Situated between the Middle Fork of the Boise River and the South Fork of the Boise River, Steele Mountains boasts two summits: the north summit at 9575 with it's vertical north side cliffs and the south summit at 9730 with it's more gentle approaches. Local climber, Greg Parker has put up the 3 technical routes on the mountain. He's done some nice routes in the Baron Creek Drainage also near Tohobit Peak.
Here are many good routes on Steele Mountain:
1) Quasi-Moat-O (II 5.5) - 2 Pitches; starts on vertical north side ascends large crack to easy face climbing. See 'Routes" for a more detailed description.
2) North Face (II 5.9) - Starts in the north side bowl just right of Quasi-Moat-O. Follows a diagonal ledge system up and then traverses left onto a face. Back to the right on a face or crack (you choose) leads you to the top. The top is not the true summit (it's just a nice rock pinnacle on the summit ridge) and you must rappel down and then Class 3 to the SE toward the true summit.
3) Parallel Universe (Class 4)- Snow climb early in the year on the west ridge. Split rock formation lends itself to 50 degree snow and ice.
4) Elk Creek Route (Class 3)- Follow the Elk Creek trail off the James Creek Road up to the drainage head. Then up the east slopes of the north peak and around to the notch between the summits.
5) West Slope Route (Class 2)- From Rocky Bar take Forest Road 156 to the broad saddle just west of the peak. Scramble up a steep but short forested slope around a few granite towers to the summit
6) North Ridge (Class 4)- From the Phifer Creek logging road and then the Hot Creek logging road, scramble around cliff faces or up and over small granite outcroppings until you reach the summit ridge
Hike / Scramble Approach
1) Follow the Hot Creek drainage off-trail for 3.25 miles up into the north side bowl. OR
2) From the parking area immediately gain the steep north-south running ridge to your right (west). You'll need to go around many rock towers along the 8900 foot ridge. Drop down slightly into the north basin (3.1 miles) or continue on this ridge to the south summit.
Either way is strenuous (no trails), but scenic.
Nearest SNOTEL site gives latest snow depth readings: