|The Elephant's Perch
From a climberís perspective, the Elephantís Perch is possibly Idahoís best piece of stone. Not just because of the quality lines and solid granite though, itís the whole experience.
You start with a nice, 5-mile boat ride across Redfish Lake. As the miles pass on the water, youíll be glad you paid the $10 for the ride. From the far end of the lake itís a steep and pristine, 3-mile hike to the camping below the Perch. If youíre out of shape, you will know it in the last mile.
It would be difficult to overstate the beauty of this camp. Youíre between the lip of the hanging valley and the first of the Saddleback Lakes, with the Elephant's Perch on one side and the multi-towered massif of the Goatís Perch on the other. Great stuff by any standard. Trout live in the Saddleback Lakes so get a license and pack a rod if you will be taking any rest days.
The Perch itself is a photogenic, golden granite with vertical fractures covering its flanks. It soars roughly 1000 feet for much of its width and hosts around 30 routes. You wonít find many fixed anchors, so be prepared to build your own. The rock quality is excellent, but loose rock does exist, especially on the less-traveled routes.
The easiest and most popular route on the Perch is the 5.9 Mountaineerís Route. Other popular classics include The Direct Beckey, Astro-Elephant, the Sunrise Book, and Myopia.
To descend there are two options:
1. Descend the gully to the climberís right of the Perch. This involves some loose rock and some rappelling.
2. When you top out, go to climber's left and work your way down and left around the bulk of the Perch to eventually meet up with the trail you took to the base. This involves some short downclimbs and may require some scouting around if itís your first time.
Take the boat across (or hike around) Redfish Lake and begin hiking up the main drainage. Youíre heading for the second drainage on the left after the Grand Mogul.
After roughly 2 miles, you leave the main trail and follow a smaller trail up to the base of the Perch. It can be hard to spot the trail junction where you leave the main trail so be alert. You will cross two foot-bridges close to one another and then another one a little farther up the trail. After the third bridge, look for the creek on the left. You want to leave the main trail at its point nearest the creek. You should cross the creek (on logs) within a couple rope lengths of leaving the main trail.
This trail becomes easy to follow after crossing the creek and leads up and right into the valley below the Perch.
14 Total Routes
['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in The Elephant's Perch
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Elephant's Perch:
Sideline 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches
Unknown 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a Trad, Alpine, 110'
Myopia 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ E3 5c Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches
Sunrise Book 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches
Featured Route For The Elephant's Perch
Latest Regional Forum Messages
At the top of the descent gully with Saddleback La...
BETA PHOTO: A hi-res shot of the Perch from the south.
BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - West Face
25. The Breach 5.11...
BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - SW Face, Left
20. Chasing the...
BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - SW Face, Right
14. The Thorn B...
BETA PHOTO: Elephant's Perch - South Face
8. Lost Horizons 5....
BETA PHOTO: Approach map for Elephant's Perch and Finger of Fa...
Hiking back to catch the boat across Redfish Lake.
Camp below The Elephant's Perch.
Traveling light! (Believe it or not, this is two p...
Our camp at Saddleback Lakes
The Perch, with Sideline and Astroelephant in view
Great perspective of Elephant's Perch from the hik...
One of the many beautiful Brook Trout caught out o...
Lots of bouldering potential along the hike in.
Brad takes a dive while waiting for the boat.
Chris Abbot on Elephants Perch
Beckey bolt at crux of pitch nine. Take!?
Matt at pitch 4 of Astro Elephant
JAG on the summit.
Saddleback lakes as seen from the ledge on Astro-E...
Alpine glow on the Perch.
From the boat ride across the lake
At the end of our hike in - nice camp site here by...
Ryan on the summit - what great weather we had!
A smoky day at the Perch.
View of Saddleback Lack from top of Perch
|Comments on The Elephant's Perch
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Apr 8, 2007
This is without a doubt one of the prime alpine areas in the country. My time there was limited so my partner and I only climbed the Beckey Direct, but this climb alone is well worth the trip up there. There are also many stellar boulders scattered about in the trees below the Perch. We started climbing on them and were blown away by the quantity and quality of problems.
May 13, 2011
My last trip to the Perch was, as always, amazing except for the climbers and their trash. A group of dread-headed posers wearing typical 'modern-hippie' shirts tented up proximate to the trail. They had an obnoxious dog that loved to bark AND bite. "Relax, man, our dog is chill" as it whipped is chain leash to reach it's assumed target (my leg!). What a bunch of douche-bags. Maybe they climbed hard. Anyways...
Just be courteous to fellow users of the Sawtooths -- don't be an asshole, people. This place, more importantly than an austerely beautiful cliff, is a even more beautiful mountain range. Respect it. Know the rules!
When I was there last, trash was scattered about: beer cans, wrappers, and human shit and tp poorly covered by rocks. Climbers have a reputation among the land management agencies that is similar to that of Boy Scouts -- bad! I have family who work in the USFS in the Sawtooths. They tell me these things.
Just because climb the Perch doesn't mean you own the place. Feel free to dirty your carpet or leave beer out at your place, but in the Sawtooths you're a GUEST. This place is a palace. Treat it like one. Let's leave it pristine and clean for future climbers and patrons to enjoy.
From: Canada Mofuga
Jul 30, 2011
I pulled a 'fixed' nut and whipped (past my belayer) on the 12a corner of sunrise book this week. Kinda got scared since that belay sucks- small nuts behind a flake, and bailed off a green camalot and a grey c4. They are there if you want them.
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 9, 2012
The Elephant's Perch is not to be missed. This amazing cirque is great for both climbers and non-climbers, so bring your non-climber friends for some excellent alpine backpacking, fishing and beautiful scenery as you climb.
Two things to note: 1) the right side of the wall (astro elephant, etc) gets sun much earlier than the left side of the wall and can get really hot. 2) when descending the gully and eventually reaching the chock-boulder, go out left to the tree on the other formation. Single 60 rap to the ground. Don't bother downclimbing around the boulder.
|By Spencer Weiler|
From: SLC, UT
Jul 25, 2012
FYI: the boat ride is $16 bucks round trip, or $10 one way. It leaves the Redfish Lodge Marina anytime as long as you have 2 people. It picks up from the inlet at 9,11,1,3,5,7 at the dock you get dropped off at, or anytime someone else is being dropped off.
|By Jim D|
Aug 17, 2012
Is there a guidebook for this area worth getting? Or should I just go purely off what's on Mountain Project?
Is the road in to Finger of Fate passable with a regular old Durango or do I need some jeep with a lift to get in there?
From: Boise, ID
Aug 19, 2012
The road to Finger of Fate was a little rough, but not that bad. My Subaru didn't have any problems. Idaho, A Climber's Guide by Tom Lopez has some beta in it.
|By Rob Dillon|
From: '81 Sunrader
Nov 14, 2012
Cool FA story from the 70's here on the Taco.
|By Erik S. Gillis|
Jul 11, 2013
So I left my new 510 moccasins at the base of Myopia July 7th 2013. If any body finds them could you please email me at email@example.com thanks
Jul 17, 2013
Hey does anyone have any info on routes that go up the tusk? I've heard there's an 11 but not much else as far as description (possibly runout?). Any info would be great!