Monte Verita

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Idaho, United States, North America
Hiking, Mountaineering, Mixed, Scrambling
10102 ft / 3079 m
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Monte Verita
Created On: Sep 5, 2008
Last Edited On: Sep 9, 2008


Mt. Ebert

Monte Verita is one of the few non technical peaks in one of the most spectacular areas of the Sawtooths.  Collectively, the region from Grandjean Peak southeast to Packrat Peak (and including the Baron Spire extending ridge) is called the Monte Verita Group or Monte Verita Ridge.  This area is the closest thing Idaho has to the Cirque of the Towers in Wyoming's Wind River Range. While perhaps not quite as tall and clean, the Monte Verita Ridge has tougher access and therefore far less visitors. Consequently, far less information on the peaks and towers exist. This small section of the Sawtooths easily contains Idaho's most difficult collection of peaks, pinnacles, and gendarmes.

Monte Verita Summit Ridge

There's at least 25 named peaks and rock towers along the Monte Verita 5 mile ridgeline and 20 of these peaks require class 5 climbing. The remaining 5 are all rated Class 4.  While many of these towers do not appear on the USGS 1:24000 quad, Monte Verita Peak does. There's some debate though, whether the placement of this name was to represent the ridgeline or the high point near where the label appears.  There is an accepted high point called Monte Verita Peak, but it is just the highest of several small rock towers along a section of this ridge.

Monte Verita View

Monte Verita roughly translates to "mountain of truth" and given it's spectacular location the aptly named peak has some of the more unique and spectacular views of nearby Warbonnet Peak, Baron Spire, and Packrat Peak to name just a few. These peaks are seldom visited, in part, because they aren't even visible until one travels about 10 miles by foot on the nearby trails. Most climbers, especially those visiting from other areas, opt for climbing on the Elephant's Perch or the Finger of Fate.  But those seeking to scratch beyond the surface of climbing opportunities will discover the classic Warbonnet climbs or the 18 pitch Baron Spire climb in this area.  For those looking to leave the rope home, Monte Verita Peak offers a classic, airy, and easy Class 4 scramble.

See The Complete Sawtooths List for every named rock tower, pinnacle, and unnamed mountain of note.  

Monte Verita scramble


Grandjean Peak

East Face (Class 4)- this route provides the easiest ascent, and it starts at one of the most spectacular lakes in the Sawtooths, Upper Baron Lake.  From the southwest edge of the lake, follow a gully between a tree covered area and a stacked boulder field southwest for about 2/3 of a mile to around 9010 feet. From here, skirt south of some steeper slopes that make up the prominent and sheer NE towers that sit above Baron Lake. Turn north and find the only non technical slot that leads to the northeast ridge proper.  The slot narrows, but never becomes more than easy class 4. Just under the NE ridge, a sheer smooth cliff blocks your way. Turn more toward the west and climb over mostly solid slabs and rocks to the summit ridge.  There are at least 4 prominent rock towers on this spectacular ridge and route finding is crucial here unless you want to visit them all.  The northern most tower is called the Perforated Pinnacle. The high point of Monte Verita Peak is the southern most pinnacle that hides behind another tower just north of it. This tower is just a few feet shorter than Monte Verita Peak.  To access the true high point tower, scramble southwest over solid smooth slabs and just east of the ridge. Find a small notch and reach up to touch the highest point. The last sections are the most exposed, but the rock is really solid.  Look for the newly placed summit canister and small cairn (09/08).  As of this writing there was no sign of prior ascent.

From the Grandjean Trailhead: 12.1miles and 5902 feet gain (one way)

From the Redfish Lake Trailhead: 13.3miles and 5849 feet gain (one way)

(you can utilize the expensive and often unreliable shuttle boat and save 5 miles)

Getting There

Baron Spire, Baron Peak, and Mt. Ebert over Upper Baron Lake


Grandjean Approach

To access the Grandjean Trailhead, drive ID-21 from Boise past Lowman and look for the well marked Grandjean turnoff sign well before Banner Summit.  Follow the Grandjean dirt road for 7 miles to the trailhead next to the campground. Follow the Baron Creek trail for 1.4 miles where you'll turn east into the lower sections of Baron Creek. You'll pass underneath Grandjean Peak close to where you'll take the main Fork of Baron Creek southeast.  Continue gently uphill past the drainage turnoffs for Baron Peak, Moolack Mountain, and Tohobit Peak.  Near mile 8 you'll see Baron Falls Tower, a challenging rock climbing face of rock. Soon you'll be switching back underneath the massive Mt. Ebert and next to Baron Falls.  Once atop the falls the grade eases and becomes more alpine as you wind your way past the Baron Lakes. 

Monte Verita Ridge

Redfish Approach

From the Redfish Creek area follow the trail past Goat Perch and Mt. Heyburn to Flatrock Junction. From here the trail turns off and climbs up to Alpine Lake and just underneath The Eagle's Beak, one of the best intro technical climbs in the range. Climb past Alpine Lake up to Baron Pass and descend to Upper Baron Lake.

Check the road conditions at:  Idaho Transportation Department

Packrat and Mayan Temple

Conditions and Season

Conditions may vary greatly.  Access is typically from June to October. Snow may linger all season long, and it may snow any time of year except July. 

El Pima and Baron Spire


Ebert, Carter, Thompson, Ed-a-How Spire


Monte Verita Topo

Mt. Ebert

Baron Spire