Benedict Peak (Peak 9930)

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 43.97000°N / 115.0504°W
Additional Information County: Boise
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 9930 ft / 3027 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Peak 9930 is unnamed on the map, but it sits right above Benedict Lake. So calling it Benedict Peak seems appropriate until further notice. 
Benedict Peak is really a very long ridgeline without much elevation change along its spine. However, the northern rampart is slightly higher than the other high points (with the south end being the second highest), so it is considered the summit.
Because Benedict is somewhat isolated and has very steep faces on the east and northern aspects, it offers commanding views of the Sawtooths. Combined with a relatively easy and quick route, these views place Benedict on a "must see" list of Sawtooth peaks.
Although Benedict Peak is a quick climb from base camp, it can be very time consuming to reach that campsite. Plan on solitude and views.

Getting There

To start the recommended climbing route, first hike to Ingeborg Lake. There are a number of trails that lead to this area. For most, the best route would include hiking the trail up Benedict Creek, which can be reached by hiking up the South Fork of the Payette River from Grandjean.
Alternately, one can hike to Ingeborg Lake from Spangle Lake and the Ten Lakes Basin. The easiest access to Ten Lakes Basin is probably up Redfish Creek from Redfish Lake, but some prefer to hike over the divide from Toxaway Lake and the Tin Cup trailhead on Pettit Lake. Your author got to Ingeborg Lake from the Alpine Creek drainage and across Flytrip basin. See the links section for a trip report.

Climbing routes 
From the west end of Ingeborg Lake (~8900'), contour north and shoot for a series of benches running along the peak at about 9000'. When you run out of bench, find the best line through the talus and head for the ridgetop. At or near the ridgetop, the talus turns to massive boulders. Find your best line while you enjoy beautiful Sawtooth granite to play on. As you near the summit, the boulders become briefly intermittent before the final Class 3 scramble for about 50'. Although from below the summit appears to be a tiny aerie, it's actually quite roomy (as long as one doesn't step too far north, where an overly-quick descent awaits).

From Lake Ingeborg, it's about 1.5 miles, 1000' of gain, and takes between 1.5 and 2 hours to the summit. This route varies between Class 2 and Class 3, and how much of each depends on the route you choose.

Red Tape

Sawtooth Wilderness permit required (self-issue on the trail). 
Note that special restrictions on fire apply to most areas of the Sawtooth Wilderness. Stoves are preferred, but fires are acceptable in some areas only with a fire pan or blanket.
This is pristine country, so please respect that: pack out what you pack in, leave no trace, camp away from water, etc.


Ingeborg Lake offers excellent back-country camping. Chances are good that you will have the lake to yourself. Please observe the backcountry fire rules (see Red Tape). 

External Links

Sawtooth National Forest
Smiley Creek web cam (choose View 2)
Stanley cam and current weather
Sawtooth national Forest Avalanche Center

For additional information on other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.