Saviers Peak is the highest point and one of the most impressive peaks in the Smoky Mountains of central Idaho.
Saviers Peak, sitting at 10,441', is the highest peak in the Smokys and is a rugged mound of rock. Its east face , which is comprised of numerous cliffs and talus slopes, rises dramatically from the Owl Creek Valley and can be seen very well for just a few hunderd yards along Highway 75, Idaho's Sawtooth Scenic Byway.
The terrain surrounding Saviers Peak is rough and should not be taken lightly. Very nasty scree slopes, rotten cliffs and towers, and route finding problems plague this mountain from every direction, be sure to choose your route up the summit block wisely.
Saviers Peak is named for Mr. and Mrs. George Saviers, who during their honeymoon climbed the peak and left a summit register in a band-aid can. Their son, who still lives in the Wood River Valley, has continued the family tradition of climbing and has accomplished some amazing feats, including being one of two people who have sucessfully climbed Old Hyndman's North Face in winter.
Begin a range highpoint, Saviers Peak sees quite a bit of traffic throughout the year by Idaho standards. Two established routes lead to the summit of Saviers Peak, the Smokies Traverse and the east face from Owl Creek, both are of high difficulty.
Smokies Traverse Route
To access Saviers Peak and mean Smoky Mountain crest, drive north on Idaho 75 to Galena Sumit at 8,701 feet. Just pass the absolute summit on the left, is a small shaded parking pullout that would otherwise go unnoticed, park here. Head over to the forest and look for a faint trail which does not appear on any TOPO or local maps. Your trek begins here.
Follow this trail aways until it fades at Peak 9,636. From here, you break out of the think brush and are able to see your next move to Peak 9,921. Follow the ridgeline to that point, just below you to your east is Titus Lake, a popular local hiking destination. Continue on your up and down hike to Lower Titus Peak
. At this point, Saviers Peak finally comes into view to the south. The ridge now turns southeasterly on its way to Titus Peak. It is your choice whether to summit Titus or cut across its western face to save yourslef some leg strength. After passing, or summiting, Titus Peak, another option presents itself. From here, you may either choose to drop down into the basin below Titus, Saviers and Bromaghin Peak, or summit Bromaghin Peak.
If you choose to drop into the basin (the upper reaches of Owl Creek), limit the amount of elevation lost in the drop. Bushwhack beneath Bromaghin Peak aiming for the sadlle between Bromaghin Peak 10,182.
If you wish to summit Bromaghin and not drop into the adjacent basin, continue on the ridgeline from Titus to the summit block of Bromaghin. remain on the south side of the broken face and take the obvious gully to the top.
Now that we are all to the saddle between Bromaghin and Peak 10,182, you are finally at the foot at Saviers Peak. Drop off the main crest on its western side working your way beneath cliffs and towers. Continue traversing on terribly loose scree until reaching what will be the summit ridge. Make sure you have a map with you as it is difficult to determine which gully will bring you to the actual summit. If you ascend to soon, you must drop down once again as the ridge north of Saviers is impassable. Once you have found the true gully, some of the most incredible scree climbing of your life awaits you.
Once on the very small summit, enjoy the views and rest, because you must return re-ascending, Peaks, 9,921, 9,636, Lower Titus, Titus, and Bromaghin.
Note: when I was on the summit swarms of bugs where there, horse flies, gnats, thousands of them. At 10,441 feet I did not think this was possible but be prepared.
Saviers Peak is located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, no fees or red tape found here.
When To Climb
Although Saviers Peak would be a daunting task during winter, because of access issues and high avalanche danger, many people from the Sun Valley area have accomplished ascending during all months of the year. Primary hiking months for those of us who want dry ground, July, August, and September are when people mostly hike Saviers.
Because of Saviers Peak's location, snowfall is even more abundant in this area than other places in the Wood River Valley. Located nearly at the head of the Boise River, storms flow freely up through canyon without any major ridges blocking them, and release their strongest furry on the Smoky crest. Along with extra snowfall, the area is also highly exposed from every direction with its faces Savier's faces rising directly from the valley floor on both the east and west sides, winds also lash the Smoky crest sometimes at astonishingly high rates.
Because of those reasons, the snow-free climbing year is less than that of other mountains in the area (excluding the Sawtooth) by up to a month. On wet years, the snow will never leave its eastern face.