Hike up Rockville Mountain

Date of trip: 01/06/2017

Mileage: 3.5 Miles

Elevation Gain: 527 Feet

Time: 2:08 Hours

Class: 3

Partners:

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Rockville Peak4827327OwyheeMarsing, IdahoNoNo43.3643, -116.9563

Trip Report

We had been hit with "Snowmageddon 2017" in Boise. A record 16 inches of snow depth and below zero temperatures. Another big storm was predicted for the weekend. I was getting a bit stir crazy, so when we finished up a project at work and a sunny day was forecast, it was time to go!

Rockville Peak was on my list because I knew it was close to the highway and would make a nice snowshoe. So off towards Marsing I headed with temperatures in the valley well below zero.

I stopped for gas at the junction of Idaho 55 and Highway 95. It was -9 degrees, foggy, the wind was blowing 20 mph, and I froze in the 5 minutes it took to fill up. WTH was I doing I wondered? Then I went in the store to get a Gatorade and the gal said "Honey, Gatorade is the last thing you need today. Ain't nobody working up a sweat out in this!".

I am an optimist, so I figured it would be sunny in the mountains. I drove on up into the Owyhees seeking that sun. It was scenic with the slopes completely white from recent snows and the fog burning off. As I crested the pass about 3 miles from the turnoff, the snow amounts rapidly dwindled. I had figured on using snowshoes for sure, but based on this, I left them in the vehicle. In addition to the surprise of less snow; it was zero, windless, and sunny!

I started following the Sands Basin Road. After just under half a mile, I turned left on another road that actually goes to the summit of Rockville Peak.

Not wanting to just walk a road to the top... once I could see the east face of the peak, I skirted the base to find a cool rock route. After a while I was surprised to see an awesome, narrow gully that looked like it was in the Sawtooths, not the Owyhees. I followed it and the climbing was a blast. The exit was a bit narrow for my big butt, but I pushed through. About 50 more feet of scrambling got me to the flat and featureless summit plateau.

I walked from the south end of the summit to the highpoint (according to ListsofJohn). After some photos, I just beelined it for the trailhead, picking up my trail at the base of the east face of the peak.

Fun little peak and good to get some vitamin D during this crappy stretch of weather!


Getting There

From the junction of Idaho 55 and Highway 95, head south on Highway 95 for about 16 miles to the turn-off for Sands Basin Road. I was lucky and the snow was limited enough to allow me to pull off the highway. I'm not sure if they plow out an area near here to allow you to park in deeper snows.


Hiking Directions

A road branches off the Sands Basin Road and heads north towards the peak (this branch is about half a mile from the highway). This road actually goes up to the summit. That is one option for a route. Another is to find a suitable line on the south or east face and go for it.


Photos

View Slideshow

Road used for ascent for a little ways
Road used for ascent for a little ways
Rockville Peak
Rockville Peak
Gully used on ascent was quite alpine in nature
Gully used on ascent was quite alpine in nature
Looking down the gully
Looking down the gully
Rockville Peak
Rockville Peak
Looking south from Rockville Peak
Looking south from Rockville Peak
Mahogany Mountain from Rockville Peak
Mahogany Mountain from Rockville Peak
East slopes of Rockville Peak
East slopes of Rockville Peak
Descent track
Descent track




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