Cayuse Mountain Ascent

Date of trip: 05/07/2017

Mileage: 4.1 Miles

Elevation Gain: 1300 Feet

Time: 2:47 Hours

Class: 2

Partners: Carrie

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Cayuse Mountain5913413DanskinMountain Home, IdahoNoNo43.3545, -115.5969

Trip Report

Last weekend I visited Peak 5260 in the Danskins. That peak sits next to Long Tom Reservoir. I couldn't believe how green and scenic the Danskin Mountains are right now. So with a few hours to spare on Sunday evening, I convinced my wife to join me on a hike of Cayuse Mountain.

Cayuse Mountain is the 5th highest peak in the Danskin range. I first noticed it on a winter snowshoe of Peak 5444. It is a pointed summit with a rock cap.

Then last weekend, I noticed the ridge looked fun... Cayuse moved to next up on the list.

After an easy drive from Boise (right at 1 hour), we pulled off Prairie Road and found a suitable parking area. It was partly sunny and a bit windy, but not too bad.

We immediately started up the steep southeast slopes heading toward Point 5618. The ridge wasn't too bad after the initial 500 or 600 feet. At Point 5618, we dropped a few hundred feet to a saddle. It was all uphill now and Cayuse Mountain was dominating the view.

The final slope was steep and long. However, the views were improving with each step. Looking back towards Bennett Mountain was spectacular, but the views of the South Fork Boise River Canyon, Cathedral Rocks, and Smith Prairie are incredible.

On top, we couldn't tell if the western hump was higher than the rocky cap. I was a bit shocked to find 2 cairns, wood, and wire on top of the rocky highpoint.

After taking in the views, we headed back down the ridge, enjoying dinner at the saddle between Cayuse Mountain and Point 5618.

From the saddle, instead of going back up and over Point 5618, we simply followed the drainage down towards Long Tom Ranch, then veered easterly and joined the unimproved road we had parked on. The descent route was much less steep than what we'd used to ascend. Be mindful that the ranch is private property, but avoidable by staying north of the property boundary.


Getting There

From Mountain Home, take US 20 15.4 miles. Turn left onto NF Road 131 (Prairie Road). Follow this road approximately 8 miles to a saddle between Cayuse Mountain and Peak 5580. We actually turned down an unimproved road for a little ways to get off the main road.

Prairie Road (NF 131) is smooth and easily doable with a sedan.


Hiking Directions

On the way to Cayuse Mountain, we followed the southeast ridge to Point 5618, then down to the saddle between Point 5618 and Cayuse Mountain.

On return, at the aforementioned saddle, we turned down the creek that heads for Long Tom Ranch. Before reaching the ranch, we angled left and joined the unimproved road that led to our vehicle.

Long Tom Ranch is on private land, so be careful to stay north of the property boundary (the attached tracks do so).


Photos

View Slideshow

Looking back at Cow Creek Road a few minutes into the hike
Looking back at Cow Creek Road a few minutes into the hike
On the ridge towards Cayuse Mountain
On the ridge towards Cayuse Mountain
Cayuse Mountain about halfway into the hike
Cayuse Mountain about halfway into the hike
Nearing the top of Cayuse Mountain
Nearing the top of Cayuse Mountain
Looking towards Bennett Mountain
Looking towards Bennett Mountain
Cathedral Rocks and Smith Prairie
Cathedral Rocks and Smith Prairie
Carrie on top of Cayuse Mountain
Carrie on top of Cayuse Mountain
Carrie on top of Cayuse Mountain
Carrie on top of Cayuse Mountain
Cathedral Rocks and Smith Prairie
Cathedral Rocks and Smith Prairie




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