Since most of us are probably unfamiliar with any books featuring this summit, I am going to offer some extra beta.
I took the Little Elk Creek Trail, #151. There is a relatively new sign at the trailhead. Two trails start here; I took the one to the right. I saw no vehicles nor people from the time I left the pavement. The road is drivable for all vehicles.
As it was just myself and my dogs in grizzly country, I played some podcasts on the external speaker of my phone and made some extra noise besides.
We followed the trail up to 8800' where I had expected to do some routefinding on the western ridgeline. Once there, I found a cairn and a trail leading off toward the northwestern cirque so I followed it. The trail petered out a couple times before fading completely once we got to the northern ridge. I was unsure of this route as the northern ridge looked like an exposed scramble, but thinking we may find a route around the summit block to a gentler approach on the eastern side, we pursued this a bit.
With my dogs in tow I was not interested in an exposed scramble, but it soon became apparent that the summit would only be accessible via this means from our present location. Since no obvious route presented itself, we traced the contours back toward the western ridge, our initial intended route. This took us up and down some gullies until we gained the western ridge. It is not too exposed but recent precipitation meant some slick mud, so it got a little tricky at a couple points. At a couple points we were almost hit by rockfall and I looked up to see mountain goats near the summit.
Once we gained the western ridge it was a fairly obvious walk/class 2 scramble up to the summit. Once to the summit, there were no mountain goats in sight.
It was fantastic having a totally different perspective of the Tetons, where the Grand Teton dominated and obscured all the other highest peaks in the range.
On our descent we followed the western ridge all the way back to the trail and found this to be very easygoing. It is apparent others have done this also. If you depart the trail at about 43.36884, -111.10633 and head up the slope until you gain the ridge, then roughly follow the ridge to the summit, you will find this route to be pretty easygoing with almost no scrambling and minimal exposure.
Nice views and a nice area right around the peak with fall colors beginning to accent the vegetation. The trail climbs pretty consistently from near the trailhead which I thought was nice, as it makes the hike more engaging.
Great hike up Little Elk Creek with boisedoc. Really pretty area and a fun climb. Trip Report
SuperDave and I made it across several exciting crossings of Little Elk Creek down low- running quite high with the high snow year- the only casualty was a lost pole that floated downstream. up high, the snow was supportive. we used crampons off and on up the northwest ridge. we then dropped across the basin to climb Little Elk Peak. great fun. Some good Teton views
Saw 3 mountain goats along with a great view. Much easier hike then we expected. Do it!
This was a great climb. I went up with some friends and a group of students from BYUI. There was still enough snow that we were able to spend most of the upper half on top of the white stuff. The students had the chance to learn how to use crampons and ice axe and how to arrest. Fun day with some fun people.
I have been on top of Mt Baird 6 times, and the last time was the best. I packed skis up to the snow line in early May 05. I skinned up to the summit, and made some fun turns skiing down. It was an awesome day, one of my best in the mountains. It is a great Teton view, and the other peaks of the Snake River Range look fantastic from the summit.
Dennis Poulin and myself were working on the Idaho county highpoints and this was one we really enjoyed. We car camped at the TH and was able to get up and down before an afternoon thunderstorm rolled in.