Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.12736°N / 115.01052°W
Additional Information County: Custer
Activities Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 9873 ft / 3009 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Location: Redfish Lake area in the Northeastern part of the range.  Popular area, but the approach valleys contain no trails and these peaks are seldom explored. Part of the Iowa Pinnacles.

Nearby Peaks: Horstmann Peak, Harriet's Pinnacle, Schwartz Pinnacle, Mt. Limbert, Mt. Carter, Mickey's Spire

Linkups: Harriets Pinnacle, Schwartz Pinnacle, Mt. Bush

Difficulty:  Class 3-4, Rugged ridgeline with exposure, difficult off trail approach

Usage: Scrambling, Rock Climbing, Couloir Climbing

Terrain:  Serrated Ridgeline on rotten and solid rock

Traffic:  Non existent- perhaps every 10 years this ridge is explored

Summit Register:  Yes

History / Etymology:  Named after Bruce Adams, member of Iowa Mountaineers (Source: The Iowa Climber, Vol. 2 No. 2 Summer 1948)

Mt. Bruce Summit Block

Getting There

Nearest Paved Roads:  ID-75, Redfish Lake Road

Nearest Dirt Roads / Conditions:  None

Approach Trails / Conditions:  Fishhook Trail from Redfish Lodge area (Excellent)- trail peters out and becomes vague

Mt. Bruce


Main Route:  West Ridge Class 4- Follow the Fishhook Trail until it ends where it crosses a creek coming down from the north.  Continue up the valley staying on the north side of the creek and continue to angle more north and into the side valley (Limbert Valley).  Stay north of the creek coming out of Lake 9425 until about 8700 ft.  Here, cross the creek and travel on the south side in a beautiful open valley.  Just before another steep section of the valley (9000 ft /seasonal waterfall), cross back to the north of the creek and climb to Lake 9425.  From the lake scramble south to a prominent notch in the ridge.  This notch is just east of Harriet's Pinnacle.  (Note: The Lopez guide has Harriet's mislabeled on the map in the book on page 165.  Harriet's should be further west on the ridge. This is obvious when you see the real geography of this ridge in person).  From the notch follow the ridge east to the highest point. You may need to drop to the south slopes to avoid some vertical obstacles.  There will be a prominent notch just to the west of the Mt. Bruce summit block.  From the west, the summit block looks difficult, but if you stay on the solid SW rib to the summit, it's no more than Class 3+.

Main Route Stats:  12.3miles / 3637 (round trip)

Average RT Time:  8-10 hours (strenuous off trail approach)

Other Routes:  The Lopez guide says there's a 5.2 route.  There's also a prominent couloir up the north slot to the notch just west of the summit.  The south slopes leading directly from upper Fishhook Creek offers a tough approach.

Mt. Bruce Route Map

Red Tape

Jurisdiction:  National Forest (Sawtooth National Recreation Area)

Permit:  No

Other Users / Issues:  Difficult cross country travel and approach

Maps:  USGS Quad- Stanley, Stanley Lake.  The USGS maps do not show most of the pinnacles and mountains in the Iowa Pinnacles area.

Guide Book:  Tom Lopez,  Idaho: A Climbing Guide

Carter, Mickey s Spire and Thompson from Mt. Bruce

When To Climb

Climbing Season:  Summer, Fall (June-Oct)

Ideal Climbing Time:  July-Sept

Nearest Weather Station:  Stanley

Weather Relative to Region:  located near the highest peaks in the range- expect slightly greater chance of summer T-storms in this area.

Mt. Bush


Car Camping Sites:  Redfish Lake area offers lots of drive in camp sites

Backpacking Sites:  Not ideal because of the difficult cross country travel (steep slopes, logs to cross etc.).  Limbert Valley would make a terrific area if you could get in.

Horstmann, Ebert, Bush, Bruce, Harriets, Schwartz

Flora & Fauna

Potential Wildlife:  Badger, Beaver, Black Bear, Mule Deer, Pronghorn, Cougar, Coyote, Elk, Marmot, Marten, Moose, Mountain Goat, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Pika, Wolf

Confirmed Wildlife: Pika, Coyote, Marmot, Mountain Goat, Rainbow Trout

Vegetation:  Lodgepole, High elevation tiny flowers and lichens

Mt. Limbert

White Cloud View
Mt. Bruce Summit Block
Mt. Bruce Summit Ridge



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Sawtooth RangeMountains & Rocks