north face. In this case, the route is a long ridge walk, over a mile in length, with wonderful views of the surrounding area. The summit is comprised of white granite blocks.
The normal route starts on the Snowslide Lake trail and ascends to Snowslide Summit (pass). From there, it is a Class 2 ridge walk with perhaps some Class 3 scrambling near the top. Total climb is about 3.5 miles each way, and with a 2900' elevation gain.
Getting ThereFirst, get to McCall. Either take Highway 55 north for about 100 miles from Boise, or come south from Riggins and New Meadows. From downtown McCall, take the Lick Creek road, also signed as the turn for Ponderosa State Park. Turn right after the golf course, then take another right off the pavement (signed) in about three miles.
From downtown McCall, it is about 15 miles to the Snowslide Lake trailhead.
The road can be rough, but it's generally passable for any vehicle.
The McCall area gets lots of winter snow, so the roads to access this peak are closed from roughly late November until late May. Also, this is a popular big-game hunting area (including the trails walked to climb the peak). Check before you head out.
Note that trail conditions in this area vary from wonderful to undiscoverable, sometimes in the space of a few hundred yards. Basically, the Payette National Forest doesn't expend a lot of energy toward people who aren't using motor vehicles.
Red TapeNo red tape. Parking at the trailhead is limited.
CampingThe closest official campground is the Lake Fork Creek campground, about 5 miles before the trailhead. The campground is quite nice (although primitive), but also quite popular. Normal Forest Service fees etc. apply.
The map shows a Black Lee campground, but it's mostly just a dirt pull-out, and not recommended.
However, there are numerous unofficial campsites along Lake Fork Creek.
Or you can stay in McCall at either one of the many hotels, or try Ponderosa State Park (usually requires reservations).
External LinksPayette national Forest
City of McCall
splattski trip report
Brundage Mountain web cams (including McCall)
Idaho road conditions
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide
RouteSawtooth Peak is most easily climbed by its south ridge from Snowslide Summit (pass).
This pass is reached by trail from Snowslide Lake.
Snowslide Summit can also be reached on a trail from Maki Lake. This trail originates at the Lake Fork Creek campground.
Note that there is some more difficult scrambling if you stay on he ridge top, and most parties will get treed at some point. Instead, drop off the ridge on the east side (climber's right) until you get to the open granite section. Then scramble up whatever looks easiest or best.