Bear Lake County High Point Trip Report

Meade Peak (9,957 ft)

Date: July 30, 2000
Author: Ken Jones

I took a look at David Olson's write-up for this peak, and thought I'd better try to find something a little easier for the family. This route uses mostly trail.

From US Hwy. 89, two miles south of Afton, Wyoming, take Wyoming route 236 to the west (this junction is at virtual milepost 82.9). At 2.6 miles, reach a stop sign. Continue straight ahead; the road becomes county route 142. At 3.5 miles reach a "T" intersection; turn left on Crow Creek road. Follow the main Crow Creek road, which starts paved but becomes well-graded gravel. Cross the border into Idaho at about 7.4 miles. There is a junction to the right near here, and several more along the way. It is obvious which is the main road, which runs up the Crow Creek valley. (This valley had the highest concentration of bluebirds we have ever seen, as well as a number of kestrels.)

Just beyond the Clear Creek guard station, at about 20.5 miles, find Forest Road 698 on the right. This looks unpromising, and would be tough if it were wet, but I managed to nurse my Accord over the ruts and through the sandy patches in both directions. Drive this road, staying on the main route where tracks head off, for 2.2 miles. A less-major fork goes right here. You can walk it, or drive some or all of it with high clearance; it will go about 1/3 mile before reaching a turnaround loop. Beyond here it is trail. This point is at about 7200' elevation. (We drove another 0.15 mile or so, and found the point where FR 698 drops steeply into the Beaver Dam Creek drainage. You'd want 4WD to be comfortable about getting back up this hill. At the bottom of the hill is a sign for trail 114, the Beaver Dam Creek trail. We walked this, willow-bashing along the creek, until we reached the end of the "less-major fork" described above. We walked the road on the way back.)

Hike the trail up Beaver Dam Creek. In its lower reaches (until about 9000') it is heavily used by cattle, and very dusty (or probably muddy, at wetter times of the year). The trail is shown on the Meade Peak quadrangle, but not on the quad to the north. For reference, it follows the creek to about 8300' ("Creek" on the map), then heads to the right up the ridge north of the creek. It drops NE to the SW slope of the canyon which contains "8600" and heads for the saddle just west of point 8900'+. Before it gets there, it heads up and left steeply, circling around "32" and picking up the ridge trending WSW. It follows this ridge, generally on top or just S, to about 9550', where it contours over to saddle 9548' and drops slightly to meet the trail on the map (which is the Snowdrift Mountain Trail). The Beaver Dam Creek trail is well defined to about 9000'; above there look for an off-and-on track and blazes where there are trees. Upon reaching the Snowdrift Mountain Trail, note where this junction is for your return trip (it's not obvious on the way back). Then turn left and hike down into upper Meade Basin. Find a good spot to head toward the north ridge of Meade Peak (there are ATV tracks in the vicinity), and follow the ridge to the peak. The ridge is class 1 to 2 all the way there; you can go around or through the craggy bits. No register was found or left.

Round trip: About 11 to 12 miles, 2800' net gain, 3100' total gain, 7 h 30 m.