One of the most popular peaks in northern Idaho, Scotchman is well known to the locals and is one of those peaks that the locals like to climb. It is the high point of Bonner County and attracts county highpointers (like myself) to it as well. Its 4649 feet of prominence makes it #5 on the Idaho 100 prominence list even though it isn't that tall a mountain. Scotchman Peak is part of what is called the Cabinet Mountains, a range that includes peaks in both Idaho and Montana. See the link at the bottom for info on including it in a proposed wilderness area.
Getting ThereThe best way to describe how to get there is to start at Sandpoint Idaho. From Sandpoint Idaho, head eastbound on Hwy 200 to the town of Clark Fork and look for the Chevron gas station on the west end of town. Turn left (north) at the Chevron Station in Clark Fork Idaho. Go one half mile to the fork in the road and then go right for another 2 miles to FSR #2294. Turn right and take FSR #2294 for another 1.4 miles to FSR #2294A. Turn left onto FSR #2294A and follow it a little less than 2 miles to the trailhead. The TH has a turn around spot and it is obvious that people have camped right here.
Red TapeNo permits required at the time I visited. Not for the trail, the trailhead or for camping. More info can be found by contacting:
Kaniksu National Forest,
Sandpoint Ranger Stn:
When To ClimbProbably anytime of year although avalanche danger might be present in the winter time.
CampingYou could road camp right at the TH. There is an area suitable to pitching one tent or one could easily car camp (in their vehicle) nearby.
This is a summary of what is available in the Sandpoint area, click here.
Local animals and other tidbitsThis one has a bear incident along with some pics.
Scotchman Peak is in a proposed wilderness area.
Trip report on how Scotchman was used as training for Borah Peak and a second one by the same guy a year later.
Dan Robbins reported seeing a black bear the morning he climbed up Scotchman Peak, less than ten minutes after leaving his vehicle. I saw numerous deer and elk tracks on the trail the day Bob and I visited. Grizzlies? Probably not in this area but then...........
The resident mountain goat story. On our hike up the peak, we met two locals who had three dogs with them. They told us several stories about the resident goat that lives near the summit and many of the stories were pretty funny. My favorite of course was the one about the time on one very hot and sunny day that a gal decided to take her blouse off to catch some rays and put her blouse on a nearby bush. Bad mistake. Nearby lurked the resident goat, watching all of this. The resident goat decided that the salt in the blouse was just what it needed so voila, her blouse disappeared and was last seen being carried off by the goat. The poor gal had to hike "au natural" down the trail until she could get some covering garment. Never trust an old goat may be the moral of this story.
Bonner CountySince this peak sits in Bonner County and is the highpoint, here is some information about the county to give you a feel for the background. Bonner County was established in 1907 and was named for Edwin L. Bonner, a ferry operator. As of the 2000 Census the county had a population of 36,835. The population is growing and is probably closer to 40,000 today. The county seat is Sandpoint Other cities and towns of the county are:
* Clark Fork (very close to the peak)
* East Hope
* Priest River
* Sandpoint (the largest city)