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Ascent of Hayden Peak on 2021-06-21

Climber: Chris Gilsdorf

Date:Monday, June 21, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hayden Peak
    Location:USA-Idaho
    Elevation:8403 ft / 2561 m

Ascent Trip Report

Hayden Peak, a remote drive-up, is often approached from the north, near Nampa. However this route would easily add an hour and a half each way from a western approach. While roads do exist from the west, I only knew they were likely to be passable from Dean Gaudet's trip report and absolutely invaluable GPS track of the drive in/out. In Jordan Valley OR, I left the main road and turned onto Yturri Blvd, followed by a left at a junction onto Trout Creek Rd which soon became good dirt. This road eventually dropped into a canyon, and became more narrow and rougher at a left where the better road dead-ends. The turns get a little confusing and unmarked as you approach the ghost town of Silver City, ID (a quick and worthwhile detour from the driving route). The route ascends around War Eagle Mountain and you finally get your first views of Hayden Peak here; it's actually a rather handsome mountain from this angle. You may be able to coax a passenger car up to the plateau at 7800' here in dry weather, but high clearance becomes pretty much a must beyond here, and 4WD would be helpful especially the last half a mile or so up Hayden. This last 3-4 miles to the peak is steep, rocky, narrow, and exposed. I was glad to be back off of it on the return! However, for the daring, the road leads all the way to the summit towers, and mere steps from high ground. A grave marker occupies the highest ground, at the edge of some steep dropoffs with sweeping views into the Snake River Valley. My drive out was luckily uneventful, and I was able to fill up again in Jordan Valley. I backtracked all the way to just north of McDermitt, watching lightning play in the skies above. For travelers in this area, knowing where the gas stations are, AND when they're open, is imperative to a successful journey! Jordan Valley, McDermitt, Frenchglen, and Rome are about your only options.
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