Graham Peak

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City of Rocks is both historical and spectacular, and Graham Peak overlooks it.

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

Julie and I spent the night in Boise, then loaded in Team Hole-in-the-Head for the 3 1/4 hour drive to Almo. There we met locals Tom and Hannah for our day in City of Rocks National Reserve.

Tom would be our guide for the day once Hannah made sure he was on the right trail. Hannah would return to shuttle our rig back to base.

Our goal: a loop hike to the top of Graham Peak.
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You get a great feeling right about this hike right from the beginning. Here, we are about 100 feet from the car at the Circle Creek Overlook, and it seems pretty scenic.

 

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The other great feeling is because most of this hike is on a very nice trail. The trail was much appreciated, and there is a whole network.

Not only is that sagebrush good-sized, but it's pretty darn stiff, and thick to boot. We got to try it out later.

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It's not all sagebrush, though. Here you can see the aspen. We also saw cacti, one wildflower (remember, it's February!), and several other interesting plants.

And by golly, there's our peak!

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More aspen, and now some aspen deadfall in the snow. For some reason, I was blamed for this. Camp
The trail winds around, up, and through several creek drainages, and eventually gains the ridge. We followed the trail to Indian Grove, then started bushwhacking toward the cleft in the rocks. But not before getting intimate with the sagebrush, then wandering stooped under the old-growth mahogany canopy. Camp
Above the cleft, the views expanded rapidly. Julie is in the lower right of this picture, and that's the City down there. Camp

Summit.

It was a little breezy and cold. It's February, doncha know.

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You can see many peaks from up there, including Pilot Peak in Nevada. But the closest is the one here, Cache Peak.

Note the long shadows- time to head home.

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Our route down was through private property (with permission- the advantage of traveling with locals).

Please respect the property lines here. Over the years there have been a few conflicts, so you won't get much sympathy from any land owner who catches you trespassing. Best advice: return on the same route.

Other advice: Take your time. This is EXTREMELY scenic. Be joyously slow and catch the sun going down over the City.

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Map of our climbing route.

 

John's trip report

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