Well, 9 years later I came back. Camped at Nelson Lake with the place to myself and caught some really pretty and unique looking cuttbows. So -the hike up to East Bare is still really enjoyable and highly recommended. The ridge out to Bare Peak and the Idaho County Highpoint is definitely a grind, though. Had to leave the dog just below what LOJ is calling 9460 (the first HP of the west summit, cairn on top). Tagged that one, then quickly scrambled over to the giant metal pipe at the state line. Whoever carried that huge thing up there and perched it on that outcrop is obviously a little crazy, right? Returning all the way back along the ridge was another grind and a half, and when we got back to camp (almost 8 hrs later!) my dog said to me, "next few hikes we're gonna stick to trails" and then promptly fell asleep. In summary, the Bare Peak ridge is pretty awesome and rugged, but I would agree that there has been more than enough rock hopping for us lately!
Climbed the 3 Bare Peak summits from Nelson lake. Dropped down off the North ridge of West Bare and traversed below the peaks to return a different route. Amazing views and complete solitude!
I was considering walking the ridgeline out to the middle and west summits, but just as I arrived on the east summit, a little storm came through. After hiding from the rain for a little while under the krumholtz, I decided to just head down because the sky was still looking a bit threatening. Upon further reflection, I think that even though the east summit is highest, the name Bare Peak might be attatched to the middle/west summits because of the view of the north face. Next time I'm in the area, I'll be sure to walk the whole ridge.
29sep09 - Began from the Nelson Lake Trailhead and followed the northeast ridge to the east summit of Bare Peak. I continued westward along the ridge to both the middle and west summits. The west summit is on the Montana/Idaho state line. Descended by reversing my route.
26sep06 - The route from the Nelson Lake Trailhead and up the northeast ridge-crest is a good one. The going is mostly hiking and Class 2, with some Class 3 once you're on the ridge.
I made a scree descent from the ridge which saved time, but I'd never try that scree for an ascent without a good solid snow cover.