To access Norton Peak's Southwest Ridge Route from Ketchum, Idaho, drive north on Highway 75 for about 16 miles until reaching Baker Creek Road. Follow this excellent dirt road south for 6 miles until reaching the turnoff for Norton Lakes.
Follow this road about 2 miles to the a major trailhead area. Passenger vehicles should be able to make it to the TH.
The peak can also be reached via a much longer approach from Miner Lake in the Prarie Creek Drainage.
Total Elevation Gain:2,600'
From the trailhead, be sure and take the Norton Lakes Trail and not the West Fork Norton Trail, the difference is obvious. Follow this moderately steep, and very clear trail 2 miles to Lower Norton Lake.
Skirt the lake on its eastern side and hike 15 minutes to Upper Norton Lake. The trail shown on local USGS topo maps is not maintained past Upper Norton Lake. However, it is easy to follow for those with a trained eye for spotting trails.
East head over some deadfall on the faint trail that quickly begins switchbacking up the southern slopes of Norton Peak. Leave the trail as it crosses a small saddle at roughly 9,900' and follow occasional game trails to up the gentle southwest ridge to Norton's south ridge.
Although its not apparent at this point, no actual climbing in neccesary to reach the summit. Follow the ridgeline, occasionally dropping to its east side to avoid some hulking rock formations, to the summit.
No essential gear needed. If ascending in snowy conditions, all that is recommended is an ice axe.
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