granitic mountains located just north of McCall, Idaho. Its summit is a long approach from anywhere,
yet easily accessible due to a trail that is legal (and fun) for mountain bikes
and also for (ugh) motor vehicles (singletrack only).semi-famous B-23 bomber crash that occurred in 1943.
- Approach to Loon Lake (RT): Class 1, 10 miles, 1400' gain, 2-5 hours
- Climb from Loon Lake (RT): Class 2, 7 miles, 2900' gain, 3-5 hours
right (north) on Warren Wagon Road. This paved road circles beautiful Payette lake
for about 8 miles, then follows the North Fork of the Payette River past Upper
Payette Lake to Secesh Summit (see etymology note below). From the summit, the
road continues northerly downhill to Burgdorf Junction, and then turns to a
maintained dirt/gravel road. Continue past the residential Secesh Meadows
(there are a few cabins) to the well-marked turnoff at about 35 miles for
Chinook Campground. Drive the narrow and bumpy road to the back of Chinook
Campground to the Loon Lake trailhead. At the trailhead you’ll find lots of
parking and a concrete toilet. Note, however, that this can be a very popular
spot on a busy summer weekend, so the parking lot is sometimes full. If it’s
July 4, go early.
Eytmology: Much of Idaho’s backcountry was explored during
Idaho’s mining exploration days, which occurred during or shortly after the
Civil War. Consequently, many features have names based on the namer’s
preference for North or South. In this case, ‘Secesh’ is short for secession.
River on the bridge and follow the trail to Loon Lake. Although this is a pleasant hiking trail, it
is recommended that you instead enjoy it on two wheels; it is an excellent
mountain bike trail. Furthermore, by adding a bit of mileage on the way back
and riding up the Secesh, the trail can be done as a really fun loop. For more
about this mountain bike ride, see Steve Steubner’s book, Mountain Biking Idaho.
Regardless of the method and manner you desire, take a map,
because there are multiple trail intersections. A small mistake can end up on
the road 15 miles from your car.
Climbing From Loon Lake, follow the unmaintained hiking trail (tons of downfall) to the west side of the lake. Somewhere about half way around, climb the ridge to the west. Follow this ridge, more or less, to Point 6773.
You may opt to move further west because it all looks similar; this area was totally scorched by the 1994 Blackwell Fire. However, after trying that, following these directions seems to be the easiest way.From Point 6773, simply continue on the broad ridge toward the summit. Note that what appears to be the summit is a false summit. But from there, the real summit is only slightly higher and a couple hundred easy yards at the most.
When to Climb
External LinksPayette national Forest
City of McCall
Splattski trip report
Brundage Mountain web cams (including McCall)
Idaho road conditions