Location: Extreme southwestern portion of the Sawtooth Range, between the Queens and Little Queens Rivers, just north of Atlanta. The north and south summits are very close in height with the south being slightly taller.
Linkups: Nahneke, Flat Top, Browns, Peak 9521
Difficulty: Moderate to Easy off trail ridge scrambling- Mostly Class 2-3
Usage: Hikers, Backpackers, Horses, Fishermen on approach trails
Terrain: Rocky ridgelines with many small rock towers, scree gulleys, large talus piles. In this part of the range, generally speaking, the east slopes are the most steep while the west and south slopes provide the easiest access. The east side of this peak drops off vertically.
Traffic: Very light, this is an intermediate high point along a rugged ridgeline, although with the steep east precipice, this peak is more impressive than neighboring Flat Top and Browns Peak.
Summit Register: Yes- a black PVC tube with yellow caps
History / Etymology: Geographical- named after Scenic Lake, directly to the south of the peak.
Nearest Paved Roads: ID-21 (from Boise via Edna Creek this drive is about 2.5 hrs)
Nearest Dirt Roads / Conditions: China Basin/ Queens River Road (decent- usually passable without 4WD), Middle Fork of Boise River (Good), Swanholm Peak Road (Good), North Fork Boise River Road (Good), Edna Creek Road (Good)
Approach Trails / Conditions: Little Queens River trail is a good single track trail. Comparatively speaking it is slightly better than nearby Queens River Trail (less downfall and fewer stream crossings)
Main Route: South Ridge (Class 2-3)- from Scenic Lake scramble to the saddle south of the summit. This route is straight forward.
Main Route Stats: 22.1miles / 6169 (round trip)
Average RT Time: 7-9 hours
Alt Route: Northwest Ridge (Class 3)- Use the Little Queen trail to access the valley either north or south of the lake. From the prominent saddle northwest of the summit (accessed from either the north or south), follow the ridge proper to the summit. The scramble is over mostly large loose blocks (darker) and solid rock (lighter gray).
Other Routes: Ridge Traverse of Browns, Flat Top, Scenic Peak 9554, and Nahneke (Class 3)- follow the Little Queens trail to Browns lake and gain the ridge and take it south. The ridge is quite manageable and requires nothing more than endurance. 20.3 miles / 7679 feet (round trip)
Jurisdiction: Sawtooth National Forest
Permit: Yes- self registration at trailhead
Other Users / Issues: None- long approach drive keeps this area relatively traffic free
Maps: USGS Quad- Nahneke Mt
Guide Book: Tom Lopez, Idaho: A Climbing Guide
When To Climb
Climbing Season: June - Nov
Ideal Climbing Time: July-Oct
Nearest Weather Station: Atlanta, Smiley Creek
Weather Relative to Region: The trailhead is lower in elevation than much of the region and it similar to the Grandjean trailhead. Expect slightly warmer and drier conditions.
Car Camping Sites: Queens River CG, Riverside CG, Camp Gulch CG
Backpacking Sites: Above Average- Scenic Lake, Browns Lake, Flat Top Lake 8850, Johnson Lake, Triangle Lake, The Hole- tons of other unnamed lakes!
Flora & Fauna
Potential Wildlife: Badger, Beaver, Black Bear, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Cougar, Coyote, Elk, Marmot, Marten, Moose, Mountain Goat, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Grouse
Confirmed Wildlife: Elk, Marmot, Pika, Grouse
Vegetation: Ponderosa, Lodgepole, Engelman Spruce