Hike North Idaho

Long Mountain

May 8, 2015

Elevation: 7,265’
Rank: 19
Coordinates: 48.834N, 116.616W
Trailhead: Pyramid Pass Trail, No. 13 Trailhead elevation 5,410’ (not sure)
Estimated Time: 2.5 - 3 hours

South Ridge
Class 1
5.75 miles, 1,855’ elevation gain (2,495’ net)

The simplest way to reach the summit of Long Mountain is by taking the Pyramid Pass Trail. The hike to the pass is about 2.5 miles (6,500’) and takes about 60-90 minutes. To reach Long Mountain you drop down about 250-300’ until you reach the junction of Trail 15 (go right here and start re-ascending to the ridge). Trail 7 continues down and will take you into Long Canyon. You will reach this junction just before 3.0 miles.

The elevation you just lost from descending to the junction is minimal. It skirts the boulder field below an unnamed peak (over 7,000’) and ridgeline to the east. This ridgeline eventually connects to Trout Peak and into the Trout Lake cirque. But your destination is ahead. Continue up until you reach the ridgeline. This is Parker Ridge. It continues along the ridge to the northeast (left) and is easy to follow.

From the ridge you can see Smith Peak and Lion’s Head to the west. To the east is Fisher Peak, Trout Peak and the high points above Big Fisher Lake. To the west is Long Canyon. As you continue on the trail it undulates over several high points until it reaches what seems like a summit just to the right of the trial. This point is directly above (west) of Long Mountain Lake. This is not the summit. You can see the summit of Long Mountain along the ridgeline – about a mile away. Beyond it is Parker Peak. Although this point is over 7,000’, you must continue along the ridge. This means immediately dropping 350’ to a high saddle. Follow the trail as it moves around the west side of Long Mountain. There is no trial to the top. It is a scramble (east) up and off the trail until you reach the summit. This will take about 15 minutes as you find the easiest path through small pines, moss encrusted boulders, and a few small cliffs. The going is not difficult but takes some decision-making. At the top you will find a cairn and some excellent views in every direction – including down into Creston, British Columbia.

One note of caution, the Northeast face of Long Mountain is precipitous. If you reach the long ridge that connects to Parker, you have gone too far. Retrace your steps. It is better to exit the trail about midpoint between the saddle and Long Mountain. It is also possible to follow the ridge from the saddle bit this is not the easiest way to reach the top.

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