Shephard Peak and Silver Peak

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The drive into the North Fork may be tougher than the climbs, but Shephard Peak and Silver Peak are worth the bouncing and jouncing.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Snow has come early to the Idaho mountains this year. Usually the middle of October is t-shirt weather, once the sun is up. But not this year!

I put the new Suby-Do to the test, driving the road to Graham, and then adding in some snow. But I chickened out and did not drive to the actual pull-out, instead parking about a mile short of it and walking the last stretch. Silly me- this stretch was *way* better road than what I had just driven.

Anyway, this is what Shephard Peak looks like from the proper pullout. Not a lot of depth to the snow, but good coverage on northerly aspects.

Shepard Peak

But before we leave the road, this view is of the Sawtooths. Amazing perspective, with some gnarly-looking incisors (click on the picture for the bigger version).

Sawtooths

From the road, you traverse a wooded hillside, essentially staying at the same elevation as you move south towards Shephard. Then you start up the ridge of Shephard, getting a great look at the Goat Mountain complex. I had hoped to run over there this trip (who wants to drive back in on that godawful road?) but ran out of time.

Goat Peak

After the flattish traverse, it's only 800' to the top of Shephard. It wasn't long until I was enjoying the views of Silver Peak, just down the ridgeline. It's about 450' down to the saddle, then back up some.

Silver Peak

Here's what Silver Peak looks like from the adjoining ridge. This ridge is quite steep on both sides. Fun walk!

Silver Peak up close

Once on top of Silver, you look back at the south side of Shephard. The sun had done it's work on this side and there wasn't much snow.

South side of Shepard Peak

On the way back to the car I stopped and took some pictures of some footprints left by one of my furry little buddies.

Note about the Graham road: Until you get to the turnoff to Jackson Peak lookout, the road is pretty good. Then you drop down a steep hill and the road goes to crap. In spots, it is extremely rocky and loose. Although I did get whacked underneath the car once, that wasn't my real concern. The issue is tire damage. I'd carry an extra spare if I went again. And a backcountry tool set with at least a good bow saw... you are a long ways back in there, and there aren't many other idiots to lend you a hand.

Mr. Natural Home | 2005 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski