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Victor Peak

Victor Peak

Victor Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Idaho, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 45.14786°N / 115.88698°W

Object Title: Victor Peak

County: Valley

Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 8718 ft / 2657 m


Page By: splattski

Created/Edited: Sep 21, 2013 / Apr 29, 2014

Object ID: 868590

Hits: 1636 

Page Score: 80.85%  - 13 Votes 

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Approach to Victor Peak
Victor Peak from the Loon Lake trail.
Victor Peak sits at the north end of a broad swath of rugged
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).

B-23 Dragon
This bomber went down in 1943, landing on a frozen Loon Lake. 
Although Victor Peak can be climbed from almost any direction, the shortest and most sensible approach takes one past scenic Loon Lake, site of a 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

Getting There

Victor view
The hemispherical southern view from Victor Peak, with many of the major Lick Creek Range peaks in view:
 South Loon, Sawtooth, Beaverdam, Rain, Peak 8808, Storm, Blacktip, and the Bruins.
From downtown McCall, Idaho, follow Highway 55 west and turn
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.


Approach map
The approach to Victor Peak: the hike or mountain bike ride to Loon Lake.
Climbing route
The suggested route from Loon Lake to Victor Peak

Note: The following was written before I discovered the page for Loon Lake.

From the Chinook Campground trailhead, cross the Secesh

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.


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.

Red Tape

Summit view north
Looking north from the summit. 
Western view
A lot of granite, including Black Tip and the Bruins. 
None.  No parking fees.
Depending on your choice, there may be camping fees.
Note that Old Man Winter visits here, and he sits long and hard. Warren Wagon Road is closed every year just north of Payette Lake, barely out of McCall.

When to Climb

The Loons
North Loon on the left, South Loon on the right. 
Loon Lake
Loon Lake and the climbing route for this peak.
Summer and Fall. Warren Wagon Road is usually closed from late October until sometime in June.


Car camp at Upper Payette Lake or Chinook Campground. These are a very popular spot (the lake has excellent fishing) so reservations are recommended. 
Alternately, backpack into the Loon Lake and pick your eden.

External Links

Payette national Forest
City of McCall
Splattski trip report
Brundage Mountain web cams (including McCall)
Idaho road conditions


Victor viewVictor PeakWestern viewLoon LakeClimbing routeB-23 DragonApproach to Victor Peak
The LoonsSummit view northApproach map