Camas County - Smoky Point
On Saturday, August 22nd the Rupert Jeep Club headed for the Camas County
high point at the head of Owl Creek Canyon. We turned off of Idaho Highway
75 about 15 miles north of Ketchum and forded Wood River. We drove up Owl
Creek 3.2 miles to the end of the road and loaded our packs for a serious
up hill trek to the high point. GPS showed 1.7 miles and 2400 feet to the
destination. The contingent included Ron, Rhett, Miranda, Lori, Big Al and
myself leaving the Jeeps at 10:15. We worked up the west side of Owl Creek
for about a mile and then headed up a steep ridge toward an alpine bowl
shown on the topo map.
We stirred up a dozen forest grouse on the ascent
that became increasingly steep until reaching a bowl at about 9600 feet.
We crossed the bowl and headed up the rocky gully to the southwest toward
the high point. The scramble up the talus canyon was the most vertical so
far on the Idaho 44 project. After topping out on a more gradual ridge the
Salmon River headwaters came into view all the way down the Sawtooth
Valley. The last few hundred yards to the ridge crest seemed to take all
the gas we had left. On ascension of the ridge we took a break before
continuing over to the high point which overlooks the Smoky Mountains, the
Sawtooths, the Boulders and the Pioneers. The high point was the place for
lunch at 1:10 p.m.
No summit register was found so we decided not to litter either. The trek
back to the Jeeps took a more direct route to the northeast, traversing
some brushy slopes below the alpine basin. The steep decent took a toll on
the downhill muscles for sure. Another one in the books!