Jughandle Mountain

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.84307°N / 115.95766°W
Additional Information County: Valley
Activities Activities: Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 8340 ft / 2542 m
Sign the Climber's Log


The normal approach to Jughandle is the Louie Lake trail, marked on topos of the area. A few years back, some of the country traversed by the lower trail was logged, so at times the trail has been hard to follow. However, it seems to be improving.This is a popular day hike from McCall. At about 3 miles and 2100' gain, it's a good workout without being exhausting. But from the summit, a lot of backcountry area opens up for the intrepid hiker. The views are excellent, because Jughandle stands somewhat by itself with nothing too close that is comparably high.

Jughandle also offers excellent backcountry skiing, although some areas around the mountain are over-run by snow machines.

Route Stats
Distance: 6 miles car-to-car
Gain: ~2100'
Difficulty: Class 1 to Louie Lake, then Class 2

Getting There

About 1.5 miles south of the traffic light at the McCall airport/Hwy 55, turn east on Farm to Market Road (paved). At this point, the road is now signed as 'Elo Road.'  
Once at the trailhead, there are parking spaces all over, but you may not see a sign. Also, sometimes finding an empty space is a challenge because the reservoir is a popular local fishing hole.
The trail is near the western end of all the parking spaces, and immediately crosses the creek. Follow the trail up through a logged are and eventually connect with an ancient jeep road to Louie Lake.
From Louie Lake, there are several options: 
Go right and bushwhack up the north ridge. It's fairly open country, and involves some scrambling near the top.
Go left at the lake and find/follow the trail that heads near the north-east ridge. Scramble the boulders to the top.
Note that McCall sits at about 5000' and is definitely in snow country. If you are going sometime other than summer, check the road report (link below). 


The trailhead is too busy for good camping. Louie Lake offers some nice spots, but don't expect to be alone, as this is another popular fishing spot.