Gunsight Peak


Sean picks Gunsight Peak in the Boise mountains, then bails on a good day.

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

We had been bouncing around ideas and days off. Dave only had Wednesday. Michael and I had Thursday. Sean was going to do both. When he suggested Gunsight Peak for Thursday, Michael and I were on board (after we figured out it was up the South Fork of the Boise). Then Sean bailed.

So Michael and I rolled out at 5am, starting early to meet his family obligations that evening, and were on our feet heading up Willow Creek at 7:20. Temperature: 16°.


The trail had both horse and motorcycle prints on a very flat, graded tread. Easy, fast walking. We made the 4.5 miles and 1500' gain to Badger Creek in about 90 minutes.

The only obstacles were a couple of creek crossings, including Edna Creek and Haypress Creek. Is that ice going to hold us up? If not, that water looked pretty cold.


After crossing Badger Creek, the trail takes you to the toe of Gunsight's south ridge. Shortly after we started up the ridge, the sun came out. No complaints here.

Michael and I had not climbed together all summer, so we had a great chance to catch up, talk climbs, and then discuss the List.

Low on the ridge

Time check showed us right on schedule. And moving well. The views were doing well, too.

Looking down the ridge

There's our namesake peak: Gunsight.

The gunsight

We had figured about 4 hours up, 3 hours down. We hit the summit at 12:15, right on schedule.

We gawked and stared, arguing for the names of the peaks we thought we recognized. Some were easy, but this new angle really threw me for a loop at first.


But first, we weren't sure which side of the 'sight' was highest, so we did them both. Here's looking back at the other (we think higher) side with Steel Mountain in the background.

Also note the large cairn. Many big rocks had been stacked on both sides of the gunsight.

Here's Jumbo Mountain with the Soldiers on the horizon. Jumbo
Here's Neuman Peak with the high Pioneers (Goat, Hyndman, Old Hyndman, and Cobb) in the background. Neuman Peak
Here's Ross Peak and Two Point. Add those to the List. Ross and Two Point

And here's the Sawtooths, including Thompson, Elk Peak, and Warbonnet (!).

And then it was time to boogie if we were going to stay on schedule.


As it turns out, gravity is our friend so at the half-way point we were running ahead of schedule. So I took this picture of some secret rock for Ralph.

Super trip: lots of easy trail work, a few frozen creeks to cross, and astounding new views.

Hidden rock

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