Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Observation Peak Hike

Last Sunday, I met Todd and Dan for a hike up Observation Peak in the Sawtooths. Also joining the party were Todd's two excellent hiking dogs Leo and Roxy. After meeting at 9am, we headed out around 9:15am. The drive was smooth and we were hiking just after 11:30am.

Observation Peak is the only Sawtooth peak with a trail to the top. Thus, the hike was unusually easy for the Sawtooths. However the typical long approach was still present. We spent most of our time hiking up the Trail Creek drainage which was scenic and enjoyable. The trail was well-graded but more overgrown than we expected. We also only saw two other people on the trail all day - pretty sparse for peak season. The creek crossings were a little bit high but the only risk was getting water in my boots. We had been in a mild burn area for much of the hike but once we got near Stanley Lake Creek it turned into total destruction with no vegetation anywhere. In this burn area we hit snow which was firm and supported us well. Soon we were on the summit, just over four hours in.

The summit was incredible with perfect temperatures, no wind, and outstanding views of the northern and western parts of the Sawtooth Range. We all enjoyed a nice leisurely break on top before heading back down. We made good time on the descent, highlighted by a nice glissade on the upper slopes of the peak. Upon arriving at the trailhead, we were deflated upon discovering Dan's vehicle has suffered a flat time. Fortunately the spare was in order and we were able to roll home on the doughnut - though we didn't get home until after 10pm!

Observation Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Great pictures! Really looks like you had a nice day - except for the flat tire!