White Knob Mountain is located in the White Knob Mountains of central Idaho.
Triple summited White Knob Mountain is a high, barren peak located in the heart of the seldom visited White Knob Range. The three summits of the peak trend from north to south along main crest of the range. The northernmost summit is identified as White Knob on the topo maps and is the lowest of the three sitting at 10,529'. Middle White Knob is the highest and most distinctive of the three while the South White Knob is only 30 feet lower and hardly distinctive.
White Knob Mountain's terrain, like the majority of White Knob Peaks, has been mined extensively in the vast canyons below the treeless and rolling summits. The northern sections of North White Knob have some impressive cliffs and towers which may offer some possible lines for technical rock climbing.
Again, the White Knobs are obscure peaks and are not visited often. In fact, only very well versed local mountaineers have even heard of them. That, plus White Knob Mountain is not the highest in the range, would ensure a complete wilderness experience if climbing. Several class II climbs allow for the amateur mountaineer the chance to check out more difficult climbs of the nearby Lost River Range while still accomplishing a somewhat high peak.
Because of extensive mining roads that criss-cross the area as well as the open nature of the terrain, many lines are condusive to summiting White Knob Mountain.
Access from the north is remote, complicated, and not recommended.
Middle White Knob is 2.2 miles southwest from Mackay peak and can be traversed via its long north ridge.
Access is also possible from the south via Mammoth Canyon as well.
To get to these points from Arco, Idaho, drive north on US-93 about 24 miles to Mackay, Idaho. Turn left (west) on Main Street and follow the road. This soon turns into the Rio Grande Road, and reaches a fork. For access to Mammoth Cnayon, turn left and follow the rough four wheel drive road to Alder Creek. Turn right (north) immediately and follow the road as far as possible up Mammoth Canyon. Continue straight on the Rio Grande road for accdess to Mackay Peak and the traverse between the two peaks.
Please refrain from getting to close to the numerous abandoned mining sites in the area, they are unstable and dangerous.
The Rio Grande Road is plowed to within 2 miles of the Horseshoe Mine year-round.
When To Climb
The mountain is easily climbed during the summer months. Climbing in the winter is difficult but certainly possible.
Camping is not recommended.
Car camping at the "trailheads" would be the best bet as the terrain on the mountain is highly exposed to the elements.
There are no campgrounds in the area.
The White Knob Mountains sit in the rainshadow of the nearby Pioneer Mountains. Therefore they do need recieve nearly as much snowfall as other ranges in the area. This allows for easier winter ascents. However, these are high peaks and exposed to the elements. Windy Devil Pass nearby puts the conditions well. Prevailing winds blow the majority of the high ridges free of snow year round.
There are no weather stations whatsoever in the White Knobs with Copper Basin RAWS Site
being the closest observation where temperautres annualy drop to -40/-50 degrees.
These websites will also provide good information.
Sawtooth Avalanche Center- Gives daily avalanche reports during winter.
Idaho Outdoors Forum- Frequent reports of local conditions and climbs in the area.
Sawtooth National Forest Website- Provides information on road closures, wildfires, and other current happenings in the area.