Bear Lake County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: June 19, 2007
Author: Jerry Brekhus

Betty and I hiked to the summit by a longer route than usual. We hiked the length of Snowdrift Mountain. If you are looking for the shortest way up, don't go the way we did.

The trailhead is reached by driving approximately 11.7 miles from Georgetown on Forest Road 102 in Georgetown Canyon to the crest of the divide on the county line. Trailhead elevation is about 8,050 feet.

We hiked along the trail used by ATVs until we reached an inactive mining area in the NW 1/4 of Section 8. Here we explored some distance both directions on ATV tracks. Neither looked promising, so we just went cross county uphill through the trees until we gained the main spine of Snowdrift Mountain. Here we followed the trail, well-used by ATVs, on the Great Basin Divide. One side drains into the Great Basin; the other side (east) eventually drains into the Columbia River. After a good five miles entailing lots of ups and downs and skirting some lingering snow banks, we reached the place where the trail descends into Meade Basin. There we left the trail and headed toward the summit.

Meade Peak was looking quite steep to a couple of flatlanders who grew up in North Dakota, steeper than it looked when we were eying it from the now-distant roads. We worked our way along the west side of the crest of the ridge and, after a little steep side-hilling were on the top, reading the register in the Mead notebook. We saw Ben Knorr's entry recording his ascent in October 2005, when he continued to the top from the south saddle after Betty and I turned back.

On our descent, we were able to avoid the steep side-hilling by staying as close as possible to the ridge line. Then it was simply an eight-mile hike back to our Suzuki awaiting us at the trailhead. Along the way, we got directions from some ATV enthusiasts that enabled us to go via trail all the way back. We enjoyed some views of the Tetons in the Wyoming distance.

Climb statistics: 16 miles round-trip; duration 10 hours and 10 minutes