At 12,662 feet, Borah Peak is the highest point in Idaho and the 11th highest high point on the highpoint list.
This was on the schedule for last year, but the peak was holding snow late into the season and I wasn’t carrying an axe and crampons around with us so it got pushed to this year.
There are five campsites conveniently located at the trailhead, and the several-mile dirt road in is slow but manageable in the Pod.
Typical oh-dark-thirty start, I was surprised to have two young guys hitting the trail about the same time as I did. They started out at a fast pace and I never saw them again until just below the summit.
This. Trail. Sucks.
5,262 feet of elevation in 4.1 miles makes for a never ending incline, and the route varies from dirt and gravel at the bottom to loose scree just below the summit. Hard on the knees and pretty tiring.
There are some fun parts though. Chicken-Out Ridge is a well-known point where a lot of hikers assess their comfort level with alpine terrain and turn around. Pretty easy overall though, and super fun. There are even more fun sections higher up the ridgeline where you can find some Class 4 climbing if you want a little more spice.
On the descent I started seeing other hikers, some already turning around well below COR. Because Borah Peak is a high point, there are a lot of unprepared hikers who think it’s a feat worth performing and don’t put much effort into diet, training or gear prep. Lots of unhappy tired faces that would have had a much more enjoyable day hiking something a little less brutal.
Glad to have this one done, and glad to be headed back to Colorado to bang out some 14ers!

Prominent Peak

Prominent Peak
Borah Peak really sticks up from the surrounding flatlands.


Upclimb to Borah Peak
There’s plenty of vertical scrambling if you want to get off of the main path!

Under The Moon

Under The Moon on Borah Peak
This is how all oh-dark-thirty climbs should be.

Washed Out Layers

Washed Out Layers from Borah Peak
Layers and layers of mountains stretch to the horizon

Beautiful Lines

Beautiful Lines below Borah Peak
The lines in these ridges are amazing

Warming It Up

Warming It Up
The sun begins warming up the day

Borah Peak

Borah Peak
The summit of Borah Peak

And Me

And Me
At the summit, below freezing and silly windchill.

Handy Rope

Handy Rope below Borah Peak
Somebody even left a handy rope on this Class 4 section if you’re not good with vertical or exposure.

A Different World

A Different World
It’s a different world down in ranchland

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