BETA PHOTO: This is Diamond Peak in late May. Still snow cover...
Diamond Peak is a beautifully shaped peak that is the highest peak in the Lemhi Mountain Range, and also the highest in Butte County. It is over 12,000 ft, making it part of Idaho's "12er's" (a collection of 9 mountain peaks which are all above 12,000 feet in altitude within Idaho). Many people attempt to climb all 9 of Idaho's 12,000 ft peaks as part of contests and bets. A simple google or yahoo search will bring up many sorts of these contests and challenges.
Diamond Peak gets its name from its perfect shape, similar to that of a crest of a diamond. The terrain varies by season, very snow-covered in the winter and completely exposed rock in the summer. The Mountain can be climbed in either season, however it is most commonly climbed in the summer with exposed rock. A summit in the winter will put you over 12,200 thanks to the additional 10-15 feet of snow on its peak.
Everyone should take the chance to attempt a climb up this beautifully majestic peak that often peaks above the clouds. From the peak, on a clear day, you can see countless mountains below that make up the Lemhi and Sawtooth ranges, and also in the distance you can see the Grand Teton (Wyomings highest peak), and also Mt. Borah (Idaho's highest peak).
-----Diamond Peak Summit----- GPS Coordinates - N 44º08.479' W 113º04.963' Elevation - 12,197 ft -------------------------------------------
Drive: Highway 33 west to SR 28; go northwest, take the signed Pass Creek road (north of Blue Dome site) westward. At 1.8 miles, a fork to the right immediately fords Pass Creek and climbs above the creek, then turns north. Follow the main track keeping right at 3.4 miles and passing through a gate. Stay on the main track as it winds northerly and westerly, and enters Targhee NF (gate and sign) at about 6 miles. Half a mile further, you are at the 4WD junction from the road. From here, the high clearance road becomes rough jeep tracks. You want to head south, keep left at the first junction, cross the North Fork Pass Creekand climb up to the south. Follow this track to the closed 8000' contour and parked there; there is a sign in the immediately adjacent saddle indicating "RTE CLOSED" beyond this point. This drive was definitely 4WD only, and a passenger sedan might not have got beyond the 1.8 mile mark.
This is a great Idaho climb. The mountain is very prominent and beautiful. The climb is not too difficult, but should be taken with someone who has mountaineering experience, or has been before. Climbing it in the winter or spring presents many more challenges and dangers. In winter slipping down is an important issue that should be addressed. All members of your climbing party should be able to adequately self-arrest with an ice axe in the event of a slip. Slipping down many parts of the mounta...[more]Browse More Classics in ID