Peak of the Unknown - West Gully

Peak of the Unknown - West Gully

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 43.70610°N / 114.1301°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Bouldering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Additional Information Grade: II
Sign the Climber's Log


Warning... if heading up a route that doesn't have a human trail, where most of what you follow is goat, mulie, and elk trails, and signs of humans fleet far in the distance far far away is what you are looking for..then this is the route for you.

Climbing this route involves about a 3000 foot elevation climb in a mere mile and three quarters. Basically, if you can get yourself to the base of the north ridge of Jacqueline peak on East Fork Road, than you can start to work your way to this peak in the matter of a few hours. The climb involves a steep trek up a wooded mountain ridge, where you will then land into a hanging valley that divides the Peak of the Unknown with Jacqueline.

Getting There

Take East Fork Road, which is about half way between the towns of Hailey and Ketchum. Once on East Fork Road, head towards the town of Triumph, and continue heading east past Triumph towards the Federal Gulch Campground. Once you get out of Triumph, the road is all dirt, all the way...the only way it should be. Once you get past Federal Gulch, the road turns a drastic turn towards the rugged, and from here onward requires either a 4wd vehicle with some good clearance, or a lot of guts, and some safe maneuvering, just don't blame me if you destroy the underbelly of your vehicle.

Now, once you travel east past Federal Gulch Campground, you want to trek about 4 and a half more miles. You will eventually see the high rugged ridgeline of Jacqueline as you head down the canyon. Eventually, you will see an open clearing with Jacquelines summit visible to the east, and a rugged wooded hillside to the west. Find a spot to park here. There is an old mine close to here, along with a private residence with a no tresspassing sign. Make sure you follow the rules.

Route Description

Next get out of your vehicle, and start hiking UP. Yes, UP. There is no trail here, so that big hillside filled with Aspens, Pines, and brush is where you want to head. Slog up through it. Although, please, don't try and create a trail. Posting this was a big time contemplation for me, because I don't want to see this area get ruined from over use, and a bunch of city slicking flockers thinking that they are Danielle Boone, because they are in the untamed wild, which is much less wild than any city, i've been to. Either way, respect the land, and please don't ruin this area. Keep it as pristine and as untrammeled as possible.

With that said, once you reach the hanging valley, you can then see the mountain to the west. Keep aiming towards the saddle that separates Jacqueline and the Peak of the Unknown. Once on the saddle, just start hiking the west ridge. At this point you have two choices. You can either hike up the class 2 west gully, which is a pretty good spot for rock fall. Or, you can cut across the face from the west to the north ridge, and climb the north ridge. The North Ridge is quite solid, and has some minor class 3 sections, but overall is an easy sustained climb of only a few hundred feet (although it is steep). Once you obtain the summit, which is a rare human experience, obviously..say your tidings, and move on.. BUT TREAD LIGHTLY.

This peak doesn't have any noticable footprints, and it doesn't want yours gouging and scarring the mountain. So, tread lightly and be respectful to the area.

Essential Gear

Bring your own surival gear (map, compass, water, warm layered clothing, food, a flashlight, survival knife, and also bring a functioning brain), and have fun.


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