Snowslide Peak is one of the main peaks along the Lick Creek road. Like many of the Lick Creek range peaks, it has a broad, gentle southern aspect and a precipitous north face.
In normal years, the road to the trailhead is inaccessible until mid-June due to snow. Snow closes the road again in late November. In the fall, be aware of big-game hunters.However, this area is truly beautiful, and once one gets to know the lay of the land, you can traverse and wander to your heart's content. Note: wandering without a good map can lead one to getting treed in cliffs or stream beds.
Snowslide Peak can be accessed from a number of ways, and climbed from a number of directions.
• Main route climbs the Class 3+ northeast ridge from Snowslide Summit (pass).
• It's an easy Class 2 scramble and bushwack from either the northwest ridge or from the south
• There is a Class 5 route up the north face. This route is not recommended due to rock conditions, but it must have been exhiliarating for the first-ascent party!
• The normal access is up the Snowslide Lake trail. The quality of the trail varies because it is basically unmaintained and go through some rugged terrain. It's about 1.5 miles and 1300' gain to the lake. From there, a similar-quality trail (although the vegetation is much less) climbs to Snowslide Summit in 0.75 miles and about 700' gain. Another 0.75 miles and 500' gain gets you to the top of the peak. This last section involves soem scrambling a can be a bit exposed depending on your route.
• The Class 2 scramble can be done from Snowslide Lake by crossing the inlet and hiking up the forested northwest ridge and south side. You can also get to the south side easily from Golden Lake, but getting to Golden presents its own problems.
• Snowslide Summit can be reached on a trail from Maki Lake. This trail originates at the Lake Fork Creek campground.
First, get to McCall. Either take Highway 55 north for about 100 miles from Boise, or come south from Riggins and New Meadows. From downtown McCall, take the Lick Creek road, also signed as the turn for Ponderosa State Park. Turn right after the golf course, then take another right off the pavement (signed) in about three miles.
From downtown McCall, it is about 15 miles to the Snowslide Lake trailhead.
Red TapeNote that trail conditions in this area vary from wonderful to undiscoverable, sometimes in the space of a few hundred yards. Basically, the Payette National Forest doesn't expend a lot of energy toward people who aren't using motor vehicles.
No red tape. Parking at the trailhead is limited.
The closest official campground is the Lake Fork Creek campground, about 5 miles before the trailhead. The campground is quite nice (although primitive), but also quite popular. Normal Forest Service fees etc. apply.
However, there are numerous unofficial campsites along Lake Fork Creek.
Or you can stay in McCall at either one of the many hotels, or try Ponderosa State Park (usually requires reservations).
The map shows a Black Lee campground, but it's mostly just a dirt pull-out, and not recommended.
For additional information on this climb and other peaks in the area, please see Tom Lopez's excellent book, Idaho: A Climbing Guide.