Sawmill Canyon is the most popular destination in Idaho's Lemhi Range.
This forested headwaters area of the Little Lost River has been a favorite family camping area since the first settlers arrived in the 1880's.
Redrock Peak el 9701' is one of a dozen peaks that overlook Sawmill Canyon. The bushwack scramble to its summit leaves the hubbub of the canyon far behind. On top I found no sign of human imprint. Here is a tiny island of solitude.
This view shows the nature of the east side of Redrock Peak. The sharp
east ridge, airy in spots; or the trailless, but hard to find, Redrock
Creek drainage can both be used to reach this volcanic summit.
Summit of Redrock Peak, photo by Rick Baugher
The summit of Redrock Peak is on the rim of what was once a huge early
Cenozoic volcano. Looking across the caldera, which has now become
South Fork Big Creek, we see the monarch of the region, Big Creek Peak
el 11350'. Directly in front of 'Big' is Flatiron Mountain el 11019'.
To the left of the eleveners is a nice enough 10571' peak I call Smoke
Screen. When I was there in August 1992 the smoke from distant forest
fires reduced visibility to nil. So, it was nice on this occasion to
actually see my old friend. Over the years I'd almost forgotten what a
crummy bushwack it was.
Eriogonum, photo by Rick Baugher
Eriogonum can be found from peak to valley in Sawmill Canyon, and
that's good, because the buckwheats are an important ecological system
link. Flowers provide the single most significant nectar source for
steppe-inhabiting bees, and its seeds provide a major food source for
birds and rodents. Native peoples used buckwheat to reduce swellings.