Mount Zumwalt

Page Type
Idaho, United States, North America
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
8816 ft / 2687 m
4501 Hits
83.1% Score
Log in
to vote
Page By:
Mount Zumwalt
Created On: Nov 15, 2010
Last Edited On: Nov 15, 2010


If [img:679175:alignleft:medium:Right in the center, it's visible from the highway]you have driven Idaho Highway 21 between Lowman and Stanley, you've probably seen Mount Zumwalt. Heading either way, it is eventually in the "12 o'clock" position, meaning dead ahead. But most people just look and drive by. Pity, that, because it is a cool little peak with fantastic views of the west side of the Sawtooths. It also offers a nice perspective on Canyon Creek Point.

In addition to being a nice, convenient hike, Mount Zumwalt also offers great skiing that is quite accessible. The main route (see Getting There) offers some good ski terrain with safe ridgelines. The summit also overlooks a big east-facing bowl that is quite steep at the top. For those who ski this area, you can see this bowl off to the south of Copper Mountain.

Mount Zumwalt sits in the middle of a triangle formed by Highway 21 along Canyon Creek and the dirt road heading toward Grandjean on the South Fork of the Payette River.

The exact etymology is not known for sure, but this is possibly named after Admiral Zumwalt, a World War II hero. If you have further or differring information, please let us know.

Getting There

The closest metropolitan area is Boise, Idaho. [img:679182:alignright:small:Route map]
From Boise, head for Lowman. You can either drive Highway 21 through Idaho City, about 78 miles. Or you can drive up Highway 55 towards McCall, but turning east up the South Fork of the Payette River toward Garden Valley, and proceed to Lowman that way.
From Lowman, head east on Highway 21 toward Stanley. The Grandjean turnoff is roughly 23 miles up river. You'll see the signs. If you go past the snow gate, you went too far.
These instructions are for climbing in snow, but they will work when it's dry.

From the highway, follow the dirt road about 1.9 miles, just past the bridge over Canyon Creek. Anywhere after the bridge, turn up hill and pick your own line. There is some downfall, but it's basically pretty open country. From the road, it's another 3.6 miles and 4200' gain. Class 2.

Old route
An old trail tread exists from Canyon Creek, past Zumwalt Lake (northwest of the summit) and on to the summit. This trail is not shown on the map, and because it goes through a recent burn it might be pretty darn buried in downfall. But if you are the entrepid type, look for the old tread on the steep hillsides on the nose of a ridge a couple miles up from the Grandjean turnoff. You may have to ford Canyon Creek, so be careful. The trail meets the road at a turnoff, if that's any help. At certain times of the year it is still visible from the pavement.

Red Tape

None. National Forest rules apply.[img:679177:alignright:small:Sawtooth view]

Avalanche Alley
Note that this is snow country, so be prepared for snowy roads or even closed roads. The road to Grandjean is not plowed during the winter and early spring. The road along Canyon Creek, aka Avalanche Alley, is sometimes closed during the winter due to avalanches. This section along Canyon Creek experiences about 90 percent of the state's slides that threaten highways, with 54 avalanche chutes along the 11-mile section.


There [img:679179:alignright:small:View west down Highway 21]are many excellent campgrounds along Highway 21, some with hot springs. There are more near Grandjean.
For a little softer accomodations during the summer months, you can try the Sawtooth Lodge near Grandjean.[img:679173:alignright:small:View north up Highway 21]

External Links

Splattski trip report
Idaho Transportation Department Traveler Information
For more information, call the Lowman Ranger Station at 208.373.7500.

Printed guide
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.