Golden scrub aspen, talus, and andesite outcrops en route to Beetle Bailey, 9/30/05. Photo by Rick Baugher.
Here are 3 ten thousand foot peaks that guard the entrance to Wildhorse Canyon in Idaho's Pioneer Mountains. All are partial day hikes very suitable for the shorter days of autumn where the main thing is to enjoy the fall foliage and the views of the nearby snowcapped peaks. Plan to fill your lungs with clean air that city people can only dream about. For those wishing to climb all of the ~31 Pioneer 10'ers this Wildhorse contingent shouldn't be overlooked.
From west to east here's a brief description that will point you in the right direction to explore these three trailless peaks. Don't forget your Standhope Pk and Phi Kappa Mtn quads.
"Beetle Bailey" el 10014' (prominence 514') heads Bailey Creek and can be seen for several miles in front of you on the drive up Trail Creek Road. The brown lodgepole pine have been attacked by pine bark beetles. They burrow under the bark, killing the tree but keeping the woodpeckers happy. The Burnt Aspen Trail, used by bowhunters in early fall, connects Wildhorse and Little Kane Canyons. From this trail, head north past volcanic outcrops to a surprisingly wild summit. On 9/30/05 I found no sign of prior summit occupation.
View N to the uncairned summit of Moose Perch on 8/28/05. Photo by Rick Baugher.
"Moose Perch" el 10354' (prominence 454') splits Wildhorse and Fall Creeks and is best seen from the historic Wildhorse Guard Station. Park at one of the shady, free camping spots along Wildhorse Creek. Bushwack east up a draw, then north to the summit. A superb view, including Moose Lake and Angels Perch,will help you better understand the complexities of Pioneer Mtns geography. On 8/28/05 no sign of prior summit visitation was found. A cairn and note were placed.
From the snowcapped summit of Rosenkrance Peak many of Idaho's highest mountains can be seen. This view NE on 9/18/03 looks past Porphyry Peak to the Borah section of Lost River Range. Photo by Rick Baugher.
Rosenkrance Peak el 10380' (prominence 760') overlooks the Rosenkrance Ranch on East Fork Big Lost River, but can best be seen from Wildhorse Canyon and Fall Creek. From here the mountain's massive scree slopes are daunting. Best to approach it by going up Dry Creek on the East Fork Big Lost side. On 9/18/03 I found an existing cairn on the summit, but no register. My guess is family members from the namesake ranch have been up here.
"And best of all he liked the fall", epitaph Ernest Hemmingway