Hike North Idaho

Selkirk Mountain U-1

May 8, 2015

Elevation: 7,709
Rank: 1
Coordinates:48.847N, 116.554W
Trailhead: Big Fisher Lake Trail, No. 41 Trailhead elevation 5,410’
Estimated Time: 3 - 4.5 hours

South Slopes
Class 1
5.75 miles, 2,299’ elevation gain (2,799’ net)

The highest peak in the U.S. Selkirks is at best, unassuming, not terribly interesting, and somewhat uninspiring. Unlike the impressive granite peaks to the south, Selkirk is simply a high point that is about 100 yards long. The top is forested with filtered views. By sheer elevation it claims the top spot among the high points and as such it deserves respect.

Perhaps the toughest thing about climbing Selkirk Mountain is the long approach. Though there is nothing technical, it is a long hike just to get there. If you are ascending from the south, as most do, it means going over the summit of U-4. This is really where the ascent opens up as you can see exactly what you will have to deal with for the better part of the next hour.

First, drop down about 100’ off the east side of U-4 and follow the high ridgeline to the next saddle. It is a bit more than a half mile away. You really don’t lose much elevation until you reach the saddle below Selkirk and even then it is only 200’. Then, start heading up the south side. There is no wrong way to do this though staying closer to the east side keeps you out of the worst of the forest. For the most part, the walk across from U-4 is tame and occasionally you will see a small cairn. Stay close to the high point of the Fisher Cirque and the way before you opens up.

To the north you will see the unmistakable Parker Peak (7,670’). A little further east you can see Fisher Peak just pocking above the high ridge that also tops out at (7,682’). It is possible to follow the ridge off Selkirk and over to the Fisher Peak Trail but it is a long day. It is simpler to do Fisher Peak and the Ridge from Trailhead 27 about half way up the Trout Creek road.

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