Bingham County High Point Trip Report

Blue Ridge - BM Blackfoot (7,550 ft)

Date: July 5, 2001
Author: Ken Jones

Drive: (As always, odometers vary. I think this rental read a bit high - adjust accordingly.) From Blackfoot, Idaho at the junction of US 26 and US 91 (odometer reset to 0.0), drove NE on the combined 91/26 for 9.7 miles to Wolverine Road/600 N. Turned right onto Wolverine Road and followed it to the junction of Blackfoot River Road at 20.4 miles (road is signed "BFT RIVER RD"). Turned right onto Blackfoot River Road (which soon becomes gravel) and kept right at a "Y" at 24.8. At 31.9, just past an empty house on the right, turned left on the gated (but unlocked at the time - see NOTES below) road up Menassa Creek. I followed this road (without seeing any of the mapped forks) through two lock-free gates to the vicinity of the corral in High Basin (35.8). Blackfoot River Road is suitable for passenger sedans; after that the driving required high clearance and probably 4WD. Had I been a more daring driver, I could have driven up High Basin on a very faint track (shown as a road on the topo) to the vicinity of the north edge of Section 4, shortening the hike.

Hike: I walked across the valley and climbed Blue Ridge, reaching its crest near the NE corner of Section 10. I turned left and followed the ridge to the benchmark, where I found no register, but left my business card in a Ziploc bag. On the return, I headed north a few hundred feet, then dropped west passing south of hill 6649 and picking up the track on the west side of Rawlins Creek, which led back to my car.

Trip Statistics: 4+ miles, 1400' gain, 2:45 hours.

NOTES: On my drive back out, I reached the gate just short of Blackfoot River Road and was surprised to find it locked. A passing farmer offered to call someone with a key once he got to a point where his cell phone would work. An hour and a half later, a family showed up with a key. They suggested that I'd "got myself stuck where I shouldn't be." I apologized, told them I was interested in county highpoints, and explained that I was taught to leave gates as I found them (open or closed), but that unlocked and unposted gates were okay to pass. The owners didn't seem very annoyed, and accepted my explanation. I allowed them to go first, so they wouldn't need to be in my dust, and noticed that they returned to a farm/ranch house on Wolverine Road just west of the Blackfoot River Road junction (about 200 yards from the junction; look for a red mailbox at the bottom of a long driveway heading north). I didn't feel I should ask them about other visitors in the future, under the circumstances. But they had explained that they didn't mind hikers, but keep the road locked because of vandalism by ORVers in the past (it was supposed to have been locked when I arrived). I expect future visitors could obtain permission to use this road at the described house.