Redbird Mountain is a large hulking summit in the center of the White Knob Mountains of Idaho. Its elevation of 11,273 ft. makes it the second highest in the range and the 67th highest
in Idaho. The peak is only 5 ft. shorter than Shelly Mountain and it is every bit as exciting a climb as its higher neighbor. Redbird is often paired with Shelly for a single day climb but can also be linked into a traverse of the four White Knob 11ers.
Redbird's North Face
This peak is remote but is a pretty straightforward class 2 climb. There is a lot of elevation gain but there are no major obstacles to be overcome on any of the normal routes. The easiest route to the top is from the saddle between Shelly and Redbird. It is only a 600 ft. climb up a stable moderate grade slope. Getting to the saddle however, is not an easy task because it involves climbing Shelly Mountain first. For those who wish only to climb Redbird, or at least do it first, the best route ascends the east ridge of the mountain.
Redbird from Shelly
The summit of Redbird is very large and broad- so broad that it would be a great place to camp if it wasn't so exposed to the elements. It has a slightly lower north summit that can easily be reached from the true summit. The view from the top is as good as it gets. It is pretty much the same view as on Shelly but it is one that you just can't get enough of.
Access to this mountain is pretty much the same as it is for Shelly Mountain. Follow Highway 93 north from Arco until you reach the microscopic community of Darlington. Turn left on Smith road and follow it towards the hills to the west. Eventually it will turn to the north and become Dove Road. Anywhere the road splits always stick to the left (west). Just past a very remote ranch house it will finally turn into Alder Creek Road and will enter the Challis National Forest. From here on the road gets worse until it deteriorates into an ATV track leading to the 10,000 ft. summit at the head of Stewart Canyon. To climb Redbird park where the road becomes the ATV track and hike up it until you come to a steep old mine road leading up the ridge on your left. Take this road to the top of the ridge. From there the route to the top of the peak will be obvious.
There are no fees or permits of any kind required to hike here. The only thing to be mindful of is the condition of the road. Once again, make sure you at least have high clearance. A 4WD, while not crucial, would be very wise to have.
Always avoid abandoned mine shafts. There are many on the approach to Redbird and they are all dangerous. They are unstable and can collapse on you of under you.
Always practice Leave No Trace
Make sure to let the Challis National Forest know how disgusted you are with the way ATV riders rip things up.
Because the White Knobs are a very dry range they don't see as much snow as their neighbors to the west. As a result they tend to melt out earlier making snow free climbs possible as early as early to mid June. Conditions of course vary from year to year.
For more climate info check out the main White Knobs
There are plenty of great camping sites in Stewart Canyon. Below where the mining road takes off up the ridge there is a large meadow with an abandoned cabin and mines on the left hand side. This would make an excellent campsite as there is a fire ring and some makeshift benches. Just make sure to stay away from the min shafts in the hillside.
Idahosummits Trip Report
Splattski's Trip report
The Idaho Outdoors Forum
. Here you can get climbing and outdoor info from the local climbing community.
Redbird from below.