The Newman Creek approach offers one of the most accessible winter outings on a real mounatin in the state. An unwritten agreement between snowmobilers and the Forest Service keeps the motorized vehicles on the opposite side of ID-21 near the Bull Trout area. This leaves Copper Mountain for the skiers and snow-shoers.
In just over 2 miles and 2000 feet you can be at the summit with exceptional views.
The start of the route from Newman Creek
On ID-21, continue northeast past Lowman and eventually past Banner Summit. Approximately 1.25 miles past the summit, park your vehicle and look for a small side valley another .4 miles north of where you parked (Newman Creek). In most years, you'll need to ascend a 5-10 foot wall of snow to get off the highway and onto the trail.
From December to March, ID-21 is intermittently closed in this area due to avalanches.
Click here to check and see the current road conditions.
Most often there is a ski trail going the whole way up this route. Unless your there right after a storm, follow the tracks. From the road and the opening of Newman Creek, follow the tracks on flat ground toward a prominent morraine. The tracks will divide. One set goes up Newman Creek Valley- avoid this one as it's often used as a descent route for skiers. Climb steeply onto the prominent ridge. The steepness levels off around 7500 feet as the path goes through s moderately dense Lodgepole forest. Around 8000 feet, the route is on the SW ridge and opens up. Follow along the edge of the forest on the open slopes. The last 500 feet steepen again, and icy conditions can be found near the summit. Common on the summit are immense cornices.
The final open slope near the summit
Here's what you could see on a clear day from the summit:
1) Northern Sawtooths Peaks: McGown
2) Mt. Zumwalt, Observation Peak
3) Cape Horn Mountain
4) Bull Trout Point
5) Red Mountain
6) Cabin Creek Peak
7) Castle Peak
Looking NW at Bull Trout Point