Bell Mountain is a very distinctive mountain in the Lemhi Range, with the top shaped like a giant liberty bell. The mountain was officially named after Robert Bell - Idaho's first state mining inspector.
The easiest route on the mountain is class 3 with about 8-10 miles of travel round trip. All routes are in the range of Class 3-4
The mountain is not climbed very often given its remote location, and a sometimes difficult to find/reach trailhead.
West Face: Class 3, western approach
Southwest Gully: Class 4, western approach
East Ridge: Class 3, eastern approach
Northeast Ridge: Class 4, eastern approach
North Couloir: 50 degree snow slope, eastern approach
Northwest Face Class 4, eastern approach
From the town of Howe head north on the Pahsimeroi hwy. Basically drive until the pavement turns to gravel. Lopez's book says to look for the aluvial fan coming from the lost river range, but you probably wont see this if you are driving up in the dark so basically very soon after the gravel starts you will see an unsigned road going off to the right towards the Lemhi range roughly in the direction of Bell Mountain. Take this, and you will pass some sheep pens. After that you will go through a gate, hang a right, and continue travelling towards Bell. We crossed a small bridge that was really just a culvert in a ditch which you could drive over. You will then eventually hit some trees and see a sign for Bell creek. go right and up the drainage, and basically keep driving until you cant drive much further. (~7000 ft give or take based on your driver/vehicle). These directions aren't extremely precise, but take your time. It took us over an hour to find it after getting off on wrong "road". 4WD definitly required.
East Side: These directions are credited to Tom Lopez's book. If anyone has information to add to the eastern approach, let me know. Idaho hwy 28 to FR 188 (13.3 miles from lone pine). Take this road 5 miles to the charcoal kilns. 2WD ok.
For the North Couloir and Northwest face, take FR 541 south from FR188 before reaching the Kilns. Shortly after getting on FR541 get onto FR183 leading into Mammoth and Bell Mountain canyon. 4WD required.
No permits required, no fees, no closures that I know of. No trailhead parking pass required at trailhead.
When To Climb
Standard climbing season - July through september. We climbed early april and we were the first to sign the summit register that year, and the last signature before that was the previous October.
You can camp at the trailhead, and on the mountain if you need to. No huts, no fees.
No Web sites, or cams that I know of for conditions. This message board
is a good location for finding out information on the status of Idaho peaks.