Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Peak 6526' and Peak 6336' Hike

To properly enjoy the great Spring weather we've been having, I went hiking in the Boise Mountains near Arrowrock Reservoir.  The destination was Peak 6526' and Peak 6336', two little-known and seldom hiked peaks to the east of Mt Heinen.

I started from the Cottonwood Creek Trailhead off of FS-377.  I headed straight up the trail, following Cottonwood Creek through surprisingly un-scenic terrain (thanks to past fires and the abundance of willows and chaparral).  The trail starts off with a nice tread, complete with bridges across the rushing creek.  After a mile or two, the trail deteriorates and you're on your own for crossing the creek.  With the creek running high, I was forced to take off my boots at one point in order to cross.  A couple of other washed out sections had to be carefully bypassed.  I followed the trail up to elevation 5350', where I found a nice log to use for crossing.  From here, I headed straight up to Peak 6526'.  While direct, this route was marred by occasional thick brush and blowdowns.  Soon I was on the summit, which looked very pristine except for the nicely cut stump right on the summit.  At least the stump made for good sittin'!  This peak offered good views of Thorn Creek Butte, a rarity in the lower Boise Mountains.

From this summit I followed the ridge over to Peak 6336'.  This ridge is easy to follow but also features sections of annoying brush and deadfall.  Soon I was atop Peak 6336' which featured similar views to its neighbor but with better visibility to Arrowrock Reservoir.  After a brief summit break I decided to follow the ridge directly down to the trailhead rather than go back to Cottonwood Creek.  Worried about possible brush battles, I headed down anyway.  Initially the the brush was an issue but as I approached Point 5774' I found a very nice trail.  This trail was at least as good as the actual Cottonwood Creek Trail and leads directly to the trailhead!

In short, this was a mostly enjoyable hike that feels very remote despite only being about an hour from Boise.  The direct trail to Peak 6336' is highly recommended - the key is to take the (unmarked, but obvious) trail to the right of the official trailhead which proceeds straight ahead and uphill.  The official trail (which I used to ascend) instead heads left to meet up with Cottonwood Creek.

Peak 6526' and Peak 6336' Hike Pictures!
Trip statistics: 11 miles, 3650' gain, 5.25 hours

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Great pics. Looks like you had a lovely day up there.