Sheepeater Peak (ID)

Page Type
Mountain/Rock
Location:
Idaho, United States, North America
County:
Lemhi
Activities:
Scrambling
Season:
Summer
Elevation:
9920 ft / 3024 m
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82.48% Score
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Sheepeater Peak (ID)
Created On: Apr 29, 2007
Last Edited On: Apr 30, 2007

Overview

Sheepeater Peak, so named in the Lopez book "Idaho, A Climbing Guide", is a hulking mountain in the center of the Bighorn Crags of Idaho. While the actual summit is not sharp and enticing, the overall mountain is very rugged with cliffs and couloirs. Its position in the Bighorn Crags means there are many lakes visible and much more beautiful scenery. The peak is tied for being the second highest in the Bighorn Crags with Aggipah Mountain, just to the west. As Lopez notes, the view of Ship Island Lake from the summit is superb. Because of its location in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the distant summit views showcase nothing but mountains, for many dozens of miles.

Sheepeater from Airplane LakeSheepeater Peak as seen from the east end of Airplane Lake

Getting There

Be prepared for sixty miles of dirt road. Go to the Panther Creek Road which can be accessed via the Salmon River Road out of North Fork, Williams Creek Pass out of Salmon, or via Morgan Creek summit out of Challis. On the Panther Creek Road turn towards the Crags and Yellowjacket to the West on FS 112. At the summit, turn north on FS 113 following a ridge for many miles. Turn on FS 114 for a final few miles to Crags Campground. Take the main trail from the Campground into the Crags. The mountain can be accessed from the Ship Island Lake basin or from Wilson and Harbor lakes. Consult a guidebook for more detailed information about the Crags trail system. (The Hikers Guide to Idaho by Maughan and the Lopez guidebook contain all the necessary information.
Bighorn Crags ApproachView from near the Crags Campground Trailhead
The Bighorn CragsGetting close to Harbor Lake with the mountain in view at the far right

Red Tape

This mountain is located in federally designated wilderness. So far, no special fees are needed for parking at the trailhead or backpacking here. The forest might like you to fill out a free permit and sign the register for their statistical and funding purposes (a ranger told me that more money for upkeep is given if more visits are made). There could be some permits for livestock or large groups. But for small backpacking parties, it is fair to say there is no red tape. This document will answer most other questions people might have.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/recreation/fcronr/userguide.pdf

Camping

Crags campground at the trailhead has nice forest service campground camping. Good backcountry camping can be found at almost every lake in the Bighorn Crags, some of which can be crowded (for Idaho). Wilson and Harbor Lakes will rarely offer solitude.

External Links

This is the forest service users guide to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness

http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/sc/recreation/fcronr/userguide.pdf

I notice it is now popular to put in a link to the weather forecast for the area, so here is my favorite forcast service for Idaho.

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pih