Mahoney Butte Scramble

Date of trip: 06/09/2017

Mileage: 7.6 Miles

Elevation Gain: 2229 Feet

Time: 6:00 Hours

Class: 3

Partners: Carrie

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Mahoney Butte7904484SmokyKetchum, IdahoNoNo43.5968, -114.4527

Trip Report

My wife was in Sun Valley for a work conference. During the day, I worked and hiked a bit, then hungout with her in the evenings. Finally on Friday, she was done and we both took the day off to go hiking.

We left the Sun Valley lodge around 9am and after stops for food and gas, we arrived at the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead around 10am.

The Greenhorn Gulch trailhead is quite fancy, large, and busy by Idaho standards. We headed up the Greenhorn Creek trail, then eventually took the Mahoney Creek trail.

I had no route information other than a map (short story is we planned on a different peak and then realized we didn't have time to pull it off). From vantage points east of the peak, it looked like the east face was out as a safe route. So we took the trail around to the northside to see what it looked like. As the trail climbed out of Mahoney Creek on the northeast side of the peak, we could see a route that should keep it class 3.

So around 6500' feet we started looking for somewhere to cross Mahoney Creek. We found a large, downed log across the creek and used it as a balance beam to get across.

After a few hundred feet of steep, forested terrain we broke through onto the pleasant and flower covered north ridge. That steep slope was covered with geodes and Carrie found an amazing one that was full of crystals on the hillside.

The north ridge led us to the base of the peak. The route was easy boulder hopping until the last 100', where it was easy class 3 climbing for the final ascent.

The top was beautiful with great views all around us. We soaked in some sun and relaxed briefly before deciding to head down.

Carrie was spying a route off the south side of the peak, but it ended in a cliff. This led me to believe that she wanted to hike off the mountain on a different route. So I led us over to the east face area, where we tried getting down a few gullies that dead-ended in cliffs. We slowly worked our way north trying 4 or 5 gullies (one we went way down), but all ended in cliffs.

Starting to get tired, we decided we'd better just climb back up and descend our original route... who's idea was this to descend a different way anyhow?!

After getting back on our original line, the descent went easy. We both really enjoyed the challenge of the peak, the flowers, the nice trails in the area, and the views. Great day out with my wife!


Getting There

From Idaho 75, north of Hailey or south of Ketchum, turn west onto Greenhorn Gulch road (same stop light as East Fork Wood River Road).

Follow the road to its end at a large trailhead.


Hiking Directions

From the Greenhorn Gulch trailhead, follow the trail up Greenhorn Creek (trail #156). After about 1 mile, turn right onto the Mahoney Creek trail (trail #821). We followed the Mahoney Creek trail to about 6550', then crossed the creek and jumped on the north ridge. This led us to a nice, easy scramble up the north side of the peak.

On descent, we explored a route down the east face. We tried 4 or 5 different gullies, but couldn't find a route we were comfortable down climbing. We eventually gave up and returned the way we'd came.


Photos

View Slideshow

Mahoney Butte from Clarendon Peak the day before
Mahoney Butte from Clarendon Peak the day before
Mahoney Butte from near the Greenhorn Gulch Trailhead
Mahoney Butte from near the Greenhorn Gulch Trailhead
On the approach
On the approach
Mahoney Butte from the northeast
Mahoney Butte from the northeast
Trail up Mahoney Creek
Trail up Mahoney Creek
Carrie crossing Mahoney Creek
Carrie crossing Mahoney Creek
Carrie pointing something out to me
Carrie pointing something out to me
Cool arch formation on the ridge we ascended
Cool arch formation on the ridge we ascended
Numerous wildflowers on our route
Numerous wildflowers on our route
Heading up the ridge towards the Mahoney Butte summit block
Heading up the ridge towards the Mahoney Butte summit block
More flowers!
More flowers!
Looking west about 75 feet from the top
Looking west about 75 feet from the top
Carrie nearing the summit of Mahoney Butte
Carrie nearing the summit of Mahoney Butte
Cool looking mountain west of Mahoney Butte
Cool looking mountain west of Mahoney Butte
Boulder Mountains from Mahoney Butte
Boulder Mountains from Mahoney Butte
Carrie on Mahoney Butte
Carrie on Mahoney Butte
Carrie taking in the views from the top
Carrie taking in the views from the top
Pioneer Mountains from the summit of Mahoney Butte
Pioneer Mountains from the summit of Mahoney Butte




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