Western Ridge Cache PeakThis was to be my final climb of a 10 day climbing trip to Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Earlier in the morning of August 25, 2006 I climbed Deep Creek Peak in Power County. I was anxious to start for home, so I didn’t waste any time driving from Deep Creek Peak over to the town of Oakley on state road 27.
In Oakley I found the turn-off to the City of Rocks and headed east towards the Independence Mountains and Cache Peak. The paved road turned to gravel after a few miles, but it was still a good road. It is about 24.5 miles from Oakley to the trailhead. The road isn’t bad until the last 2 miles or so and then you may need a high clearance vehicle.
I finally arrived at the end of the road in a saddle west of Cache and Independence Peaks. I could see the peaks from the road earlier, but at the trailhead there is a hill in the way that blocked the view. Elevation of the trailhead is about 8,550 ft. I put on my boots and pack and headed up the trail. The trail was an old 4WD road, but it has been blocked and bermed to prevent ATV’s from accessing the trail. Soon this road became more of a trail as it ascended to the top of the first hill that was blocking the view of my goal.
Once on top of this first hill, I could see Cache and Independence Peaks ahead of me. The trail aimed directly at the saddle between the two peaks. I followed it for a ways and then opted to go cross country directly towards Cache Peak. There was some brush and trees to make my way through and also some boulders to hop on. No big obstacles here, it was easy route finding. I just kept going up.
As I ascended the brush and trees become less of an obstacle and the rocks became more numerous. Finally, I found myself doing a lot of rock hopping towards the summit. No big deal here, the rocks were rounded and very stable. As I approached the summit, I stayed away from the cliff edge on my right. It provided a nice view to the south, but the better footing was away form the edge.
Soon I found myself on the summit of Cache Peak. I signed the register and ate a snack. I noticed some clouds forming overhead so I didn’t stay long. I took the same route back to the trailhead that I used in coming up to the summit. About 100 yards before I got back to the trailhead it started raining on me and it had cooled off a lot. This mountain is over 10,000 ft high, so it doesn’t take much to get cold. The total hike took just under 2 ½ hours, covered about 4.5 miles, and had about 1,800 ft of elevation gain. This is a nice hike and I would do it again.