Hike of Eureka Peak

Date of trip: 07/14/2018

Mileage: 8.9 Miles

Elevation Gain: 3027 Feet

Time: 6 Hour(s) and 22 Minutes

Class: 2

Partners: Carrie

GPS Track: View Here

Peaks Climbed on Trip:
Peak Name Elevation Prominence Range Close to County highpoint Range highpoint Map
Eureka Peak10129949SawtoothStanley, IdahoNoNo43.8701, -114.8936

Trip Report

Carrie and I had to be in Hailey for work on Friday, so we stayed the night and headed up to the Sawtooths in the morning. The peak we picked was Peak 10129 (Eureka Peak), located southwest of Alturas Lake.

Last year, on July 3rd, we attempted the peak using the southeast ridge. However, without ice axes or crampons, we stopped at the 9600' saddle as the slope was steep above us and solid snow.

This year, with a lot less snow, we decided to come in from the north using the old road that led to the Ruby Mine high on the slopes of Eureka Peak. The start of the hike was the Alturas Lake Creek trailhead. Soon after leaving the trailhead, the trail forks. Take the left fork, which heads up the Alturas Lake Creek (the right fork goes to the Alpine Creek drainage). Follow this nearly level trail. Eventually it will cross Alpine Creek on a bridge. Shortly after the bridge, take the left fork signed for Eureka Gulch. Now back track down a single track trail heading east toward Eureka Gulch. The crossing of Alturas Lake Creek is a bit tricky. I made it through with dry feet due to my boot height, but my Carrie had to take off her boots to cross.

Finally, after the big zig zag and 2 miles of hiking, you turn into Eureka Gulch and start heading up! The initial trail is obviously the old road. It has good tread, gains elevation quickly, and is in the trees. We made good time here.

Eventually the trail goes back to single track and starts getting nice views of the mountains surrounding Eureka Gulch. The flowers were in full display in the meadows cleared by avalanches.

At around 8400' the trail swithbacks and cuts across the west slopes of the mountain. On ascent, we followed this trail until it ended at 9000', then climbed 200 feet to get onto the north ridge of the peak.

The ridge is pretty smooth going. There are a few spots just below the summit that are steep and loose, but for only 50 feet or so.

The top was marked by a large rock cairn and summit register placed in 2014. There was mountain goat sign everywhere and we finally spotted 4 of them about 200 feet below the summit.

The views were great! The peak is almost in a separate range from the main summit, so the views of the Sawtooths from the summit are unique.

From the summit, we descended the west face straight down to the mine. The last 200 feet sucked! It was steep and loose. Then the mine disappointed. Our last "shortcut" was to cut straight across to the trailhead when we got to the end of Eureka Gulch. This was marshy and we kept almost getting "swamped out", but we made it through with clean boots and no broken bones.


Getting There

Get to Alturas Lake. From the lake, follow the paved road that continues west. Not long after the lake, the road turns to a dirt road. The trailhead is around 2 miles past the lake.

There is adequate parking for dozens of vehicles here and a bathroom. Sedans can get here.


Hiking Directions

The start of the hike was the Alturas Lake Creek trailhead. Soon after leaving the trailhead, the trail forks. Take the left fork, which heads up the Alturas Lake Creek (the right fork goes to the Alpine Creek drainage). Follow this nearly level trail over the bridge crossing Alpine Creek. Shortly after the bridge, take the left fork signed for Eureka Gulch. Now back track east down a single track trail heading toward Eureka Gulch. After the big zig zag and 2 miles of hiking, you finally turn into Eureka Gulch and start heading up!

See the GPS track for the details.


Photos

View Slideshow

Eureka Peak from the Alturas Lake Road
Eureka Peak from the Alturas Lake Road
Trailhead
Trailhead
Alpine Creek
Alpine Creek
Heading up the old road
Heading up the old road
Getting higher in Eureka Gulch
Getting higher in Eureka Gulch
Flowers
Flowers
Eureka Peak from around 9200'
Eureka Peak from around 9200'
Golden Quartz #2 Mining Claim
Golden Quartz #2 Mining Claim
Sawtooth Views!
Sawtooth Views!
Taking in the views just below Eureka Peak
Taking in the views just below Eureka Peak
Summit register
Summit register
Sawtooth Valley and White Cloud Range
Sawtooth Valley and White Cloud Range
Views south from Eureka Peak
Views south from Eureka Peak
Heading down the trail
Heading down the trail




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