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Idaho's Soldier Mountains

*Click on photo below for larger version.

The Soldier Mountains are located in south-central Idaho. They stretch about 25 miles east-west from roughly Couch Summit north of Fairfield to the South Fork of the Boise River near Featherville. The highpoint of the range is Smoky Dome at 10,095 feet. Iron Mountain is the next highest named peak in the range and has a fire lookout on its summit. The range is not rugged in general, but does sport a few cliffs on the northern side. What does make the range incredible though, is the fact that it rises about 5000 feet above the Camas Prairie without much in the way of foothills.

From the grassy prairie, one can see nearly every peak in the range. Late spring/early summer are great times of the year to witness the range, as the prairie and low elevations are bright green and huge snow drifts still cling to the upper peaks. Look for an assortment of flowers in the wetlands throughout the Camas Prairie, especially the Camas Lilies that blossom around Memorial Day in the Centennial Marsh near Hill City.

The names I apply to the peaks are what they are referred to by the locals in the Fairfield area. I did go with the official name on Smoky Dome, but locals refer to that usually as 4th Peak or Soldier Mountain.

There are a few trails in the range, but few except those leaving from the north side of the range along the Boise River have official trailheads. There are several on the south side of the range, but you will have to look hard for the trailheads and expect that some trails might be in worse shape then expected. That said, I have discovered others that were in better shape than highly maintained trails in the Sawtooths.

Pictures of the peaks

Click on the pictures below to see the full-size version.
1st Peak
2nd Peak
3rd Peak

North Smoky Dome
Smoky Dome
Boardman Peak

Peak 9712
Iron Mountain

Soldier Mountains from the air

Trip reports:

 2nd Peak  Smoky Dome
 Boardman Peak  Couch Peak

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