Octoberfest Peak is located in the Lost River Mountains of central Idaho.
Octoberfest Peak, while not drip of beer to be had on the mountain and just below the 11,000' threshold number that so many of the Lost River Peaks reach, is still a unique mountain. Nicknamed by famous Idaho climber R. Bauger, Octoberfest represents perhaps the best month, in many years anyway, to celebrate Idaho's great outdoors.
This multi personality mountain appears different from each direction when viewed. Octoberfest's most appealing feature happens to be its its striking northwest and northeast faces of which both plummet over 1,500' to Wet Creek below. The faces consist of the typical, yet very attractive, Lost River rock banding that form a striped land of impassable terrain.
Octoberfest's southwest face has some of the most gently, high elevation terrain in the area. Its mellow, above timberline open slopes are reminiscent of hiking in Colorado's Ten Mile and Front Ranges. Lastly, its east face is not as rugged as the north side of the peak but not as friendly as the southwest face. It is a towering mess of shale and rock outcroppings that can be seen from near Summit Creek Pass.
Octoberfest is rarely climbed. Its close proximity to other higher and more impressive peaks allows for spectacular views of them but create less desire to summit Octoberfest itself. The easiest route follows the easy class II terrain to the summit which would make for a possible ski ascent.
Access to the Lost Rivers for most is never easy. The closest airport access is in nearby Hailey. From Hailey it is possible to reach the Octoberfest Peak area either by taking US-20 through Arco or through Sun Valley and over Trail Creek Summit. Both are equally long.
From Arco, drive 18 miles north of town on US-93 to the Pass Creek Road. From here, it is about 8-9 miles on an improved dirt road to the access points for Octoberfest Peak.
It is about 8-9 miles from Macky to the north for this turnoff.
Access from the east side is very difficult.
No permits required. Some trails in the area allow limited motorized use.
All access and primitive roads are closed during winter including Pass Creek Summit.
When To Climb
This mountain may be climed easily once the lower elevation snow thaws and the access roads are opened. Octoberfest's southwest face is condusive to travel in spring, summer, or fall.
Out of season, the only real issue would, of course be access issues.
Camping is allowed and recommended at the various campgrounds in the area. Bear Creek CG is the closest of them and offers all the adequate facilities.
Camping at Bear Creek Lake is not recommended nor is it at the trailheads due to limitied space.
Octoberfest Peak is remote and conditions, as everywhere else is the mountains, can be unpredictable. There is however a SNOTEL site nearby and is the only existing station of such in the Lost River Range. Hilts Creek SNOTEL
at 8,000' provides recent temperatures and precipitation for the lower elevations in the area.
The following links can also provide good current conditions.
Sawtooth Avalanche Center- Gives daily avalanche reports during winter.
Idaho Outdoors Forum- Frequent reports of local conditions and climbs in the area.
Sawtooth National Forest Website- Provides information on road closures, wildfires, and other current happenings in the area.