There's a cow trail for most of the ups and downs before you reach the slope of the peak. Warm day. Stayed right on the ridge line to take advantage of a little breeze. Thunder moved in during descent.
Things were starting to open up for what the nation is hoping will be post-COVID-19. Idaho has been a more permissive state in this climate, so I leaned into my own hypocrisy and headed there for a couple days, hitting county high points for Ada, Gooding, Lincoln, Jerome, Minidoka, Power, and Twin Falls -- all having shown an absence of snow on NOHRSC et al for a few weeks by the time I headed that way.
After Bear Den Butte, I stopped at the Idaho Potato Museum -- which, again, I cannot recommend highly enough. Every minute spent there was worth finishing Deep Creek Peak in the dark, including and especially the baked potato I ate, which is probably the best I have ever eaten.
So it was that I approached from Pocatello, much of which is a luxuriously paved route, followed by 8-10 miles of easygoing gravel. (For reasons that elude me, Googlemaps diverted me off the highway a couple miles early, taking off zigzags on dirt roads.). Yes, sir, I believe even your Fiat could make it all the way up there; just be sure to stuff it into the bottom of your pack and take it with you, as trailhead thefts do happen.
I met one pickup with a horse trailer a few miles from the trailhead and early on in my ascent, I heard a couple ORVs somewhere out there. These were my only encounters with humanity off the paved roads.
The rain that was hitting me on the drive up stopped just as I pulled up to the trailhead -- and then kicked back up as soon as I started walking. It would be on and off rain for the entirety of this one, yet it was still my favorite of this entire trip.
The tale of Deep Creek Peak is one of ups and downs. Elevation gained is elevation lost, at least in the first mile. I believe there were 5 bumps before making it to the ridge that steadily gains elevation to the summit, which you can see for most of this hike. The unmaintained and unofficial path is relatively easy to follow. There really is no bushwhacking necessary aside from a couple small sections to get around some deadfall. Once the elevation steadily rises toward the summit, follow the ridgeline and you are golden. I stuck just below it in order to have some respite from the high winds.
There was snow on the ground but it was scarce and easily avoided. By the time I am posting this it is probably all gone, unless a heavy late-spring storm has swept through.
A hundred feet below the summit I took a moment to put on another layer — and if I had not been holding my jacket tightly, it would have ended up in Wyoming. The winds really were fierce. Thus I spent all of 30 seconds on the summit, which was just enough time to spot the red tin-can register (I did not open it, lest it get blown away) and the benchmark, both on the far side of the cairn.
Still, the vistas I was afforded were lovely. And although this small range is beset on all sides by interstate highways, I neither saw nor heard them. Deep Creek Peak was a pleasant surprise.
Shortly after I departed the summit came sunset and pretty constant rain until I reached by vehicle. Low clouds overtook me, and at one point I diverted down the wrong ridgeline for 1/2-mile before I realized it and had to backtrack. By the time I neared my vehicle visibility was almost zero. I left via the western road which is also easygoing gravel, but it was very slow-going as I could not see more than 10-20 yards. This was for the best anyway as I came across a few herds of cattle. Once I descended out of the clouds, it was smooth sailing.
I drove up from the west side up Big Canyon until the road was blocked by snow at about 6400ft. Very windy day. Still some snow but I only put on snowshoes for about a quarter mile.
Nicely wooded in Big Canyon. Great views from Cache peak, to Box Elder and the Wellsville cone, and up to Diamond and Borah on a clear day like I had. Nice to see Diamond after coming from there the day before.
Hot day but the view is cool
From the West Ridge. Second Idaho County highpoint of the day. Did this one after Cache Peak.
Climbed west ridge. The register only had two signatures both from Arizona in June of this year. The area is surprisingly beautiful and thickly wooded. Excellent view from the top. I would definitely do this one again.
Accessed from the east (with landowner permission) and climbed the ridge line with Randy and Brian. The summit was super windy but most of the way up we were protected from the wind. Skied the center bowl on the east face. Awesome turns. It took us 6 hours and 50 minutes car to car. Most of the snow was melted down low on the way out so we carried skis for awhile. What a great day.
Climbed with a couple friends on a windy but sunny day. Didn't see another soul until we were down, was odd for 4th of July Holiday but nice. Parked at the intersection of Bull Creek and Knox Canyon and Big Canyon road and bushwhacked up and down to the west ridge and proceeded to the summit. Came back down one ridgeline to the North and ended up much lower and hiked about 1.5 miles back up the switchbacks on Knox Canyon Road.
Hiked up Deep Creek Peak via the west ridge. This is a nice area and mountain. A quiet place to be on 4th of July weekend.
Was significantly colder and windier at the top than on the road, surprisingly so. A front was coming in. Hunting season...everyone was in red, even the dog. Many shots were heard. I forget about things like hunting season.
I had to drive from SLC to Mountain Home to pick up some equipment for work, and this mtn happened to offer a good rest spot along the way. Nice climb punctuated by hundreds of ladybugs on the summit.
This is a nice hike up the western ridge.
Moogie737 and I started at about 8:27 PM to kick off an Idaho county 24 hour sprint. We topped out sometime before it was totally dark- we could still read the summit register while sitting on the east side of the mountain (it was WINDY and COLD up there!). Memorable decent in the darkness.
Reached summit several times during hunting season's.
Climbed it with bdog.
Usually do this a few times every year. I really enjoy this peak and it is close to home. The East Ridge is a very scenic walk in the winter/early spring.
See Dean's trip report. Nice hike, nice views. Great company!