High Ridge, ID

For our first day in Idaho Gary and I chose an acclimatization hike up to over 9,000'. Driving from sea level in Seattle to 5900' at Sun Valley in one day was a start. For this trip the trail head is at 7700'. It was only about a 20 mile drive as many hikes are close to town. We were the first car to arrive though another came in right after us. They were trail runners and passed us by quickly.

The trail begins with an immediate creek crossing. Even in mid August it was still wide and deep. We found a small wet log to get across. At first we were on an old road though that soon turned to trail. The route climbed steadily at a nice grade. There were several logs across the trail as this does not seem to be a high priority trail.

Wildflowers were much more plentiful than I was expecting. Most were flowers I see often in the Washington Caacades. Indian paintbrush, lupine, aster, and others. There was one that I have not seen before. A white lily with purple dots inside. It showed up in the Sawtooths too.

Forest gave way to meadows as the trail worked up into a large cirque basin. Rock and a little snow above and the meadows all around. We crossed the basin and then climbed up the wall to our left. The forested ridge led us down into another basin. More meadows and flowers. One more climb gave us a view of our destination. High ridge is across this last basin.

The trail lost only a little elevation then crossed a shale field. The footing through the rock was fine. We finally reached the final ridge top after a net gain of 1700'. The view from 9400' is quite good. Mountains surrounded us including the higher peak, Point 10459, right above us. There were afternoon high clouds moving in but they did little to minimize the views.

Having been at sea level just 30 hours earlier, shortness of breath was noticeable. We did not move as quickly as usual but climbing htat high did help us with the backpacking trip that began the next day. We had planned on just the 1700' net gain listed in the guide book but climbing over those ridges brought our gain up to 2500'.

Considering this trip starts right out of Sun Valley it does get you up high fast. It was also amazingly empty for such a nice trail to views and with flowers so close in on a Saturday. Not that we were complaining. It was a much better hike than we had expected. The next morining we were off to the Sawtooths for our one way backpacking trip.

Creek Near Start
Cirque Above
Creek Bed
Entering First Basin
Looking Back
Indian Paintbrush
Big Peak - Maybe Borah?
Second Basin
Basin View
Road Far Below
Gary On High Ridge
Higher Peaks
More Peaks
Point 10459
Trail To High Ridge
Heading Back
High Ridge
Dead Trees
Green Basin
Snow Cave
Small Flower
Unknown Lily
Another Look
Carpet Of Lilies
Back To The Creek
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2009