Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 44.17087°N / 115.10929°W
Additional Information County: Boise
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 9151 ft / 2789 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Location: Northern part of the range, between the Grandjean Trailhead and the Stanley Lake Trailhead.  The only Sawtooth peak with a trail to the top.  There is no really good spot from the approach roads and much of the trails for a good view of what Observation Peak itself looks like.  Mostly it's just a high point at the end of a ridge with really good views.

Nearby Peaks: Mt. Regan, Moolack Mountain, McGown Peak, Alpine Peak

Linkups: Kelly Point 9321, Hanson Spire

Difficulty:  Class 1 walk up

Usage: Hiking, Trail Running, Snow Shoeing

Terrain:  Relatively easy terrain for the region.  The Grandjean approach is a steady climb and the summit is reached by steep hiking on broad open slopes near the top.

Traffic:  One of the more explored peaks in range because of the trail and the terrific views. You should expect to see a hiker or 2 during the summer months.  Winter and Fall offer solitude.

Summit Register:  Yes.  There was a cairn at the top and summit log as of 2009

History / Entomology:  Named for it's wonderful views of the Sawtooth Range and relatively easy access.  The views of the northwest side of Regan are terrific.  Observation gives a view of the Sawtooths looking south, so the north sides of many peaks are visible.  There is evidence of mining on the lower slopes in the form of cabin remnants, mines, addits, and prospects.

Sawtooth Meadow

Getting There

Nearest Paved Roads:  ID-21

Nearest Dirt Roads / Conditions:  Grandjean Road, Stanley Lake Road

Approach Trails / Conditions:  Trail Creek from Grandjean area (Very Good), Stanley Lake Trail (Very Good), Elk Creek Pack Trail (Fair)

Northern Sawtooth Ridge


Main Route:  Trail Creek Class 1- From the Grandjean Trailhead, follow the Trail Creek turnoff (left) up canyon past the Trail Creek Lakes turnoff (stay left). At the prominent 4 way junction near BM 8032, follow the trail west (left).  This area has some burned pines.  The trail steepens in section here and switchbacks near the summit.

Descent:  Retrace your steps.

Main Route Stats:  12.4miles / 4964 (round trip)

Average RT Time:  4-7 hours

Other Routes:  Stanley Lake Class 1- From the Stanley Lake trailhead follow the main trail south past Lady Face Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Greenback Mine to the prominent 4 way intersection.  From here follow the summit trail west up steep switchbacks below the summit.  This approach goes just west of McGown Peak and is easier if your already in Stanley.

Descent:  Retrace your steps.

Main Route Stats:  16.0miles / 3532 (round trip)

Average RT Time:  6-9 hours

Regan from Observation

Red Tape

Jurisdiction:  National Forest (Sawtooth National Recreation Area)

Permit:  No

Other Users / Issues:  Pack Animals

Maps:  USGS Quad- Grandjean, Stanley Lake. 

Guide Book:  Tom Lopez,  Idaho: A Climbing Guide

Monte Verita from Observation

When to Climb

Climbing Season:  Summer, Fall (June-Oct)

Ideal Climbing Time:  June-Oct

Nearest Weather Station:  Stanley

Weather Relative to Region:  located in the northern part of the range, this area receives plenty of snowfall and holds it late into June/July.  However, because of the decent access, this area is a candidate for winter travel and/or early season exploration.  During winter, colder air will often sit below in the valleys and the Observation Peak area will be warmer and basked in sunshine.  By warmer, I mean 5 F instead of -15 F , for example.

McGown and McGown Needle


Car Camping Sites:  Stanley Lake and Grandjean areas offer lots of drive in camp sites

Backpacking Sites:  Trail Creek Lakes, Trailer Lakes, McGown Lakes and places along Stanley Creek afford good spots.  The Grandjean /Trail Creek approach doesn't have as many good sites.

Hanson Spire

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, Elk, Mule Deer, Moose

Vegetation:  Lodgepole, Ponderosa, Engelman Spruce

Regan West Face