This is the shortest route to Cleve Peak, though it is fairly rugged.
The east ridge is the ridge from near the center of the photo to the upper left. It is not the ridge that forms the skyline in the photo, but the one closer.
There are several driving routes to the trailhead, but this is the quickest. A good road map is needed.
From Roosevelt, take State Highway 121 north. This is where the elbow in Highway 40 is, right downtown, so the turnoff is easy to locate. Stay on Highway 121 north, follow it as is makes a sharp turn at Neola and heads due east. The highway will reach a "T" and turn south. At the "T", turn left (north) to the town of Whiterocks. From Whiterocks, drive northwest along the paved road. Not long after passing the fish hatchery, will be another junction. Go straight (not left). The road heads north, then east, then north again. At the next intersection, go straight and to the Elkhorn Guard Station.
Turn left and continue on the Elkhorn Loop Road, up Pole Mountain, and to Forest Road 110 before heading to Pole Creek Lake. Don't take the Elkhorn Loop to Pole Creek Lake, but turn right onto Forest Road 110. If you reach Pole Creek Lake, you overshot the turnoff. Follow Forest Road 110 north for about four miles to the signed (for West Fork Whiterocks Trailhead) turnoff to the left. Turn left to the trailhead. Most of the Elkhorn Loop as well as Forest Road 110 is gravel, but usually in good condition for cars, provided you drive slowly.
A moose as seen along the West Fork Whiterocks River.
Click map for full size. The routed marked in purple is the East Ridge route.
From the trailhead, follow the well-used trail along Whiterocks Creek. There are a few short up and downs, but the trail is mostly an easy stroll to beautiful Cleveland Lake which is four miles from the trailhead. At Cleveland Lake, there is a junction. The trail to the right goes to Quent Lake and then north to Taylor Lake. Stay straight along the trail that follows the shore of Cleveland Lake. Follow the trail to just north of the lake. Cleve BM is to the west.
The "East Ridge" is somewhat of a misnomer, since the ridge isn't too defined. Cross the creek and walk over and climb up to the ridge. Avoid the very steep slopes just to the south. The steep ridge will put you right at the Cleve benchmark, which has a cairn, but no metal survey marker. The true summit is just to the north. The summit is about 1.5 miles from Cleveland Lake. This route requires much scrambling, and is difficult to descend. It is recommended as an ascent route only. The total round trip distance is 11 miles from the trailhead, but I wouldn't recommend descending this route.
A good pair of boots is needed.