Ascent of Smoky Dome on 2019-10-12

Climber: Dan Krueger

Others in Party:Kate Wrablik
Morty The Mountain Dog
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 12, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Smoky Dome
    Elevation:10095 ft / 3076 m

Ascent Trip Report

Click here for Video!

I've been wanting to climb Smoky Dome for a long, long time. Kate and I went a year and a half ago but didn't reach the summit. We had to be back to Boise at a certain time and underestimated the hike - it's much more difficult than it seems "on paper". We took a less optimal route and I didn't feel good - all those things added up to not reaching the summit. Anyway, I was super excited to get a perfect weather window and go back and get this done, a snow free 10,000ft hike in mid October can't be beat!

This time we took Morty, knew what to expect, and had plenty of time - things went much better! Be prepared, the route we took did not have a trail except for maybe the first 1/2 mile to the creek crossing. After that, you will have to find your own way through the sagebrush. At first it's not too bad as there are places where it looks like deer have trampled the brush, but after you reach about 8500ft the brush gets thicker and the slope gets steeper! You'll climb from 8600ft to 9600ft in just over 1/2 mile. After that though, this turns into a really great hike for the last 2/3 mile. Views are amazing and the rocky ridge is great.

Just a piece of advice... instead of traversing below point 9884 on the right we found it better to stay left of the large rocky point and traverse OVER 9884. The footing is great and the rock is solid, much better than going right and side-hilling (which I did on my first attempt a year and a half ago). After that, it's a fantastic little ridge walk to the summit - really nice! It's a little tough on dog paws though - Morty (a large golden retriever) scraped up his paws on the rocks pretty bad... but he was a trooper and hiked all the way back on sore paws.

One more piece of advice... We followed Dennis Poulin's driving directions, which were spot on (if coming from east of Fairfield). If you are coming from the west (Mountain Home or Boise) on highway 20, turn left on 900W about 10 miles BEFORE you get to Fairfield. This will connect to 200N and save you almost 20 miles (10 of which are on dirt)! Once you reach 200N turn left and follow the directions from Dennis, they are perfect!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2495 ft / 759 m
    Extra Gain:75 ft / 22 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.7 mi / 9.2 km
    Trailhead:7750 ft / 2362 m
    Grade/Class:Class 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 15 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dan Krueger
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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