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Added by Bob Hollywood

Hike to the highest peak in Idaho (bragging rights!)Take on a challenging Class 3 climb.Incredible views of the surrounding mountain ranges.Try your hand at the infamous "chicken out ridge."

The hike up Mount Borah is not for the faint of heart—it's a grueling four miles up from 5,412 feet to 12,662 feet in elevation. Borah Peak has a prominence of 5,981 feet, making it the 65th-tallest of the 128 ultra-prominent peaks and 27th out of 57 in the lower 48 states. It takes an average of six to 12 hours round trip to complete the hike, depending on skill and fitness level.

Getting There

From U.S. 93, turn east on the signed Mount Borah access road (279) between mile posts 129 and 130. Follow this road east for approximately three miles to the parking lot and trailhead, where you'll have access to a bathroom but no running water. There is a information sign at the trailhead on the east side of the parking lot; the southwest ridge is the standard route and this is where the marked trail will take you.

It is strongly recommended to start this hike in the very early morning, as early as 4:30 am. The Lost River Range, where Mount Borah is located, is a moody mountain range; it's known for frequent, sudden afternoon thundershowers, high winds, and unpredictable August snow storms. Be sure to check the forecast. Because of its prominence and exposure, this is no place to be in a lightning storm!

The Trail

The trail starts at 7,250 feet. It does not ease into elevation gain; rather, it throws you into it. This trail is steep! After two miles of switchbacks and a 2,300-foot elevation gain, you will come to the tree line. Here, the trail turns and follows along the ridge at a slightly lesser incline over a very faint trail.

After about .5 miles it gets really steep again heading for the yellow rock ridge. (This ridge is infamously known as "chicken-out ridge" because many hikers come to it, find they don't want to go anywhere near it, and turn around to head back down the trail.) This ridge is approximately 500 feet of a knife-edge ridge line with more than 1000-foot dropoffs on each side. However daunting, know that the rock is stable, and with three points of contact at all time, taking the time to pick the proper line, and using caution, this is a very doable ridge. Stay on the ridge and don't try to by-pass it—that's when the injuries end up happening. If there is snow or ice, leave the ridge for another day unless you're an expert.

At 11,750 feet, the ridge ends with a 40-foot drop onto a narrow snow bridge. Again, use caution—if early in the day, this may be very icy. Follow the faint trail around the mountain ridge to the saddle. Take a break, because the steep 850 feet scramble to the summit begins from here.

When you've finally reached the summit, all you have to do is sign the register, sit back, relax, and enjoy the view from on top of the world.

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