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Trail Creek Summit Rick Baugher

SW into the cirque of Cold Canyon, photo by Rick Baugher.

Trail Creek Summit

Trail Creek Summit el 7896' is the mountain pass that divides Pioneer Mountains to the SE and Boulder Mountains to the NW. In 1884 The Ketchum & Challis Toll Road Company, owned by Horace Lewis, built the original wagon road here to connect mining and grazing lands with the Union Pacific railhead at Ketchum.
Let's visit two overlooked peaks that overlook Trail Creek Summit. 'Trail Guard' el 9617' (prom 517') occupies the interior bend of Trail Creek, SW of Trail Creek Summit. From near the Great Lost Divide at Park Creek, ford Trail Creek and hike the High Ridge Trail SW up Cold Canyon. At a 9100' spur pass leave the trail and cross country NE to this tree covered summit. Use the Rock Roll Canyon topo map.

Along the High Ridge Trail en route to 9617' Trail Guard, the view is SW into the cirque of Cold Canyon. With a snow cover of 6 to 12 inches, snowshoes were helpful on 10/11/09. Rather incredibly, this trail had recently been traversed by two mountain bikers. Why this steep ridge hugging trail anyway? I suspect it was once a sheep trail used to drive flocks to and from summer pasture. Also, it could have been a shunpike for packers wishing to avoid the toll over Trail Creek Summit.

View NE down Summit Creek, photo by Rick Baugher.

From the summit of Trail Guard we're looking NE down Summit Creek (Big Lost River drainage) to Borah Peak and Lost River Range. If there were prior visitors to this summit they must have practiced No Trace technique. Being less of a purist, I built a small cairn and left a note under a tree on 10/11/09. To the lower left is the landslide face of Summit Peak.

Trail Guard, photo by Rick Baugher.

From near the top of Summit Peak el 8832' (prom 936') this view looks SW to Trail Guard on 10/12/09. Summit Peak is located immediately NW of Trail Creek Summit. The peak name is a local one, used by Blaine County Road & Bridge, which is charged with the herculean task of plowing the road open in Spring.


Praise the Lord, another personal milestone,
Peak #1400

Photos and information by Rick Baugher

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