Sunday, September 18, 2016

Trip Report: The Clapper (10,740), Lemhi Range, Idaho

Bell Mountain on the left. The Clapper on the right

  • September 17, 2016
  • Team: Ben Prescott and myself
  • Summit: 
  • The Clapper
  • Route: Southwest Ridge north of Deep Creek
  • YDS: Class 2
  • Total Elevation Gain: 3,786 feet
  • Total Miles: 6.04 miles

Ben climbing the foothill north of Deep Creek
Looking for a simple hike/climb that puts you on top of a Lemhi peak with great views of Bell Mountain? A hike that gains an average of only 1,250 feet an hour/mile? No difficult terrain? Crosses three distinct zones: grass, timber, and alpine. An up and back time of around 4.5 hours at a leisurely pace? The Clapper is perfect. 

During the climb, I often thought this would be a great training destination for a runner. The terrain is simple enough to run without worrying about twisting an ankle and offers a six mile round trip with about 3,800 simple feet of gain. I also thought that this would be perfect for skinning up in the winter. Only the last 600 feet becomes bit more complex with talus, though the rock is very stable.

A 2 hour drive from Rexburg puts you at the trail head. Albeit that was the time on our return trip when I was cruising pretty good through the desert back to the highway; we were both thinking about pizza and pop in Mud Lake. 

To get there, head north on the Little Lost River Highway to Clyde. A large sign on the east side identifies Clyde. Just past the sign, cross the stream and then hang a right and drive across the Little Lost River. Turn left and drive on a relatively good road by Lemhi standards. I followed the road to Foss Mountain and then turned left at the oasis. I drove until I found a good route up a ridge just north of Deep Creek.

Hiking through sagebrush and grass, Ben and I made our way toward the timber line. The grade was gradual and easy. Once in the trees, the ridge continues northeast and levels out from time to time. There is a high point on the ridge (10,095) that we went around on the right. Looking again at the map, a left course may be a bit better. rounding this point, The Clapper came into view. 


overlook before skirting the slope leading to a broad saddle at the base of The Clapper

First view of The Clapper
Lemhi Crest south of The Clapper
Before the final 700 feet, on the saddle, the views of Bell Mountain were wonderful.

An easy push puts you on the summit. Ben and I spent sometime on the top taking in the views and making some images and then booked it down.

View of Bell Mountain from The Clapper
Ben on the summit

Lemhi Crest from left to right: Peak 10,681, Peak 10,751 (Midway Mountain), 10,737 (Little Brother), Big Sister
Southeast ridge of Bell Mountain and Umpleby
The Ridge of The Clapper

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